As you’ll see in this story and this one, golf courses in Southern Ontario are still struggling with the aftermath of a winter that started with a nasty ice storm, taught us the meaning of polar vortex and provided perfect conditions for extensive winter kill.
At St. George’s Golf and Country in Toronto, a former site of the RBC Canadian Open and one of the most prestigious clubs in the land, they were to vote Tuesday on whether to push ahead on the priority list a plan to work on all their greens instead of the ones damaged in the winter.
Temporary greens are everywhere in Southern Ontario, but it’s not just limited to Canadian operations as golf courses in the U.S. are reporting similar stories.
The harsh winter comes in the aftermath of floods in Southern Alberta and Toronto last year that did extensive damage to golf courses in those areas. Extreme weather, it seems, is becoming a more common occurrence and is costing golf more than ever.
What’s ahead? More floods? Possibly drought conditions that force more water usage in a hot, dry summer? Damaging storms? Will winter strike again, if not in Southern Ontario, but in other parts of the country?
Admittedly, it’s not a pleasant thought, yet a realistic one considering the events that have taken place in the past year. What’s to come and how will it affect golf operations that are so closely tied with the weather?
In the past, we’ve talked about the rising costs of maintaining the high level of conditioning expected by golfers today and whether golfers will have to lower their expectations due for financial reasons.
The alternative is rising membership fees or green fees and we all know the reaction to that suggestion.
Extreme weather weren’t part of that discussion until recently, but now with events such as the winter kill in Ontario or the floods in various parts of the country, that’s a serious consideration, assuming they continue to strike, as many predict they will.
Will that hasten the day when golfers will need to lower their expectations in golf course conditioning?
That’s the topic of this week’s GNN Poll.
You can answer below or on the GNN home page and, as always, we welcome you to expand your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Do you see extreme weather events hastening the day that golfers need to lower their expectations of golf course conditioning?
- YES (58%)
- NO (42%)