It’s 65 Degrees – Open the Golf Course!

It’s 65 Degrees – Open the Golf Course!

Well, it’s just not that easy.  It might be 65 degrees today but it will take today’s weather to melt a lot of the snow that is still out there AND the course is soaked!  The potential damage to the golf course would exceed any potential revenues gained in green fees, lunch etc. so it might not be wise to open the golf course.

Here’s a study from the University of California on how severely damaged a grass area can become from traffic in wet conditions. http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8080.pdf

location for golf lessons on golf courseThat same golf course that you were annoyed with for not opening on a Saturday on a 65 degree day would be the same golf course you would be yelling at the next weekend when you see it trashed from all the wet play.  Please be patient!  Go to the driving range and work on your golf game.  The golf courses that are NOT open this Saturday are doing the right thing for the over health of the golf course.

Here’s another good article on winter damage to golf courses http://orchardsgolf.wordpress.com/.  Here’s a good article from the Pro at Lakewood Golf Club about cart rules on wet golf courses. http://lakewacogolf.com/pros-corner.php

Here’s a great comment from Jason Hooper Golf Course Superintendent, “Some members are suggesting that we are being too overprotective when we close the regular greens and move to temps under extremely wet, or saturated, conditions.  The damage caused by traffic on saturated turf is not immediately visible, so I fully understand how some may feel this way.  In fact, the damage is being done below the surface so you won’t immediately see it, but I assure you that the damage being done will lead to many problems down the road.”

Bottom line is, the temperature on a given day is not necessarily the only consideration in determining to open or close your golf course.  Be patient and let the pros (golf course superintendents) make the right decision for the over all long term health of your golf course.

Bobby Lopez, PGA