Smooth start to golf season despite long winter


In a year that saw record-breaking amounts of snowfall in Michigan, Oakland University golf courses Katke-Cousins and R&S Sharf remained, for the most part, unscathed by the harsh winter.

Rumors of detrimental damage to the Katke-Cousins course arose early this spring, lumping it in with most of the other courses in southeast Michigan.

According to golf and managing director Bill Rogers, and head course superintendent Tom Schall, most courses within each region keep in contact to compare conditions of their respective courses. 

Katke-Cousins suffered minimally this year when they implemented six temporary greens, but in comparison to the likes of Red Run Golf Club in Royal Oak and their 17 temporary greens, this was negligible. 

As the snow fell, those in charge are left to choose between either doing nothing or plowing the snow and cracking the ice. When ice forms it doesn’t let the gasses escape, which could kill the grass below. On the other hand, snow is actually good for the grass, as it provides a natural insulator from the cold air above.

“You can stop the snow about as much as you can stop a tornado,” Rogers said. “You just need to let Mother Nature happen. It’s when it’s over that you then apply your knowledge.”

With this in mind, Schall took precautionary measures by top dressing the greens while cutting them higher. This allows for longer roots and more nutrition for the grass to survive the coming winter. 

The top dressing and snow combined to insulate well. It’s fortunate that the Oakland University area wasn’t one hit by too much ice.

It is due to these precautionary measures and the fine attention they dedicated to the care of our very own Oakland University courses that both courses are open and sustaining over 300 golfers a day with ease.

Tucked back in the beautiful landscape surrounded by the old Dodge house and Mansion, these courses are ready to be played. Full time students taking at least six credits this summer semester at OU only pay $14 on weekdays for 18 holes.

Contact Staff Reporter Joseph Bach at [email protected].