Temporary greens: Are they needed when it's frosty?

It's one of golf's perennial debates. Golf Monthly asks Bearwood Lakes whether it's necessary to play on temporary greens during frosty weather

Bearwood Lakes

It's one of golf's perennial debates at a time of year when golfers fear the cold weather will mean that their clubs move to playing on temporary greens, but Bearwood Lakes has trialled playing on the main greens despite the frosty conditions.

Even though most understand that moving onto temporary greens is necessary to protect the quality of the course, Daniel Lightfoot, Bearwood Lakes' general manager has revealed how the club came up with a plan for the frosty weather.

"We trialled playing on main greens with pins at the front in frost a few years ago and found there was very little damage. It also gives the rest of the green a rest as you don't have to put the pins back in the middle during the day," said Lightfoot.

"The problems with temp greens even if you dress, aerate and feed them, is that they only get played on in bad conditions, are small so get a lot of wear  and get hammered really quickly. Also you have to leave them on temps on shotgun starts if the frost clears half an hour into play which is silly.

"We tried to see if it could work on main greens , it does so we have kept it. Agronomically it is the long grass which tends to get more damage.

Bearwood Lakes, number 81 in Golf Monthly's Top 100 Courses Rankings, have also been investigating the effects of trolley damage in the frost.

"With regard to trollies, I would like to never have them out in the frost as the trolley lines are very bad," added Lightfoot, aware that from an economic point of view, closing the course is not always the best option.

"However, it disappears quite quickly in the winter and as we are open it would otherwise discourage people from playing , which at a members only club is not what we want."

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