Canadians, as a whole, like to talk about the weather and that’s especially so in the golf industry, an understandable topic of conversation with business so reliant on what’s happening outside.
This year, however, complaining about the weather went to a whole new level, much more than just jawing about consecutive rainy weekends.
The devastating floods that hit southern Alberta and Toronto are, without question, the story of the year in the Canadian golf industry due to their impact, not only on the game, but also the communities surrounding the affected golf operations.
It began on June 20 with concern began to build over a state of emergency due to heavy rains and flooding. GNN began its coverage here with a call to Phil Berube who was, at the time, executive director of the PGA of Alberta.
Downtown Calgary was flooded and the ATB Classic, a PGA Tour Canada event being played at Country Hills Golf Club, was cancelled, which you can read about here, and eventually played later in the summer.
Kananaskis Country was flooded and shut down. Its future still remains in limbo. Meanwhile, Calgarians such as seven-time Canadian Long Ball champion Lisa Vlooswyk and professional golfer Ryan Yip responded to the disaster here.
Kananaskis was just one of many golf courses affected. Cottonwood Golf and Country Club was evacuated and GNN blogger Tiffany Gordon, executive professional and general manager at that operation, wrote about the experience here.
Tiff also offered GNN readers a visual of the damage done and the clean-up that ensued here. Those were among several blogs Tiff offered during the emergency and as Cottonwood adjusted in its aftermath. You can read all of those blogs here.
Just a couple of weeks later, Toronto went through a similar experience, Ontario’s most costly disaster at over $850-million. You can read more here.
For a look at the flooding around the city, click here, but golf courses didn’t escape the floods.
Islington Golf Club, for example, had several holes covered in water and greens and tees had to be rebuilt. Yet, the club bounced back and even produced an entertaining You Tube video to let people know things were getting back to normal. You can read more here.
Golf operations and the communities around them are still responding to the floods as the new year approaches. Hopefully, 2014 won’t include such devastation.