In a Spring already plagued by copious amounts of rain, golf courses in Eastern Ontario and Outaouais took another hit by mother nature on Thursday, this one courtesy of high winds.
The Ottawa-Gatineau area was one of the hardest hit as wind gusts peaked at 95 km/h in the afternoon, sending debris flying in the streets and on the local fairways.
At the Greensmere Golf & Country Club in Carp the winds forced the club to close later in the afternoon but the storm proved to really be a big annoyance more than anything according to Director of Golf, Tyler MacEachern. “We lost a bunch of shingles on the (clubhouse) roof but that is all repaired now. Once we started losing the shingles we thought it was a good idea to close the course. ” MacEachern says their General Superintendent, Stephen Richardson, took a tour of the course after the storm and “had about two pages of notes on things to clean up”, but related that they had relatively minimal damage without about 45 trees down on their expansive property that is home to 36 golf holes. “It was kind of disappointing to finally get a sunny day and then have near 100 km/h winds,” added MacEachern.
As of Friday morning staff at the Canadian Golf & Country Club in Ottawa’s west end were still without power or telephone lines but were still able to make use of mobile devices and their Twitter page to encourage golfers just to show up for play.
Various other golf courses around the region were forced to close due to the high winds, those included the Carleton Golf & Yacht Club in Manotick and the Smuggler’s Glen Golf Course near Gananoque. “I don’t think I have ever had to close a course before for high winds, ” commented Smuggler’s Glen Director of Golf Doug Wark.
Other reports are still filtering in about damage at courses. Golfers reported tree damage at Buckingham Golf Club on the Quebec side of the river and it’s likely that few course in the region escaped unscathed given the intensity of the winds and the soft soil created by heavy spring rains that would leave trees more vulnerable to toppling.
The only saving grace from the wind storm is that it likely helped to dry up the water already accumulated on the local golf course, making them more than ready for some action this coming weekend.