The first light frosts are possibly going to hit the course this weekend. In most cases, it will probably only touch the rough grass in low lying areas. Right now our soil temperatures are high due to the lack of moisture in our turf. The warmer the soil, the less chance the dew will get cold enough to form frost but I expect if it gets down to 35-36 there will be some frost.
As we get closer to November and the potential for the first hard frosts of the season, time for a little refresher of why we are so concerned regarding not walking on frosted playing surfaces.
My goal is to get you out on the course as quickly as possible in the morning. No one wants to have a tee time at 8 in the morning and have to wait around until 10 to start playing golf and I know the pro shop staff wants you out on the course as well. In most cases, if you are delayed getting out on the course for frost, me and the staff are delayed in getting our work done so we can go home after our 6th day of work that week. I am pretty conservative when it comes to getting staff out to work on frost days.
The biggest issue for us right now is the lack of sunlight early in the morning. Sunrise this morning was at 7:10 a.m. We find with early season frost that it sometimes doew not fall until right at sunrise. As the sun comes up, cold air is pressed to the ground and frost sometimes forms. We have to be very careful sending staff out in the dark during colder weather. We are probably going to push our start time back this weekend to be on the safe side.
Light frost effects are usually not as severe but we don't want to do anything that can reduce the turfs ability to prepare properly for winter. Hard frosts can include plant cells being frozen. When walked upon or driven on by a cart, the cells rupture and are damaged. The plant must use its energy to repair this damage. Sometimes its too late in the season and the grass plants could potentially die or be injured severely enough that they come into spring in a weakened state.
When we say there is a frost delay, that is for all playing surfaces including the putting green and range tees. In many cases the mats are frost covered and slippery and it would be wise not be hitting balls from them until the all clear is given.
I attempt to give the pro shop an estimate when I believe the frost will lift. This is a general guideline. Sometimes its quicker, and sometimes it takes longer to get everything cleared.
I've also included a video regarding aeration which will be coming up next week. Most of the video is showing pulling a core but we will be doing a deep solid tine which I explained its purpose a few days ago. Full video on our work coming early next week so stand by.