While there may not be anybody driving or putting on the Scarlet or Gray courses in the middle of winter, there's still activity at the Ohio State University Golf Club.

While there may not be anybody driving or putting on the Scarlet or Gray courses in the middle of winter, there's still activity at the Ohio State University Golf Club.

"It's really busier than most people can imagine," said general manager Marc Lucas. "We're so busy here in season, it's hard to stop and reload."

Despite being a weather-dependent business, the club's restaurant and pro shop remain open during the winter months. Wedding receptions are held, lessons are taught indoors by the pros, and the maintenance crew and administrative staff are preparing for the upcoming season.

"We like to stay busy through the fall as long as we can, because we know what's coming next," Lucas said. "Time goes fast. We're kind of stressing out about trying to get all of our things done."

Before the snow fell, the maintenance staff added an inch of sand in the Scarlet bunkers and did drainage and irrigation work. They also sprayed the courses so that brown spots created by snow mold won't form on the greens (they will grow out over the season).

Now that the ground is frozen and covered in snow, all of the club's 120 pieces of equipment from trash cans to turf mowers are inspected, cleaned and repaired. That way, Lucas said, "when we come out in the spring, we're about as set as we can possibly be."

In December, the golf shop had a sale to move old merchandise and inventory was taken. The restaurant closed between Christmas Eve and New Year's so the equipment could be cleaned and menus planned.

Lucas said he's getting performance reviews and the budget prepared right now, as well as planning the details of the club's 33 Monday outings, 20 club events and 20 other events for the 2011 season that takes place from April to November.

In winter, nothing on the courses is covered up, Lucas said. Signs are posted prohibiting sledding and skiing signs. One reason is that the Scarlet course bunkers were made deeper in 2006.

"If people get on the golf course, they have no idea where they're walking and they could injure themselves really bad falling into one of those."

Lucas said having the ground covered in snow "insulates the grass and protects it." High winds and freezing rain are tougher on the courses.

Playing golf is possible in wintertime, but only on one course if conditions are right.

"Scarlet closes and Gray can remain open if it's not frozen over and it's thawed," Lucas said. Golf cleats can tear up the grass at the roots if the ground is still frozen.

"If we were at 50-degree days and had a string of warm weather, we would try to open Gray for our members to walk."

That happened at the close of last year, Lucas said, but it was soggy.

"I think it makes the members happy that they can get out and enjoy a little bit of the weather, but for us, it's really a non-revenue day.

"We don't have carts, and not too many people would pay our guest rate to go play in those conditions. Mainly our members who are die-hards will go out and walk and play."