Golf courses

Prince Edward Island golf courses reopen after Fiona

Several Prince Edward Island golf courses are picking up the pace.

As of October 7, more than 12 courses had reopened after post-tropical storm Fiona caused varying levels of damage.

“Some courses may have had 15 trees down and others nearly 1,000 trees down,” Golf PEI general manager Sam MacPhail told the SaltWire Network. “The only difference, in terms of workload, is huge.

“Some were able to open a few days later with minimal damage, but some are sifting through the damage and trying to clean up as quickly as they can.”

MacPhail said the yards had staff, volunteers and members all stepping up to clean up.

MacPhail said Fiona followed each course differently. Although most of the courses had to deal with fallen trees, MacPhail went on to say that some courses received more water, some suffered infrastructure damage and others emerged unscathed to some degree.

The pro shop at Stanhope Golf and Country Club burned down during the storm while the number of fallen trees rendered the course unplayable.

Ahead of Fiona, MacPhail said PEI courses were busy and on track for a record season on many different levels for golf and tourism.

Green Gables in Cavendish is a golf course in PEI.  which did not reopen after post-tropical storm Fiona.  - Contributed
Green Gables in Cavendish is a golf course in PEI. which did not reopen after post-tropical storm Fiona. – Contributed

Do not reopen

Two courses that are not reopening due to damage are Green Gables and the Links at Crowbush Cove.

Ryan Garrett, general manager of PEI’s Finest Golf, the division of Tourism PEI that manages Crowbush, Dundarave and Crowbush provincial golf courses, said trees are the biggest problem in Crowbush. A bridge also sustained damage and water was slowly draining from the course.

“It’s a bit more involved (in Crowbush) than Brudenell and Dundarave,” said Garrett, who doesn’t foresee any issues with Crowbush reopening in the spring. “On the North Shore, I don’t know the speed of the winds, but I think they were a little higher there than they were on the south side where Brudenell and Dundarave are, and we had lost more trees there. It will take longer to clean things up there.

Ben King, general manager of Andersons Creek and Green Gables, said a few factors played into the decision to close Green Gables, which traditionally closes Thanksgiving weekend.

“Unfortunately, being a primarily motorized golf course with electric carts, it’s difficult to stay open,” King said. “Because we have two properties without power (as of October 11), we felt it was in our best interests to focus our resources on opening a golf course at this time.”

King said Andersons Creek and Green Gables came through Fiona in great shape. There were a lot of downed trees, but the cleanup went very efficiently.

Pavilion damaged

Jeff Affleck, operations manager at Belvedere, said the Charlottetown-based course had well north of 500 fallen trees on the property. Cleanup crews worked vigorously to get members back on course late last week.

“Our greens actually suffered no damage,” Affleck said. “We were very happy to see that. Our tee boxes are in very good condition and there are few bumps in some fairways from the bigger trees, but the grass is growing and they will fix themselves.

The Belvedere clubhouse has suffered extensive damage and will not be opening for the foreseeable future. Affleck said the club hopes cooking services will be available as soon as possible.

“It’s the worst storm we’ve ever seen here,” Affleck said. “We’ve had a few in the past, but this one was tough.

“Our view of the golf course is going to be a little different, but we’re still in great shape and excited to see golfers out and about.”

must know

According to Golf PEI, the following courses were open on October 7:

  • Avondale Golf Course
  • Countryview Golf Club
  • Red Sands Golf Course
  • Moulin Riviere Resort
  • Brudenell River
  • Belfast Highland Greens
  • Fox Meadow Golf Course
  • Andersons Creek Golf Club
  • Glasgow Hills Golf Club
  • Clyde River Golf Club (first nine)
  • Eagles Glenn of Cavendish
  • Dundaravi
  • Belvedere Golf

Jason Simmonds is a sportswriter at the SaltWire Network in Prince Edward Island. He can be contacted by email at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @JpsportsJason.