County: Frost And Golf Course Grass Don’t Mix

Scene of Los Alamos County Golf Course recently frosted over. Courtesy/LAC

The after effects of walking on grass that is covered in frost at the Golf Course. Courtesy.LAC

The after effects of driving a cart on grass that is covered in frost at the Golf Course. Courtesy.LAC


Los Alamos County Golf Course staff is informing the community of the importance of staying off frosted grass at the golf course.

Frost is nothing more than frozen dew that crystallizes on the grass. Being composed of 90 percent water, a grass blade freezes very easily, thereby making the normally pliable grass rigid and inflexible. Once frozen, the simple act of walking on a frosted course will cause the grass to break and rupture cell walls.

The problem lies in that once the membrane is ruptured; future re-growth of the grass blade is significantly hindered. Golf course grass, mowed shortest on fairways and greens, are therefore less robust than longer patches and are naturally most susceptible to breakage.

When frosted grass is walked, jogged, or driven on, immediate damage is not seen until about 48-72 hours after the damage has occurred, causing the grass to turn brown and die. The destruction of the grass, especially on the putting surface, opens the door for the growth of weeds and disease, thus compounding the issue and further devolving the overall condition of the course.

As the community enjoys the golf course area, whether playing golf, jogging, walking their dog, etc., be aware of frost on the golf course. When the grass is frosted, please remain on the cart paths that connect throughout the entire golf course. The most common months for frost delay are October through March.

Golf Course staff enjoy managing this beautiful space for the Los Alamos community and appreciate each person helping in their efforts to maintain healthy grass and a quality experience for all.