RHINELANDER - A layer of snow - even a thick one - does no damage to Northwood Golf Course in the winter.
Not every winter brings an ice storm though, and the ones that do put the course at the highest risk of damage.
Inches of snow cover Northwood golf course with a healthy glaze of ice on top.
"(The) mmediate concern is the putting greens," course superintendent Joe Andersen said.
Andersen is in charge of maintaining the course. For now, all he can do is repair the course's lawnmower blades and hope the ice melts before it suffocates the putting greens.
"I've been here for 23 years, and we've lost turf on putting greens on two or three different occasions," Andersen said.
Some golf courses that see snow and ice solve this problem by installing green covers, a sort of protective tarp over the green. But Northwood Golf Course doesn't have that. It's too costly and labor-intensive to be worth it, according to Andersen.
"If it's going to be above freezing when the sun's out, you need to take those covers off every day, or if the sun's out it'll cook the greens underneath and kill them," Andersen said.
Andersen can wait roughly a month and a half with an ice covering before any significant die-off of grass happens.
After that, he'll have to either melt some of the ice himself, or re-seed the greens when the weather gets warmer.
"This event today, I would say that starts my clock," Andersen said. "In 45 to 60 days from now, I may or may not need to do something."
With cold temperatures on the way, that countdown won't end anytime soon.