Golf courses

Golf courses in central Alberta affected by rain – Red Deer Advocate

Golf courses in central Alberta were hit by a wet June.

The region received more than 148 mm of precipitation last June, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada. Red Deer receives an average of 94mm of precipitation during the month.

Red Deer Golf and Country Club has been impacted by inclement weather, general manager Mike Kenney said.

“Between the cold weather and the wet weather, our rounds played are down about 20% from last year, which obviously has a big impact on everything that’s going on,” Kenney said Tuesday.

Consistent heavy rain also makes it difficult to stay on course, Kenney noted.

“There are areas that drain well and others 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. This prevents many of our players from playing. It complicates a lot of things,” he said.

“Last year we had no rain problems. This year we have 100% rain problems.”

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

“We had about four or five rainy days in total where the course was closed. Last year we didn’t have a rainy day until mid-August,” Macpherson said.

Until about two weeks ago, River Bend was behind where it should be in terms of humidity, Macpherson said.

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

“We had a dry last winter because last summer was very dry and there was not much humidity during the winter. We were really late, but we certainly made up for it in a hurry.

Even though rain affected tee times, the course benefited from an abundance of precipitation as it was so dry before Macpherson said so.

Golf courses need to adjust maintenance practices when there is so much rain, he added.

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

Ryan Vold, president of Wolf Creek Golf Resort, said the number of rounds played this year was down from the past two years.

“When the weather is good, it seems pretty solid. Things were going pretty well this weekend, but the rain on Saturday probably sent a few golfers away,” he said.

Vold said it was difficult to find the right balance of staff working on certain days.

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

“It’s hard to plan anything. You seem to be guessing all the time.

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

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