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Bending the Rules of Golf in the Off Season - Page 2

post #19 of 47

A buddy of mine likes to employ a lot of rules like this.  He declares 'winter rules' a lot.  But we live in Georgia.  And he does it year round.

post #20 of 47
Playing on frozen greens is no bueno for the grass, right?
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

Playing on frozen greens is no bueno for the grass, right?

 

Doesn't really hurt it as long as there is no frost.  Once the grass goes dormant, you can't really hurt it much just by walking on it.  Most courses in the Denver area are open year round, snow permitting, and it doesn't seem to have much of an effect on how they green up in the spring.  In fact, under certain conditions, a winter long snow cover can be worse, because they can be attacked by a fungus or mold that actually does damage the grass.

post #22 of 47

Hmmm...guess I don't know the difference between frozen and frost...

post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post
 

Hmmm...guess I don't know the difference between frozen and frost...

 

Frost is basically when the grass blades freeze at night and get coated with a layer of ice from moisture in the air.  Typically, the ground is frozen all winter, but the air is above freezing during the day most of the time, so the grass that is above ground thaws each morning.  Walking on that doesn't hurt anything because it's already dead.  The living part of the dormant plant is in the frozen ground, which walking has no effect on.

post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

Frost is basically when the grass blades freeze at night and get coated with a layer of ice from moisture in the air.  Typically, the ground is frozen all winter, but the air is above freezing during the day most of the time, so the grass that is above ground thaws each morning.  Walking on that doesn't hurt anything because it's already dead.  The living part of the dormant plant is in the frozen ground, which walking has no effect on.


not really correct here

post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wils5150 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

Frost is basically when the grass blades freeze at night and get coated with a layer of ice from moisture in the air.  Typically, the ground is frozen all winter, but the air is above freezing during the day most of the time, so the grass that is above ground thaws each morning.  Walking on that doesn't hurt anything because it's already dead.  The living part of the dormant plant is in the frozen ground, which walking has no effect on.


not really correct here

 

Okay then explain, don't just mock.  I'm not a horticulturist, I'm a golfer.  I know what I observe.  Playing on the courses I've played in the winter does not harm them.  The brown, dormant grass retains it's "nap" throughout the winter with little apparent damage from wear.  I know this from playing the courses through the winter and right back into the growing season.  In the spring, the ground gets softer as it thaws and the grass turns green, and the transition to growing greens from dormant greens is quick and painless.   If you want to go into the science of it, be my guest.

 

By the way, as others have mentioned, the courses use several ways to spread the traffic around the green by rotating the pins in several holes cut before the grass goes dormant.

post #26 of 47

Our posting season is over, but course conditions are still excellent so we still play by the rules.

 

We'll adjust as the winter season settles it. We'll probably invoke the leaf rule tomorrow, but our green staff has been pretty good keeping up with the leaves so far this season. We'll do things like moving it in bunkers, as they really don't keep up bunker maintenance the way they do in season. Start moving the ball everywhere soon (Paradise Rules), since divots rarely survive and grow in the winter so we'll have sketchy ground conditions. And we'll start hit-two-pick-one on the first tee when they close the range in a couple of weeks. Low-to-mid forties is my limit, and that's if there is little wind. I notice the cold is getting to me the older I get.

post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

By the way, as others have mentioned, the courses use several ways to spread the traffic around the green by rotating the pins in several holes cut before the grass goes dormant.

I've never seen a course in CO that didn't. It's like bumper golf trying to navigate the covers if they are above the surface.

post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

Frost is basically when the grass blades freeze at night and get coated with a layer of ice from moisture in the air.  Typically, the ground is frozen all winter, but the air is above freezing during the day most of the time, so the grass that is above ground thaws each morning.  Walking on that doesn't hurt anything because it's already dead.  The living part of the dormant plant is in the frozen ground, which walking has no effect on.

 

It's OK if it stays frozen.or thaws out a little deeper. The condition that occurs a lot in Pa is that the top couple of inches or so thaws out during the day and walking on it can shift that top layer, cutting the live roots of the grass below the surface. Odd phenomenon, especially on greens. The greenskeeper tries to monitor the thaw every day and will close the course on days that it reaches a certain depth.

post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

Frost is basically when the grass blades freeze at night and get coated with a layer of ice from moisture in the air.  Typically, the ground is frozen all winter, but the air is above freezing during the day most of the time, so the grass that is above ground thaws each morning.  Walking on that doesn't hurt anything because it's already dead.  The living part of the dormant plant is in the frozen ground, which walking has no effect on.

 

It's OK if it stays frozen.or thaws out a little deeper. The condition that occurs a lot in Pa is that the top couple of inches or so thaws out during the day and walking on it can shift that top layer, cutting the live roots of the grass below the surface. Odd phenomenon, especially on greens. The greenskeeper tries to monitor the thaw every day and will close the course on days that it reaches a certain depth.

 

One advantage that Colorado has in winter is the semi-arid climate.  When we have a warm winter that doesn't allow the top surface to remain frozen, the ground is usually so dry that such shifting really isn't a concern.

post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post
 

 

It's OK if it stays frozen.or thaws out a little deeper. The condition that occurs a lot in Pa is that the top couple of inches or so thaws out during the day and walking on it can shift that top layer, cutting the live roots of the grass below the surface. Odd phenomenon, especially on greens. The greenskeeper tries to monitor the thaw every day and will close the course on days that it reaches a certain depth.

That won't happen in CO. Even with a string of nice days it's cold enough at night to keep ponds frozen solid until the spring. I pulled a few of the cups out last year unintentionally removing the flag and the ground here was hard right up to the surface. Not to mention it's obvious the ground is rock hard on approach shots. By mid winter the surface grass is just dry and shaggy, when you land a ball on the green all you see is a poof of dust and the ball usually bounces off. I didn't use my repair tool once from Dec-Feb. Had to carry an awl to get a tee in the ground.

post #31 of 47
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post
 

 

It's OK if it stays frozen.or thaws out a little deeper. The condition that occurs a lot in Pa is that the top couple of inches or so thaws out during the day and walking on it can shift that top layer, cutting the live roots of the grass below the surface. Odd phenomenon, especially on greens. The greenskeeper tries to monitor the thaw every day and will close the course on days that it reaches a certain depth.

 

Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

One advantage that Colorado has in winter is the semi-arid climate.  When we have a warm winter that doesn't allow the top surface to remain frozen, the ground is usually so dry that such shifting really isn't a concern.

 

High and dry, as it were. I haven't been out there skiing in decades, but I liked that it didn't "feel" as cold, even in the teens. Not here in PA, especially in the Delaware Valley. There is always moisture in the air and it makes the cold cut to the bone.

post #32 of 47

Bending the rules?   That's a sacrilege to some in this forum.  Shhhhh  ;-).   

 

Well, here in CA, winter golf sometimes means muddy golf after heavy rain.   Some muni courses irrigation is so poor that playing normal golf is not possible.   One can easily lose a ball plugged in deep mud.   You can also hit a shot not knowing that the ball is sitting on soggy soil.   Good luck with getting a normal yardage on that shot.   When I played those courses, my score seems to go higher by 2 - 4 strokes.   Now that I am submitting official handicap scores, I may have to start some of these rounds as pure practice ones. 

post #33 of 47
Being from upstate NY I can't believe it stays warm enough in Colorado to play nearly year round.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

Okay then explain, don't just mock.  I'm not a horticulturist, I'm a golfer.  I know what I observe.  Playing on the courses I've played in the winter does not harm them.  The brown, dormant grass retains it's "nap" throughout the winter with little apparent damage from wear.  I know this from playing the courses through the winter and right back into the growing season.  In the spring, the ground gets softer as it thaws and the grass turns green, and the transition to growing greens from dormant greens is quick and painless.   If you want to go into the science of it, be my guest.

 

By the way, as others have mentioned, the courses use several ways to spread the traffic around the green by rotating the pins in several holes cut before the grass goes dormant.


Was not mocking I just didnt have time for a long response. Phan is right about the roots getting sheared when the top starts to  thaw. The biggest problem are those that effect the crown of the plant. A grass plant is mostly water and as we all know water freezes. Walking on a frozen plant  can and will weaken the plant. I am sorry but I struggle putting this in to laymans terms. One of the funny thing about grass is that damage from the winter doesnt show up untill the gras is stressed in the summer.

post #35 of 47

Found this hope it explains what I was talking about. Most of the course here close. the only ones that stay open don't care about the damage and/ or are after a couple of extra bucks. Courses on cape cod stay open but there climate is totally different than inland.

 

Direct wear injury
Thinning of the turf due to direct wear injury is an obvious and important result of winter traffic. Unlike during the growing season, when turf is able to regenerate new leaves and stems to replace injured tissue daily, winter weather completely halts turf growth; the grass is continually thinned throughout the winter in direct proportion to the amount of traffic. This thinning of the turf canopy can, and often does, encourage the establishment of such weeds as Poa annua, crabgrass, goosegrass, moss, algae, pearlwort, spurge, and other weed pests during the spring and summer. True enough, weeds can indeed be a problem on greens that aren't subjected to winter play, but winter traffic causes them to be just that much more abundant and difficult to control.

Soil compaction
Soil compaction is a more subtle and perhaps more important consequence of winter traffic. Because of the cold winter temperatures and lack of active turf growth, the loss of excess soil moisture through evaporation and transpiration is greatly reduced. In addition, frozen sub-surface soils may completely block the movement of excess moisture through the soil profile. During the summer, a very heavy rainfall often creates soil conditions that warrant closing the course for a day or two until the excess moisture is eliminated by the way of evaporation, transpiration, and downward percolation through the soil profile. Because these moisture losses are often non-functional during the winter, saturated soil conditions can persist for weeks or longer. Yet the golfers who can appreciate the need to close the course during the summer are sometimes completely unsympathetic to the same conditions and concerns during the winter.

The effects of soil compaction on the health and playability of the turf are insidious at any time, but because wet soils are especially prone to compaction, the likelihood of traffic causing the collapse of good soil structure is of constant concern during the winter. As soil particles are compacted and pushed closer and closer together, the pore space that facilitates drainage and root growth during summer is gradually lost. As the season finally commences, golfers often complain the these compacted greens are hard. From an agronomic standpoint, turf begins the season in a weakened state, predisposed to a host of summer problems. In addition to the potential for weed encroachment, the turf on greens played during winter tends to wilt more readily during hot weather, and often is more susceptible to a wide array of primary and secondary disease organisms.
 

post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

Being from upstate NY I can't believe it stays warm enough in Colorado to play nearly year round.

 

Ever been to Colorado in the winter?  Along the Front Range of the Rockies we have a weather condition known as a Chinook wind.  These winds occur all along the eastern side of the mountains, even into Canada.  When a weather front pushes up against the Continental Divide, the air that spills over rushes down the slopes and canyons out on to the plains, and as it does so it is warmed, sometimes dramatically.  Denver sits on the plains right at the foot of the mountains, directly in the path of such winds.  Despite the fact that the elevation is a mile above sea level, the Chinooks keep the Colorado Front Range quite pleasant for a significant part of most winters.  Snow cover interrupts our playing opportunities more than temperature.

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