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March whimpers at Chicago golf courses: Temperatures reach 50 degrees

The Polar Vortex and heavy snow was too much for this duck.
The Polar Vortex and heavy snow was too much for this duck.
© 2014 Vernon Brookins

March, instead of roaring like a lion as it did at its beginning this year, whimpered on the 10th; temperatures in Chicago reached the low 50s. Chicago likely last saw such temperatures in early December 2013. Of course, 50 degree temperature caused snow to rapidly melt.

This odd-angled, bare tree is especially desolate with snow in the background.
© 2014 Vernon Brookins

Snow on Chicago’s, golf course cart paths melted faster than snow on its fairways. (The cart path snow and the fairway snow were both in full sunlight.) Man-made objects melted snow faster than natural objects. Snow that was in full sunlight on grass melted slower than snow that was in the shade on grass.

Even with the 50 degree temperatures, after the sun set, some ice still remained on teeing grounds, fairways and in rough areas. Snow/ice piles shrank substantially, but they did not completely disappear. This was the results of abnormally, high amounts of snow that Chicago received in January and February.

Mud was almost everywhere. It was at puddles’ edges, around trees’ bases, on curbsides and on cart paths. Cars parked on the streets near golf courses had mud on their tires. People who ran or walked around or on golf courses got mud on their shoes and boots.

Dirt was sprinkled atop some snow piles. Some piles had a mixture of dirty, decayed leaves; mud, ice and snow. For the most part, snow plow trucks piled snow in golf course parking lots instead of on the courses.

Golfers should not expect to play on courses without snow until late March. (More snowstorms may be coming.) Even if golfers are willing to play in snow, they will find it exasperating; golf balls will not roll very far, and will likely flop into the mud.