Due to the inland locale of Olde Florida Golf Club, most winters we will receive a couple frosts. When frost occurs, the turfgrass is damaged and the leaf blade turns brown. Occasionally conditions are favorable for a "hard" frost resulting in a complete blighting of the turf canopy, but normally our frosts are “patchy”. When a frost is light, or it’s limited to just one day, there are variances in frost formation and leaf damage. The variances are related to the turf canopy height, density and moisture level.
|Rough at Olde Florida Golf Club after a "patchy" frost|
|#4 green complex after a hard frost|
On rare occasion we will receive a hard frost, or multiple frosts in a short time period and the rough can turn completely brown. “How long will the rough be brown?” is a common question when this occurs. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to provide a definitive answer to the inquiry. The rough, like all of the playing surfaces at Olde Florida, are bermudagrass. Bermudagrass is a warm season perennial species adapted to tropical and subtropical climates. It grows best under extended periods of high temperatures, mild winters and moderate to high rainfall. In general, extended temperatures below 30°F kill the leaves and stems of bermudagrass. While it will be slow, research has demonstrated that bermudagrass will continue to grow with night temperatures as low as 34°F, if daytime temperatures are near 70°F.
|A hard frost around the practice green at Olde Florida|
In general, bermudagrass grows best when the average daily temperature is above 75°F. Soil temperature, as influenced by air temperature, is also very important to the growth and development of bermudagrass. Soil temperatures above 65°F are required for significant growth. The optimum soil temperature for root growth is around 80°F.
|Checking the soil temperature on a tee at Olde Florida|