Most people familiar with golf courses would agree that the only things that are golf ball sized that should be hitting the greens are the golf balls themselves.
But TS&M Woodlawn Golf Course last Thursday was hard hit by a combination of high gusty wind, torrential rain, and yes, hailstones the size of golf balls peppering greens, tee boxes and windows at the course.
The window to the shed is in shards, and it wasn’t the only window to take a hit.
“All of our windows upstairs in the clubhouse, the south facing ones, those will have to be replaced,” said Woodlawn general manager Amanda Minchin. “A bit of the building, obviously the shingles and soffit and fascia.”
But the course itself was hit hard during the storm.
“We lost a lot of large trees,” Minchin said. “(Superintendant) Bob Currie’s estimate is about 30 trees, 30 large ones. And then as you can see there’s a lot of lying water that really came down (Friday) and it’s cleanup now.”
The greens experienced a lot of pitting from the hail and it will take them a little bit of time to get them back to where they were in the pre-storm stage.
“That depends on weather but it could be five to ten days hopefully,” Minchin said. “He’s going to work pretty hard to get them back to that. They’re not doing bad (Friday) considering what happened to them and he’s putting in a lot of hours. He’s doing a lot of work on greens and kind of doing some mini-aeration, and rolling them. They already look a lot better, but to get them to how they were, they were pretty golden before.”
Woodlawn held the SaskPower tournament in the afternoon Saturday and then opened Sunday for Father’s Day.
“They’re just going to need some TLC and Bob’s going to work very hard again to get them back to where they were,” she said. “Obviously we just need Mother Nature to cooperate.”
This kid of storm damage since the flood of 2011 has been rare but storms have pressed the pause button on the golf course in the past few years since then.
“We seem to experience a lot of extreme weather in the past four or five years,” Minchin said. “Obviously, we had the big flood of 2011 and then we had the flash flood of 2015 and we had to shut down for about four days. This, in terms of tree damage, probably tops it right now.”
The golf course was able to re-open a few days later after some cleanup by maintenance staff and club members.
“We had about 15-20 people come down and volunteer their time (Friday) morning, which is great. Guys and gals (were) out there cutting trees and moving trees and blowing off greens. We really appreciate those volunteers.”
While the course is now open and business as usual, there will still need to be some ongoing cleanup required.
“This isn’t something you’re going to clean up in a day,” she said. “This will probably take weeks.”