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It’s Snow Joke! Rockliffe Golf Blog

Rockliffe Hall's PGA Golf Sales Executive, Tom West, looks back on the Tiger vs. Phil match and forward to the upcoming winter months...

As snow has started to hit areas up and down the country over the past few weeks and the cold nights are starting to set in, one of the biggest threats to a golf course is misunderstanding the effects of frost.

Being a golfer, I know there aren’t many things more frustrating than a frost delay, but there is a very good reason why golf courses will implement them. If you want your course to be in its best condition at the beginning of the next golfing season, see what our Head Greenkeeper, Jon Wyer, has to say about the effects of frost on a golf course.

“A turf grass plant is made up of 90% water which freezes in cold temperatures, which makes the grass susceptible to damage from golf trolleys or foot traffic as it causes internal damage within the plant. We usually see frost in two forms: The first and most familiar is ‘leaf frost’, this is what we all see as the white floor covering on a morning. A ‘ground frost’ however is not as visible and yet can cause the most damage". 

“The frost may have thawed within the leaf and may look like the greens have thawed but the crown of the plant may still be frozen. Applying pressure can break the leaf at the crown from its root system thus potentially killing the plant altogether". 

“Both of these frost forms can have a long term detrimental effect on the playing surface by thinning out the sward affecting ball roll. It may also create further plant stress which can then lead on to a heightened threat of disease.”

Our Winter Sprinter has started with enormous success, with our first three events hosting the same amount of people as we did over all eight events in the winter of 2017/18! The first event on Thursday 1st November had a lengthy waiting list as the event was full at 96 players, however the weather scared a few away when it came to the latest event on Thursday 29th November. Only 56 players could brave the elements, on what actually turned to be a pleasant day (not bad considering 41 players was the largest event in 2017/18 series).

The last event before the Christmas break is Wednesday 12th December, with the remaining four events in the New Year. 

Our Open Pairs events in the winter are proving to be very popular, at only £60 per pair, make sure you don’t miss your chance to get in before they’re full. Sunday January 27th and Sunday March 3rd are the dates for your diary, all details of the event and how to enter can be found on the Rockliffe Hall website

All our Open competitions for 2019 have been finalised and are available to view on the Rockliffe Hall website too. Plenty of different formats for all category of golfers, there’s something for everyone to be involved in. 

One of the biggest events on the on the golfing calendar happened in November, the much anticipated Tiger Woods vs Phil Mickelson in Las Vegas for the $9million prize. Now, I am a huge fan of both Tiger and Phil, always have been and always will be. But the match lacked what I thought it would, two golfers going head to head clearly not quite in their prime, in fact looking like they’re trying to cling onto it!

I really liked the idea of the players and caddies having microphones on them so we could hear all the detail of what the players and caddies discuss pre and post shot. But the conversation sometimes felt forced and awkward, and the side bets could have taken the match to another level, but again sometimes felt awkward. The most hilarious part of the broadcast is that the heavily disputed Pay Per View concept didn’t even work, and for those that did pay, will soon be receiving a refund! 

I would love to see the concept of the classics such as ‘Shells wonderful world of golf’ return to the golfing calendar, and I think this may have started the way. With a few tweaks here and there, it would be great to see the one on one matches return, and the side bets done properly will make it even more exciting!

Until next time, keep golfing!