Golf Course Management

MAR 2015

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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with thin ice on one side and black pipe attracting sun to the edges. The 2013-2014 winter was the exception to the norm, and we had subfreezing temperatures for over two weeks. The ice rink turned to glass with the grounds crew scraping it and applying light coats of water daily. The rink went from being almost unused the year before to being the talk of the club. The general manager requested that we post a sign to des - ignate certain time periods for hockey versus free skate. The rink became very popular among college students home for winter break and families with young kids hitting the ice for the frst time. Doubling up For the 2015 winter, the membership requested that we build two rinks: one just for hockey and the other designated for skating. After seeing how popular the rink was in 2014, I thought we could step it up a notch in quality and order a kit from The kit comes with brackets, boards, liner, kick plates and foam pads for the top of the boards. We purchased plywood for boards instead of paying extra for the plastic boards that come with the kit. The triangular brackets have spikes on the bottom and a slot on the front to receive the boards. The key is to install the brackets and boards before the ground freezes. The liner is then installed once the weather forecast calls for consis - tently freezing temperatures. In our case we waited about a month to in- stall the liner after the boards and brackets were in the ground. If the liner sits full of water, it tends to collect leaves and debris, which then create holes in the ice when the sun melts it. The biggest task was cutting the plywood on a table saw to create the boards. The total investment was about $2,500 for supplies, which we can reuse every winter. The system is easy to assemble and even has videos available online for each step of the process. The end result is a much nicer looking — and a more functional — rink. The Nicerink has 16- inch sides, which allows us to increase the depth of the ice. It is also better for hockey because the players can shoot the puck off the boards. The skating rink is flled slowly, allowing a thin layer of ice to form before more water is added.

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