Frost on Greens

Frosty Greens

Foot Traffic Causes Substantial Damage To Frozen Frosty Greens

When we have frosty greens we politely ask golfers to use the temporary greens. The reasons are set out below and we thank you for your co-operation.
Golf greens are fragile & require careful, professional management. A green is a collection of millions of individual grass plants that are very delicate. Putting surfaces are cut at a height from 4mm – 8mm depending on the time of year, which places extreme stresses on the plant. This makes them vulnerable to attack from disease, pests, drought & frost.
Where there is a visible frost on the surface the grass plant becomes brittle as it is 90% water & can be easily crushed. As a consequence play in these conditions will cause the plant to die. (Similar to cracking an egg shell. Once its broken it can’t be put back together.)
Similarly even where there is not a visible frost & the top 2 inches of top-soil have thawed, the sub-soil may still be frozen. Play on the frosty greens in such circumstances will cause roots to break causing the plant to die.
Damage may not be immediately evident but within 2 to 3 days the leaves will turn brown & the plant will die. This causes thinning of the grass coverage & weakens the remaining plants. This in turn makes the surface more susceptible to disease & weed ingress. At the start of the new season the greens will take longer to recover & the quality of the putting surfaces will be compromised until mid season.
It is, therefore, essential that golfers do not play to main greens or use the putting green when greenstaff have put temporary greens in play. The greenstaff realise that temporary greens are not popular with the membership but they are a necessary evil.
Once again, thank you for your cooperation.
John Harvey,
Head Greenkeeper