Why do we play off temporary tees when the course isn't frozen?
There’s a bit of a debate going on in greenkeeping circles, as to the virtues of closing greens and tees when the course is frozen underfoot.
And this raises an interesting point – greenkeeping isn’t an exact science.
It varies from course to course, and commonplace practices a decade ago may no longer be used due to changes in science, legislation, or they may have just fallen out of fashion.
BIGGA are building a network of highly-educated course managers who have a firm understanding of all the different potential courses of action, so they can choose the correct course of action for their course.
Why, then, would a course manager force golfers to play off winter tees and greens?
It’s all about long term planning, and the less stress grass is put under during the winter, the better shape it will be in come spring and summer.
When grass freezes, the water within its cells expands, putting the cell membranes under incredible stress at a time when they are most delicate. Compaction underfoot causes bruising, whereby the barriers between these cells break, killing the plant from the inside.
Then, when the grass defrosts, the green will turn a nasty shade of brown as the dead grass wastes away and could even result in areas being completely devoid of turf by the time spring comes around.
So, if your course manager has chosen to close the greens and is asking you to play on temps, respect his decision – it’s for the good of the course.
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BIGGA represents the Nation's greenkeepers and works hard through education and training to raise standards in golf course management throughout the greenkeeping profession. To find out more about the work BIGGA do visit: www.bigga.org.uk
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British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association
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