Inclement Weather

Gaudet Luce Golf Club
Members Winter Golf Policy

Greens

Temporary greens will be used when a white hoar frost is present, or when a penetrating, deep frost is thawing from the ground.

A Hoar frost is seen as a white blanket frost across the playing surface, an overnight drop in temperature causes ice crystals to form both on and within the leaves of the grass plant. This results in the leaves being ruptured by footprints, leaving brown scorch marks on the turf. Once the hoar frost has thawed from the plant leaves, a ground frost may remain. This is seen by a dry plant leaf. i.e. no visible ice crystals/frozen dew, but the surface of the green remains hard and frozen.

The main risk of damage to greens occurs during a hoar frost and this is when temporary greens will be used. Once this has thawed, regardless of if the ground is still frozen or not, main greens can be reinstated.

On weekdays the greenkeeping team will continue to monitor the situation during the day and reintroduce the main greens as they become suitable for play.

At weekends, a member of greenstaff will remain on site until 11am if there is a hoar frost present, and the greens are on temps. This will mean that someone will be on site to make a decision as to when the main greens may be reintroduced, and actively manage the situation.

Greens thaw at different speeds depending upon their location on the course; we will now be able to swap greens over as they thaw, as opposed to waiting to do them all at the same time. (Providing there are no competitions in progress) I think it would be a fair assumption to say that if the hoar frost has not thawed by 11am in the depths of winter, that it will remain all day, and therefore temps will remain in play and the situation will be reassessed the following morning.

Buggy usage will also be restricted while temporary greens are in use. This is due to the root break/scorching that occurs when buggy tyres are driven over the frozen grass plant leaf.

Fog

The course will be closed when the fairway bunker on the 1st hole is not clearly visible from the first tee. If the fog comes down once play has already commenced, the claxon should be sounded and the course closed until visibility improves. Greenstaff will monitor this situation when on site during the week days, but at all other times e.g. weekends after greenstaff have left site, this should be monitored by the Golf Office/starter.

Due to social distancing restrictions we would ask golfers to accept that their tee time is lost. We will do our best to rebook golfers onto another time later in the day or at a future date if none are available. This procedure will be in place for both general play times and competition times.

Course Closure

The course will be closed if it is deemed unplayable or unsafe due to wet conditions. The responsibility for this lies with the Greenstaff and their decision is final. We will always endeavour to have as much of the course open and in play as possible, even if it means closing individual holes, or playing just the back 9 for instance. The course will be inspected on a daily basis and the pro shop will be informed and website updated as soon as possible as to what is or isn’t in play. Play may need to be suspended first thing in the morning while this inspection is carried out. In this instance, a sign will be placed on the first tee.

It is always a difficult decision for the person charged with the responsibility of closing the course or implementing the use of temporary greens but ultimately it is a Greenkeeping decision backed by management. Any decision is made with as much consideration as possible and the course is only ever closed when absolutely necessary.

Lightning

During general play:- Players are advised to leave the course or find suitable shelter when there is a threat of lightning. Whenever possible a continuous note on the claxon will be sounded indicating that you are advised to leave the course.

During a competition:- Players may leave the course if they feel there is a danger of lightning. A continuous note on the claxon indicates that play is immediately suspended and players must, after marking their ball, leave the course or find suitable shelter.

Suspension of play:- If there is a reason to suspend play for any other reason, 2 blasts on the claxon will be sounded. Play will resume with 3 blasts of the claxon.

Buggy Usage

The use of buggies will be assessed on a daily basis and will only be restricted if ground conditions are deemed to be unsuitable in line with the Clubs Health and Safety policy.

This is a generalised policy that will be adhered to as closely as possible, but it doesn’t cover all eventualities and there may be certain circumstances when we need to deviate from the stated procedures.

Utopian Points Policy

Members using Utopian points will be refunded points if the round is lost before play begins and if it is curtailed during the round will be reimbursed for 9 holes. If some holes are closed, then the staff on duty in the pro shop may use their discretion in whether to charge for 18 holes of points or 9 holes of points.