Winter Play Policies
Generally, the following guidelines will be used to determine weather the course can open for play between Dec 1st and March 31st:
- No play before 10am.
- Little or no precipitation.
- Temperature must be forecast to reach 40 degrees by noon or earlier.
- We will monitor the forecast at least a week in advance to try and provide an accurate opening schedule.
- Signs will be placed at the entrance of the course and the clubhouse, the phone message will be updated, and we will update the online reservation system to reflect opening.
- Ultimately, the decision to close / open the course will be made by Golf Course management, based on a variety of factors.
Why does Fairfield Greens close the course on certain days during the winter?
Play is often delayed on courses during the fall and winter due to frost on the greens. When frosty greens are walked on, the ice crystals in the frost can puncture the leaves, casing damage that will appear as footprints later in the day and will be present until the turfgrass grows out the damage. This damage may be evident for several months and result in weaker turf in the spring.
We can apply a small amount of water to help remove the frost if the air temperature is not too cold, but we can only do this during up until the irrigation system is winterized for the season.
Deciding when to allow play on greens with frozen soil is more difficult to determine. The greatest damage occurs to the turf when the top layer of soil thaws while a frozen layer remains deeper in the soil. The thawed layer will be saturated with water and becomes spongy. Walking on turf with this condition will cause foot printing and can cause the surface of the green to become uneven. Severe turf damage can result from shearing off the roots as the turf moves above the frozen layer. Additionally, this damage in areas around where the hole is located on these days will appear as weaker turf later in the year.
Please also remember that greens do not typically thaw at the same time. Shaded greens are the last to thaw but the whole course must be playable, or anticipated to be playable, before we can allow play to start.
We appreciate your understanding and patience!