Recently, I returned from a holiday in Hawaii.
Shortly afterwards, I arrived at Cottonwood and had a coffee. My drive in had been fine, but I looked out the window and, all of a sudden, I couldn’t see a thing because of a white-out. I can’t remember when we’ve seen this much snow, but that could be a blessing.
Our superintendent Tyler Patroch has had a chance to get out and look at a few areas that he can get to and we’re just hoping that there isn’t a lot of ice underneath. Our worst winters are the ones with ice, but right now, we’re pretty comfortable that we should be alright.
It’s our first winter with a couple of new greens that we put in a year ago. There have been a couple of places where Tyler has gone out with a snowblower and blown snow back on, just to keep the snow cover.
There are a lot of unknowns that you’re never sure of here. Back in the 1990s, we had an ice jam in the river and it filled our basement. We’d never seen anything like it.
It jammed up when they released water from the dam and it broke through after we’d left for the day. We actually opened that year with ice still on the 18th fairway.
That happens when it gets really cold, then warms up a bit and big chunks of ice begin to move. What’s interesting now is that the river has changed since last June’s flood in Southern Alberta.
Typically. what happens is that when we get one of these freeze-thaw scenarios, ice comes on to the ninth fairway, into the rough and back down again. The river has changed its course quite a bit and I think you’re going to see the water flow change.
We’ll need a year to watch and see what happens, but there will be some anxious moments. There are a lot more question marks this year and we’ll have a better idea once mid-February comes.