While much of the U.S. deals with winter’s brunt, golfers in the Sun Belt and other mild parts of the country are still playing away. However, cool, crisp mornings bring the risk of frost delays. At some golf courses frost delays are rare, while at others they may be a regular occurrence. How often your morning round is affected by frost depends on the weather and a variety of other factors. Here are five things every golfer should know about frost delays:
1. Crunchy grass is vulnerable to damage.
Golf course turf is normally resilient to traffic, but when ice crystals form inside the plants, they become brittle and vulnerable to damage. Walking or driving over frost-covered grass may rupture plant cells, leading to dead turf. Or the plants may be weakened without immediately showing the effects. It can take grass more than a month to recover from this damage.
2. When it comes to frost delays, location is everything.
Many of us have looked out our windows at home and seen no signs of frost, only to find a frost delay when we reach the golf course. This is because frost can linger in colder microclimates long after other areas have thawed. North-facing slopes, low-lying areas and areas sheltered from the wind are especially likely to remain covered with frost. If you are worried about a potential frost delay it is best to call the golf shop to check on conditions at the course before leaving home.