Thursday, January 13, 2011

... ON FROZEN GREENS

As predicted this winter has been cold and brought about a couple of lengthy course closures.  Here are a couple of pictures I took in the last month that will help explain some of the issues we face in the winter months.
Frost is the greatest and most common concern of ours.  We have worked hard educating golfers that frost can be localized, and impose severe damage that damage can take months to recover.  The first picture in this post depicts another aspect of frost that I never before considered; people walking across a 'closed' green when leaving the temporary on their way to the next tee.  This phenomenon has occurred on our 4th, 10th, 13th & 17th greens, we have begun roping them off.
The next picture demonstrates why we close when it rains on frozen turf.  Here, the 14th green is beginning to thaw but still has a layer of frost 3 inches below ground preventing percolation through the rootzone.  Although temperatures are mild, in this situation the surface behaves like Jello and can not support any foot traffic.
Hopefully the weather improves and the issues can be forgotten about until next winter. 

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