After a couple of weeks of heat, golf courses in southeastern Manitoba finally got some much needed precipitation.
Oakwood greens superintendent Ken Bordynuik says the 18-hole layout near Ste. Anne received nearly two inches of rain last Friday.
"We were happy to see it," said Bordynuik. "It's not just the golf courses - it's the farmers. Joe home-owner is also happy to see a little bit of rain. It was getting pretty bad out there."
Just how bad was it?
"At this time of year I don't think I've ever seen it that dry," answered Bordynuik. "Anywhere I checked on the golf course, we were dry six to eight inches down, which is as far as I dug. At this time of year I had never seen it that dry. We have an irrigation system which definitely helps big time but there's no replacement for Mother Nature's rainfall."
Bordynuik adds that tough winter conditions and below normal temperatures in early April set the golf course back.
"We had a little bit of snowfall in November and then we got a melt and we had ice form on quite a few of the greens and even on the fairways in the low lying areas. We were well over 100 days under ice, so it was very concerning. Then we got some melting happening right around spring break where there was exposed turf. And then as everyone remembers we hit minus 27 and grass really doesn't care for that. So we have some areas that are knocked back but as of right now 90% of it is going to be fully recovered and the other 10% is going to need a little seeding, perhaps some sodding but at the same time we're still waiting to see what is going to come back."
There are two golf course projects that keep green superintendents busy - drainage and irrigation.
"They're the two complete opposites and both so important," said Bordynuik. "Over the past six years we've had substantial rainfall and we've been dramatically installing drainage just to improve the playability of the golf course so we can keep people out there. Last fall and going into this year we're now changing our focus to installing irrigation. We are fully irrigated here but there's always areas to improve on."