On Christmas Day, people were playing golf in many parts of eastern Canada and these rounds weren’t just the kind to draw television cameras out for a fun news clip.
The eastern half of the country was basking in temperatures that shot into double digits on the Celsius scale and those numbers were accompanied by clear, blue skies in the Toronto area.
Weather was one of the prevalent topics mentioned throughout the year in the GNN Poll, where we ask for readers’ thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects.
Generally, it was a magnificent year in the weather department, but the year wasn’t without its difficult moments, ranging from a nasty winter that wouldn’t go away in Atlantic Canada, to an early fire season and flames crackling through Northern Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C., where drought forced water restrictions on Vancouver courses that rely on the city supply.
Those numbers underscored the fact that no matter how nice the weather is, it can turn on a dime and for awhile, it seemed that might happen after all the nice weather over Christmas in Southern Ontario.
Freezing rain and ice pellets hit one evening shortly afterwards and we know what that can do to golf courses, although the ice layer didn’t seem to last long.
Up until that point, GNN readers were feeling pretty good about how the golf course where they work would come through the winter. Here’s the results of the final GNN Poll of the year:
Based on the weather so far where you work, is there any concern for how golf courses will come through winter?
The season ended in eastern Canada the way it began in many parts of the country. Early in the 2015 season, we asked readers what score they would give the weather. The answer was a resounding thumbs up, with the exception of those in the lingering winter in Atlantic Canada.
How would you rate the start to the 2015 Canadian golf season?
Double Bogey 6%
As the season wore on, the National Golf Course Owners Association reported that rounds across Canada were on the rise, the main reason, according to another GNN Poll, being the weather.
With recent reports about increased play in Canada, is weather the primary reason or is a long-term resurgence of interest leading to more participation?
Equal amounts of both 43%
More interest in the game 4%
With fires and more intense storms in places such as Calgary in 2015, it might be a good idea for golf courses to review emergency plans and procedures to prepare for such events, something many readers admitted hadn’t been done at the operation where they’re employed.
Has increasingly severe weather specifically caused the golf operation where you work to discussed, update or implement new business practices, policies or procedures?
Meanwhile, the drought in B.C. and subsequent water restrictions, should they persist, will mean that golf operations will need to hasten changes in course conditioning that have been discussed the past few years.
Will recent droughts and the economy force golf operations to change their course conditioning more quickly than first anticipated?
Who knows what Canadian golf operations will face in 2016 when El Nino is expected to be a factor at least in the early going? Should extreme weather events turn become regular occurrences over the long term, the result could be major changes in the way the industry does business.