19 February 15  |  Golf   |  

Maintaining the Golf Course Turf During Cold Weather

Written By Jack Creveling, Golf Course Superintendent, Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club

Florida winters are not always sunny and warm contrary to popular belief. Here at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club we encounter temperatures that can reach well below freezing on occasion during the winter months. During these weather events we implement certain techniques on the golf course to help the turf avoid damage.


Frost on Teeing Ground

When temperatures reach freezing no one or any equipment is allowed on the turf area to prevent direct damage that would occur.  When a grass plant is frozen and it is stepped on or driven over, the plant leaves will instantly die.  This is because grass is primarily made of water which is temporarily frozen and the internal elements of the plant are shattered upon impact with any object until the grass has thawed out.


Golf Green exposed to freezing temperature.

On the golf course greens we spray chemicals that keep moisture from forming at the surface which helps keep the green from direct exposure to the cold. Also we spray light rates of pigment on the greens which allows them to pull more direct heat from the sunlight helping to off-set the cold temperatures from the previous night.


Rough around Hole 5 greenside bunkers covered in frost.

The freezing temperatures will turn the rough areas on the golf course brown for the duration of the winter season. This is not the plant in death, but rather dormancy. The contrast to the over seeded fairways is remarkable and makes maintenance requirements minimized for the winter months.

A winter frost in Florida does not last long and golfers will be back out playing the course as normal. Maintaining this world-class golf course year-round means paying close attention to the weather at all times. To learn more about the Golden Ocala golf course, follow our golf blog.