FORE … FEET OF WA­TER.

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GARRY MCKAY Garry McKay is a vet­eran, award-win­ning golf jour­nal­ist and a for­mer sports­writer with The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor. gar­rym­ckay1@rogers.com

Creeks and small rivers are an at­trac­tive and chal­leng­ing part of many golf cour­ses in South­ern On­tario.

Those same wa­ter­courses can be­come very try­ing for own­ers and op­er­a­tors when we’ve had the record amounts of rain we’ve had this spring. “We have the 20 Mile Creek cross­ing our course,” says Ron Ke­nesky, head pro at Twenty Val­ley Golf Club.

“Last year, dur­ing the drought, our mem­bers were just walk­ing across the creek in­stead of us­ing the bridges. This year we’ve ac­tu­ally had white wa­ter kayak­ers com­ing down the creek through the golf course.”

That over­flow­ing creek also caused sig­nif­i­cant flood­ing on the 4th, 6th, 13th and 18th holes.

“Those ar­eas have flooded three times since we opened on April 6,” said Ke­nesky. “I think the big con­cern now is that the ground is so sat­u­rated that it wouldn’t take a lot of rain to cause another flood.”

Twenty Val­ley was not alone. Scenic Woods, South­brook, Cen­tury Pines, Sawmill, Monthill, Knoll­wood (old and new) and Glen Abbey among oth­ers were forced to close all or parts of their course be­cause of flood­ing.

“We opened the 6th of April and we ended up be­ing closed 10 days that month for flood­ing,” says Ke­nesky. “And so far in the first nine days of May we’ve been closed six days be­cause of flood­ing.”

Fur­ther up the 20 Mile Creek at Scenic Woods, gen­eral man­ager Richard Sweet­ing says they’ve also had three full floods this year where the 18th hole was un­der wa­ter.

At South­brook, the Wel­land River over­flowed its banks on to the 9th, 11th, 13th and 18th holes shut­ting down the course.

The Grind­stone Creek turned the 11th hole into a lake at Cen­tury Pines.

Monthill had flood­ing on all three nines.

Both the Old and New cour­ses at Knoll­wood had to close be­cause of flood­ing.

The 12-Mile Creek that runs through Glen Abbey didn’t over­flow its banks, but some of the val­ley holes had to close be­cause wa­ter had cov­ered the bridge en­trances.

While all of the cour­ses have since re­opened, most are still not able to al­low carts out and that’s a sig­nif­i­cant loss of rev­enue.

The Hamil­ton mid­dle school golf cham­pi­onship is on Friday at Flam­boro Hills golf and coun­try club.

And why is that im­por­tant to you? Well, maybe there is a fu­ture PGA Tour win­ner there. Non­sense you say. Maybe not. The first Hamil­ton mid­dle school cham­pi­onship was played in 2004 at Che­doke. The boys win­ner was a lanky kid named Macken­zie Hughes. It was the first tour­na­ment he’d ever won. And yes, that the is same Macken­zie Hughes that went on to win two Cana­dian Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onships, won on PGA Tour Canada, the Web.com Tour and last fall won on the PGA Tour. You just never know. And by the way, Hughes sent a note of en­cour­age­ment to be read out to this year’s play­ers be­fore they teed off.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The 6th fair­way at Twenty Val­ley Golf & Coun­try Club was one of four holes that have flooded three times since April 6.

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