Putting greens in parts of the U.S. where golfers can play 18 holes all year round still suffer damage throughout the winter as frost and foot traffic put a constant burden on the turfgrass, but a new study finds the grass can recover by summer.
The study from Clemson University finds that although the maintenance of creeping bentgrass, the turfgrass most often used for putting greens, can be difficult, it can often recover from damage and return to full strenghth by summer.
Haibo Liu, lead author of the research study which will be published in the American Society for Horticultural Science journal HortScience, says the time of year and type of traffic over the grass can impact recovery time.
"This study indicates bentgrass damage resulting from winter traffic is limited to winter and early spring months, and full recovery should be expected by summer", said Liu. "During winter months, decisions regarding golf course set-up and the timing of play are important when temperatures approach zero degrees Centigrade."
In order to advance recovery, the study recommended that golf courses minimize the traffic on the turfgrass following a frost melt.