Frost delay is a term that will become common as the season starts nearing to an end. These delays can sometimes be brief, but can also last as long as 3-4 hours depending on how quick and warm the atmosphere gets. Frost is something that can be very damaging to grass especially when it is driven on or it sees a lot of traffic. Frost forms even when temperatures are not necessarily at 32F. If the sky is clear at night or early in the morning, a process called radiational cooling takes place. This is when the earth loses heat and moisture trying to balance the earth’s energy. Through evapotranspiration, the plant also loses moisture to the atmosphere. If the temperature is cool enough, the cells inside the plant tissue start to freeze. If the plant is walked or driven on, the cells can burst and potentially kill the plant. This is why black tracks are typically seen in late Fall going across a fairway, tee, or even sometimes, a green. Thanks to the GCSAA for this published article. Please click on the link for more information, GCSAA Frost Delay Announcement
I understand that frost delays can be very frustrating, especially if you typically play early in the morning. However, I ask for your patience and cooperation during these delays. It is definitely for the health and playability of the turf. We also ask for your cooperation in obeying the signs on both practice greens. I understand that walking is still allowed on the courses during a frost, but the practice greens typically see almost 50x the amount of traffic than regular greens. Practicing on these greens during a frost delay could result in severe turf injury or even death. We aggressively monitor the conditions and allow carts and traffic to resume on the turf as quickly as possible. Thanks for your understanding! See you on the course!
-Jason VanBuskirk, Superintendent
October 16, 2013 at 6:38 PM
Nice explanation of frost. Not nearly enough time is spent explaining this condition on golf courses so that members and grounds staff know when and where they can travel. Good to see you’re doing well. It’s been a long time since we worked together at Oakley. I’m finishing up my 16th year. Must be some kind of record! Still cutting rough and fairways and now mulching leaves. I hope your fall goes well! I’ll keep in touch with your blog.