Frost Delays

Reposted from April 2010:

Since we have a frost delay today, I thought I would post some information on frost and frost delays.  No one likes frost delays - maintenance workers especially - but they are necessary for the health of the course.  Golf course employees ask for your understanding during frost delays.  We don't like them either.

Here are some key points from the Golf Course Superintendent Association:

• Frost is basically frozen dew that has crystallized on the grass, making it hard and brittle. A grass blade is actually 90 percent water, therefore it also freezes.

• Walking on frost-covered greens causes the plant to break and cell walls to rupture, thereby losing its ability to function normally.

• When damaged, the putting surface weakens and becomes more susceptible to disease and weeds.

• One foursome can leave several hundred footprints on each green, causing extensive damage.

• A short delay while the frost melts can preserve the quality of the greens and prevent needless repairs.

You can find a more detailed article on frost formation and effects in this article - "The Big Chill"

The following is a video from the USGA: