It didn’t take much of a look at the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last weekend to be reminded how much Mother Nature pays a role in golf.
Even as fine as Tour courses are manicured, and as much as small armies of course superintendent staff go to war with the elements, water and wind are going to win that battle every time.
The Tour players mostly battled four days of windy conditions, which were bad enough to force two stoppages during the week. Even Sunday’s final round was played in dank and gray conditions.
But at least that group didn’t have to fight the frigid conditions that are gripping much of the rest of the country, and playing havoc with tee times in the moderate-climate areas.
Players who brave the cold should remember that course operators and superintendents are often forced to cancel play or at least delay early tee times due to cold conditions. That’s done to prevent damage on the course, especially on the greens.
When there is frost on the ground and players walk on greens, the cells within the grass blades can rupture and eventually lead to killing the plant. The damage done when temperatures are freezing is irreversible, and can lead to problem areas that can last all season.
When the club pros and superintendents delay or close play, remember they’re doing it for the long-term health of the course, and to provide players with a quality playing surface all year long.