Frost Delays

Frost Delays

What are frost delays and why should you care?

CC image courtesy of Jonas Ginter on Flickr

CC image courtesy of Jonas Ginter on Flickr

For those of you who enjoy a round of golf first thing in the morning, frost delays are probably nothing new.  Rancho Sierra recently took a golfer’s suggestion to heart, and now post our frost delays on both Facebook and Twitter.  This has only drawn more attention to the term, so I thought I might devote a blog post to this misunderstood and maligned necessary evil.

Turf grass is 80-90% composed of water.  Ice can form on both the outside of a plant, as well as the inside. Normally, turf grass is fairly resilient to foot traffic, but when ice forms inside the blade of the grass, it becomes brittle and fragile.

Stepping on turf grass under this condition can kill the turf plant.  You won’t notice immediately, but within a few days, the damage becomes obvious.

Winter conditions are stressful enough on turf, so we prefer to be a bit on the conservative side and delay opening the course until we are confident the frost has melted.

For more explanation, check out the USGA site’s video on frost delays.

And now that we’ve given the frost time to melt, let’s schedule that tee time.

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