Why do some clubs use temporary greens, while others don't?

The use of temporary greens during the winter season is often a contentious issue. As with many golf related subjects it elicits very divergent viewpoints, with queries being raised as to why club x,y and z are on the main greens. Like many other greenkeepers I have faced this question probably more than any other.

When frost is visible on the surface of the green the plants are frozen and brittle and golf will cause damage. When the upper layer is thawed and the lower layer is frozen then foot traffic can cause the roots to shear, killing the plants. Both of these circumstances need to be avoided.

The issue of frost should be considered on a course-by-course basis after examining all the impacts. There is no one-size-fits-all scenario, courses on firmer pure sand are at less risk that those on heavy softer clay based ones more liable to movement-such as here the Glen.


The use of temporary greens is never taken lightly and it is far from ‘the easy decision’ It is done to protect your course so we have good surfaces.