Using temporary greens during the winter season is often a contentious issue.
As with many golf related subjects it elicits divergent viewpoints, with queries being raised as to why one club is on temporary greens and another is playing their normal greens. Like many other greenkeepers I often face this question during the colder, harsher winters. To help clarify my thinking.
We need to avoid playing on normal greens when:
- frost is visible on the surface of the green as the plants are frozen
- the upper layer is thawed and the lower layer is frozen, foot traffic
can cause the roots to shear, so killing the plants.
There is no one-size-fits-all scenario, each course's greenkeeper must make a judgement after assessing the weather facts and taking account of the local ground. That is, courses on firmer pure sand are at less risk than those on heavy softer clay based ones which are more liable to movement, such as here at 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 throughout the remainder of the year.