Oklahoma’s wild weather affects golf courses

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Photo: Karsten Creek.

By Ken MacLeod

Weather weary golf courses throughout Oklahoma took another body blow this week from record rain and storms, some feeling the impact more than others.

While all lose revenue during storms, this time significant flooding will keep some courses closed for at least a week.

Stillwater experienced 7.5 inches of rain in a 12-hour period, flooding both Karsten Creek and Lakeside Golf Course. At Karsten Creek, superintendent Travis Levings, who has been there since construction, told the pros it was the highest he has ever seen Lake Louise, which stretches behind the par-5 18th hole. Most of the back nine is under water, with only the flag visible on 18.

The situation was not much different across town at Lakeside Golf Course, where the course experienced its worst flooding since at least 1999. Waters are receding and the course is hopeful of reopening this weekend.

At The Golf Club of Oklahoma, a drainage area that serves as a retention pond for the Army Corps of Engineers filled up, covering most of holes 15, 16, 17 and 18. How quickly the water recedes on submerged greens is a key for their future health, with superintendents not wanting them under water for more than 48 hours.

Mohawk Park Golf Course in Tulsa, located in a floodplain and serving as a U.S. Corps retention pond, is completely flooded and not expected to reopen for several days.

General manager Tom Wolff said it was the worst flooding he’s seen at the course, just adding to what is now a nearly 10-month stretch of bad weather including a wet and cool fall, cold and wet winter and now incessant weekend rains this spring, particularly on weekends. Nearly the entire state is ahead of normal on rainfall for the year, by many inches in most areas. Not coincidentally, most courses are behind on rounds.

At The Territory in Duncan, 17 inches of rain has fallen in the last six weeks equal to 1/2 of it’s annual average rainfall. This helped create floodwaters that knocked a bridge out.

The Club at Indian Springs in Broken Arrow was expected to experience flooding today due to the rising Arkansas River which is expected to flood many areas of Sand Springs, Tulsa, Bixby and Broken Arrow.

At River Oaks CC in Edmond, where assistant Tyler Tull said the course has received close to 20 inches of rain in the last three weeks, including seven inches Monday, a dam in a nearby neighborhood that holds back a small lake was in danger of failing, which would have sent a torrent of water across the par-3 second hole, which is currently closed. Tull said it looks Thursday as if the repairs to the dam were being successful.

Lakeside Memorial Golf Course in Stillwater.
The Territory Golf & Country Club in Duncan.


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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source