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