The maintenance team at any golf course is committed to providing golfers with exceptional playing conditions. There are many instances when Mother Nature forces the suspension of play or closure of the golf course. Please understand that the officials at a golf course are not trying to keep you from playing during these times, but they are protecting the condition of the golf course as well as the safety of the golfers.
Turf grass is damaged by frost when the pressure of foot and equipment traffic is permitted during times when air and soil temperatures are below freezing. Turf grass plant cells are ruptured when pressure is applied to frozen leaves and stems. Damage appears as dead grass in the shape of footprints or wheel tracks where they were impressed onto the turf. By withholding traffic from turf grass areas during time periods when leaf and stem tissue are frozen, frost damage can be minimized. During frost delays, golfers must stay off ALL grass areas including the putting greens and driving range.
The Golf Course Superintendent will make the final decision as to when the golf course will open for play. As soon as the golf shop staff is informed the course is open for play. Pace of play becomes more important with a backlog of scheduled tee times.
Golf becomes a dangerous sport when you cannot see where your ball is going. To ensure the safety of our golfers and staff, golf courses will delay all play until the fog has lifted completely. While the first hole may seem clear, please remember that another hole may reside in a valley where the fog remains for a longer period of time.
Golfers may choose to play in the rain. However, there are times when significant rainfall will over saturate the golf course leaving it susceptible to damage. Depending on the amount of rain, golf carts may not be permitted or the course may need to be closed completely for a period of time.
It always seems to happen when you are having the best round of your life. The wind picks up, the clouds move in, and you hear thunder in the distance. The temptation always exists in these circumstances to convince yourself and your playing partners that there is enough time to finish your rounds, or at least a few more holes. If you play on instead of seeking shelter, your great round could become the last round of your life.
There are several safety measures you can take to avoid being struck by lightning:
If the course has sirens and you hear that sound, seek shelter immediately.
Even if you do not hear an alert system, use your best judgment and seek shelter at the first sign of a thunderstorm.
If possible, get off the golf course or go to a designated lightning shelter like a restroom.
Do not stand under a lone tree. This is where most people are injured or killed.
Stay away from your golf clubs.
Move away from your golf cart.
If stranded in the open, go to a low place such as a ravine or valley.
Keep golfing, but be safe this winter.
Submitted by Candy Wood - Golf Education, Mentoring & Handicap