As temperatures drop, you may notice faster greens, tighter fairways and shorter roughs. Most golfers understand that rain causes a course to be wet and soggy, but many golfers don’t realize how much cold temperatures can affect the condition of the course.
As temperatures drop during the winter months, you will notice not just your home’s lawn start to yellow but your course’s grass will go dormant. All though it may look dead, the grass is perfectly healthy if just does most of its growth underground in its root system and the growth above ground slows dramatically. This decreased above-ground growth during the winter gives you much faster greens, fairways where golf balls run farther and rough where you can actually find your ball.
Some courses will overseed their tees, greens or fairways. This is a way Florida courses can stay green year-round by putting a cold grass seed on these areas during the fall. This grass seed is more cold-tolerant and thrives during our winter months. This may cause issues come the spring between the native Florida grass and the cold grass, so many courses object to this process.
So next time you head to the course in a jacket, remember that the first putt may go way by the hole. Please email your golf questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and it may wind up in our next article.
Fairways and Greens
Jason Blanchard, PGA
General Manager, Summerfield Crossings Golf Club