What does frost mean for golf courses?
It’s that time of year again and frost is in the forecast for this weekend.
What can we do to help our golf courses and Superintendents?
The best medicine is for all to understand the purpose of a frost delay and in turn gain a greater appreciation for the golf course.
Foot traffic on the golf course causes substantial damage to frozen greens.
WHAT DOES FROST MEAN FOR THE GOLF COURSES?
Frost is basically frozen dew that has crystallized on the grass, making it hard and brittle. Frost can only survive at temperatures of 32º Fahrenheit and below. This does not mean air temperature must be below 32º for frost to form. Sometimes frost can form even when the air temperature is in the upper 30’s.
A grass blade is actually 90 percent water, therefore it also freezes. Walking on frost covered greens causes the plant to break and cell walls to rupture, thereby losing its ability to function normally. When the membrane is broken, much like an egg, it cannot be put back together.
A short frost delay can help preserve the quality of the golf course and prevent costly repairs.
Golfers who ignore frost delays will not see immediate damage. The proof
generally comes 48-72 hours later as the grass may turn purple or black, eventually fading to a very light brown. The result is a thinning of the putting surface and a weakening of the plant, sometimes even death of the plant. The greens in turn become more susceptible to disease and weeds. Additionally, weaker grass, even if it doesn’t die, may be more susceptible to disease and weed formation in the future.
CLUBHOUSE HOURS / FROST DELAY POLICY
At all GreatLIFE facilities, golfers must check-in at the pro shop before beginning play. Golfers are permitted to play on the golf course only after the clubhouse opens and they have checked in. If there is a frost delay, the golf course staff will determine when play may begin.
PLAY ON THE COURSE BEFORE THE CLUBHOUSE OPENS IS NOT PERMITTED!
OCTOBER HOURS – *Note: If there is frost in the forecast, the golf courses will not open until 9:00 am.
Willow Run – 8:00 am – Sunset
Bakker Crossing – 8:00 am – Sunset
Central Valley – 8:00 am – Sunset
Rocky Run – 8:00 am – Sunset
Worthington – 8:00 am – Sunset
If ever in doubt, give the course a phone call before heading out to play to see if tee-times have been pushed back due to frost. Even the use of practice facilities (putting green and driving range ) is disallowed during a frost delay.
Your help in keeping the golf courses in the best possible conditions is greatly appreciated! Thank you for your understanding.