When Daylight Savings Time ends each November, the golf course undergoes the transition from Fall to Winter. The onset of frosty mornings brings an official end to the growing season by pushing the Bermuda into dormancy and significantly slowing down shoot growth on our Bentgrass greens. This can often be the best time of year to play on transition zone golf courses. The recently dormant warm-season grasses have likely been left to leaf out a little bit to ensure winter survival, winter cart traffic has yet to shear off the dormant leaves, and greens, no matter the type of grass, are likely as firm and fast and you could want.
As I have driven the golf course over the past few weeks, I can honestly say that we meet the scenario mentioned above. Since we've had a frost recently, but have not had a hard freeze, we are enjoying a nice bit of color contrast between our rough and short grass surfaces. As you can see from the picture above, the recent frost caused the rough, which is cut higher than the nearby tees, to go almost completely dormant. The shorter turf on the tees, fairways, and surrounds was almost unaffected by the frosts and has retained significantly more green leave tissue. This won't last, however, as pending cold weather will send the rest of the Bermuda into full dormancy. Once this occurs, the Bermuda throughout the golf course will take on a biscuit brown appearance.