When golf courses in the Northeast enter the winter season, the course maintenance needs take on a whole new look. International Golf Maintenance has a long relationship with The Ledges Golf Club in South Hadley, Massachusetts. “We have a complex management program to put the course to bed the right way to prevent winter kill each year. As a company of agronomists, we focus on turf preservation,” said Course Superintendent Mike Fontaine, who has been with IGM at The Ledges since the golf course maintenance contract began in 2005. That contract was recently extended by the city of South Hadley.
The golf course closed December 1, 2017 with plans to re-open April 1, 2018. During the break, the maintenance crew takes on a lot of brush-cutting for the landscaping and trees, as well as equipment repair and sharpening. “When it hits -20 degrees, we really can’t go outside much, so the crew works on indoor projects,” said Fontaine.
However, as a municipal property, The Ledges is a popular location for residents who want to do some cross-country skiing, sledding, or snowboarding. Located in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, near the Connecticut River, the golf course features a winding layout through natural wetlands, mature forests, and historic farmland. The IGM maintenance crew is responsible for snow removal on the long entrance drive and course roadways to ensure emergency vehicles can access the area if needed.
Even with the harsh winter conditions so far in 2018, Fontaine expects to reopen the course on schedule. “The snow and freezing pipes are crippling to the community, but this is ‘par for the course’ for a New England winter.”
IGM Executive Vice President Greg Plotner appreciates the trust the town of South Hadley and The Ledges invest in his company. “We have a great partnership. The town derives revenue from this golf course operating seven days a week during the season. Our goal is to make sure we deliver excellent playing conditions, which includes preserving the turf and landscaping over the winter months. The fact they continue to extend their contract with us speaks volumes about the service Mike Fontaine and his crew provide.”
IGM is a comprehensive contractor of outsourced golf course maintenance and business services. To discuss your needs for cost-effective maintenance and course management, please contact Greg Plotner, Executive Vice President, 407-589-7200. Additional information, including an electronic version of this release may be obtained by visiting IGM’s website at golfmaintenance.com.