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TLGC Newsletter - December 2020

 

Frost Damage on the Golf Clourse

Below is an article that members may be interested in to help the understanding of why we need to use temprary greens, in some cases when there appears to be little reason for them. It was written by a Course Manager in 2013.

When we make assessment at TLGC regarding frost conditions the policy is for only those with the correct experience to carry it out. It requires an assessment of each green as their specific environmental conditions mean that a blanket assessment would result in some greens being damaged. The most obvious example would be the 12th green as it sits in a hollow and is permanently sheltered so will not reach a playabvle condition when others greens might. Hopefully the information below will provide a greater understanding of the reasoning behind the use to teporary winter greens.

 

Frost Damage and the Golf Course

It is surprising how few golfers comprehend what grass consists of and how it grows. A basic understanding is vital if the effect of freezing weather on the plant is to be explained.

 

During the process of photosynthesis, the grass plant grows its leaves (green because of the presence of chlorophyll) and roots (white in its absence) by absorbing the gas, carbon dioxide from the air, and the liquid, water through the roots to form complex solid carbohydrates and at the same time releasing oxygen into the air. Soil is the medium in which the grass grows, it is not used up during the growing process. Grass growth is the absorption of mass from the air within the soil.

 

The solid carbohydrates, forming the grass leaf and root, contain water within their solid structures. The plant itself is between 60 per cent and 70 per cent water. The greenkeeper will have raised his height of cut to winter settings for all areas of the course, and the insulating properties of the grass leaves are in proportion to the length of grass, making the short grass on the greens the most susceptible areas on the course to frost.

 

Air (Hoar) Frost

 The overnight drop in temperature will cause ice crystals to form both on and within the leaves of the grass plant. If the grass is trampled by the walking golfer or worse by the golfer pulling his trolley, the leaves will be ruptured. For this reason, many clubs prepare “frost greens” to prevent such damage being done to the finer grasses. The main effect of such damage is to delay the recovery of the grass plant in spring. I experienced a striking visual effect of this on a newly constructed tee. The ground was covered in hoar frost for the Christmas Shotgun Competition. One wag walked onto the new tee and drew a matchstick man attending the flag in the frost. It was still clearly visible at the end of May.

  

Ground Frost

Because of the lack of insulation from the longer grass leaves, the depth of the frost is greater on the greens than any other area of the course. The greens freeze from the surface downwards, the ground becomes solid, sometimes to a depth of several inches. No more damage is done by playing on the course under these conditions, than by playing after an air frost. However, there may be a health and safety consideration to be taken into account because of the slippery condition on slopes.

 

The real problem arises when the air temperature rises and the ground begins to thaw. This thaw starts at the surface and gradually descends. Because the ground underneath is frozen, surface water cannot move down, and the top surface becomes soft. Walking on such ground, breaks the roots of the grass at the junction of the soft and frozen soil, effectively killing the grass. Under thawing conditions, it is essential the course remains closed. The greenkeeper will monitor the thawing of the ground with a long-pointed tine, such as a knitting needle, opening the course only when all the frost is out of the ground.

 

Ironically it is always a glorious day for golf with a warm sun in a clear sky that creates these conditions and golfers are often incensed that the course is closed. This is because the damage being done is below ground, it cannot be seen, and there is no objective way it can be measured. A delay of a couple of weeks before “good summer playing surfaces” are achieved, is usually the only evidence of such winter play damage.

 

It is always a difficult decision for the person charged with the responsibility of closing and opening the course during winter on a daily basis, to weigh the loss of the facility on that particular day to the benefit of earlier and better spring and summer playing conditions. What is essential is that the Club has a written Course Closure Policy, explaining to the members how and why decisions are made and that policy, once accepted, is fully supported by the club’s Management Committee. The more objective the criteria for winter closure, both for frost and water, the more consistent closure decisions will be. Such decisions should always be the remit of the professional greenstaff.

 

Caddy Car Damage

If ice crystals have formed inside the grass leaf, then allowing the use of trolleys will result in the leaves being broken as the wheels track round the course. However, because trolley users always follow the same route off tees and around greens, considerably more damage is done in these “high traffic” areas by the turning wheels as the golfers converge on the same small area. The longer the grass, the greater its insulating effect to ground frost in cold weather and the less damage is done to the grass plant by walking on it. The haphazard route of the golfer who carries his bags does little damage compared to that done on the regular routes of the man who “pulls”. It is the “fairway” outside the greenside bunkers around the greens, in particular, that suffers the most damage during winter play. It is these very areas that need to be in good condition to allow proper precision shots to be played to the greens during the summer months. If posts and ropes are used to deflect the wear from around the green and into the semi-rough, within a few days there will be a concentrated wear path by the side of the rope, produced by the passage of trolleys.

 

The real help to the greenkeeper would be the spreading of that wear. Members expect good summer playing conditions and complain when the staff do not produce them. However, they are not prepared to walk a few extra yards or play a shortened course for a short period during the winter months for the benefits of a course in much better condition for the rest of the season. I do not favour a blanket winter ban on caddy cars. The daily reviews should determine course closure/caddy car and buggy restrictions, based on the course conditions at inspection and the local weather forecast.

TLGC Newsletter - November 2020

 

Greens Video 1 -https://youtu.be/UVSUpivwK8c    

 Greens Video 2 - https://youtu.be/7yOtSBcWDbg    

Greens Video 3 - https://youtu.be/ZOlV7kN1GK8

 

Verti draining Fairways Video 1 - https://youtu.be/SXpQKIo4m_A   

Verti draining Fairways Video 2 - https://youtu.be/8wyPsLdH68A  

Verti draining Fairways Video 3 - https://youtu.be/37Fu83k8ChY

 

Fertilising and Aeration of tees Video 1 - https://youtu.be/BaxNMUmAvGQ  

Fertilising and Aeration of tees Video 2 - https://youtu.be/hZlZPmauu8c

 

Other Tasks Video https://youtu.be/IHwCuuTxd4k

 

 

 

Winter League Rules 2020-21

  1. Matches are to be played at the weekend (Saturday/Sunday) from Sat 5th Dec 2020 to Sun 7th Mar 2021 inclusive (=14weeks) and teams must play a minimum of 10 matches to compete for a prize. Members can only play games on days permitted by their membership category.
  2. The number of qualifying matches will be reduced by one on each occasion the course is unplayable.
  3. The format is four ball better ball match play. Under World Handicapping System rules, matches are played off the difference between rounded Playing Handicaps (see appendix C of WHS Rule of Handicapping guide). For this format, a 90% Handicap Allowance is applied to the Course Handicap to calculate the Playing Handicaps. Shots are then taken from player with the lowest Playing Handicap (see Peter and Paul in example).
  4. To enter the Winter League, or play as a substitute, members must have an active WHS handicap. Maximum Handicap Index for men is 28; ladies and juniors 36. Members with a higher handicap may play but must play off the maximum Handicap Index.
  5. Points awarded are 2 for a win, 1 for a halved match and 0 for a loss.
  6. Match results must be recorded on the sheet on the notice board outside the Men’s locker room by noon on the Monday following the match. Failure to do so will result in both teams being awarded 0 points for the match.
  7. Neither pair may claim any points from a match that is cancelled. If a match is cancelled, the Professional Shop must be notified by noon on the Monday following the scheduled match. Failure to do so will result in both teams being awarded 0 points for the match.
  8. League positions are determined by calculating the total points gained expressed as % of the total available from matches played.
  9. Substitutes are permitted. Only club members may be substitutes. In exceptional circumstances, a team may use two substitutes in a match if both players are unavailable. Only one match can be played at a time.
  10. During the last four weeks of the competition, all partnerships within the top 20 places must play at least two matches to qualify for a prize.
  11. All disputes to be resolved by the Captain’s Competition and Handicap Sub-Committee.
  12. Entry fee is £30 per pair and is payable in the pro shop BEFORE the start of the league. Members who have not paid the entry fee will be deemed to have forfeited any matches they play while the entry fee remains unpaid. The actual result of those matches will stand for their opponents.
  13. Winning pair are awarded the Dicky Richards Salvers (current champions Alan Martinez/Kevin MacDonald). Prizes to be awarded to 10th place.
  14. Men to play from the BLUE course and Ladies from the GREEN course.
  15. Ladies’ Course Handicap is calculated using the Slope Rating for ladies’ green course. In addition, ladies receive 2.4 extra shots from men to take into account the difference in course ratings. These shots are added AFTER the 90% allowance is applied to the Course Handicap (see example). Shots are then taken from the lowest rounded Playing Handicap. In matches involving ladies, updated WHS advice is that players should take strokes at the stroke indices of the tees from which they are playing.

 

EXAMPLE CALCULATION OF STROKES GIVEN/RECEIVED IN 4BBB MATCHPLAY INVOLVING MEN AND LADIES PLAYED FROM DIFFERENT TEES

Peter               Handicap Index 7.6

Paul                 Handicap Index 22.6

Peggy               Handicap Index 10.4

Sue                  Handicap Index 30.2

Men Blue Course        Slope 123        Course Rating 69.5

Ladies Green Course   Slope 128        Course rating 71.9

Difference in Course Ratings = 2.4

 

Name

Handicap

Index

Course Handicap

(HI x slope/113)*

Apply 90%

allowance

Add Course Rating

Difference

Playing

Handicap

Shots received (difference in rounded PH)

Peter

7.6

8

7.2

0

7.2 = 7

0

Paul

22.6

25

     22.5

0

22.5 = 23

16

Peggy

10.4

12

10.8

2.4

13.2 = 13

6

Sue

30.2

34

30.6

2.4

33.0 = 33

26

HI – handicap index; PH- playing handicap

*read from Slope/Course Rating board or table

Test and improve your knowledge of the WHS

TLGC Newsletter - October 2020

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