Central Alberta golf courses impacted by rain

The Red Deer area saw more than 148 mm of precipitation fall this past June

Heavy rain over the past couple of weeks has impacted golf courses in Central Alberta. (Photo courtesy of River Bend Golf and Recreation Area)

Heavy rain over the past couple of weeks has impacted golf courses in Central Alberta. (Photo courtesy of River Bend Golf and Recreation Area)

Central Alberta golf courses were impacted by a wet June.

The area saw more than 148 mm of precipitation fall this past June, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada. Red Deer averages 94 mm of precipitation during the month.

The Red Deer Golf and Country Club has been hit by the weather, said general manager Mike Kenney.

“Between the cold weather and the wet weather, our rounds played are down about 20 per cent compared to last year, which obviously has a big impact on everything that happens,” Kenney said Tuesday.

Constant heavy rainfall complicates maintaining the course as well, Kenney noted.

“There are areas that drain well and other areas that don’t. There will be people who want to drive carts, but carts cause a lot of damage – when you have days like today, there are no carts allowed on the course. That prevents a lot of our players from playing. It just complicates a lot of things,” he said.

“Last year we had zero rain issues. This year we have 100 per cent rain issues.”

READ MORE: Red Deer got soaked in June, but no where near the record

Rob Macpherson, River Bend Golf and Recreation Area general manager, said the rain has been a hinderance so far this season.

“We’ve had about four or five total rained out days where the course has been closed. Last year we didn’t have a rained out day until the middle of August,” said Macpherson.

Up until about two weeks ago, River Bend was behind on where it needed to be in terms of moisture, Macpherson said.

“Typically in April and May you get about five inches of rain in total, and we had three quarters of an inch of rain,” he said.

“We went into last winter dry because last summer was so dry and there wasn’t a lot of moisture over the winter. We were really behind, but we sure caught up in a hurry.”

Even though the rain has affected tee times, the course has benefitted from abundance of precipitation because it was so dry before Macpherson said.

Golf courses have to adjust maintenance practices when there’s this much rain, he added.

“There are areas that get super saturated, so you have to stay away from those for a few days until they dry up a bit,” he said.

Ryan Vold, Wolf Creek Golf Resort president, said the number of rounds played this year are down when compared to the past couple of years.

“When the weather’s decent, it seems to be pretty solid. Things were pretty good this weekend, but rain on Saturday probably scared a few golfers away,” he said.

Vold said it’s hard to find the right balance of working staff members some days.

“You need to keep certain food and beverage areas open and closed between rain showers,” he said.

“It’s hard to plan anything. It seems like you’re guessing all of the time.”

Vold has his fingers crossed for better weather throughout the summer.

“Hopefully everything will balance out in July and August. Those are usually drier months,” he said.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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