By Ken MacLeod
The front nine holes of the Patriot Golf Club in Owasso are closed today while the maintenance staff works to remove fallen trees and other debris after a tornado roared through the property Wednesday evening.
The relatively small tornado was still powerful enough to destroy homes in the Stone Canyon and The Bluffs housing developments adjacent to The Patriot. It severely damaged the guard shack at the golf course, but other structures, including the pro shop, clubhouse and maintenance building, were spared.
The course itself was largely spared as well, although a bridge on the par-3 6A hole was destroyed and trees both lining the fairways and deeper in the woods were downed.
â€œWe got extremely lucky,â€ said Brian Brinkman, first assistant to superintendent Jeremy Dobson, who was traveling. â€œItâ€™s mostly tree damage. The housing development got it a lot worse than the golf course.â€
Brinkman said that many of the trees deeper in the woods may not be touched until next winter but that he expected to have the front nine reopened by Friday or Saturday.
The tornado narrowly missed golf courses Mohawk Park in north Tulsa and Heritage Hills in Claremore.
Tom Wolff, director of golf at Mohawk Park, said the tornado did move through the park, damaging the Tulsa Gun Club and other tree damage, but went about Â½ mile north of the golf course.
Dave Wilber, director of golf at Heritage Hills in Claremore, said the twister missed Heritage Hills by at least two miles. He watched it from the parking lot at a Sams store in Claremore. He said the tornado was on the ground when it crossed Interstate 44 in Claremore, but fortunately no one drove into it.
â€œThat was real fortunate,â€ he said. â€œSometimes you just have to feel like there are some angels watching out for us humans.â€