Knebworth and Stanedge are in completely different parts of the country but the deluge of wet weather hitting golf clubs all over the UK mean their problems are shared
More than eight inches of rain have fallen so far in October and November at the latter, whose priorities had to shift following a major fire at their clubhouse in August.
At Stanedge, it’s the first time new owner Fame Tate – a former Ladies European Tour stalwart – has seen such a concentrated burst of liquid since buying the club in February.
Both are having to adapt as the downpours continue to make life as an administrator challenging.
The course is closed ☔️☔️☔️ next inspection 7am tomorrow
— Stanedge Golf Club (@StanedgeGC) November 15, 2019
“It’s been awful,” explained Tate. “I’ve not known how the course was going to handle all the wet weather – because we have not experienced a full winter.
“I took over in February. We had a week of snow and then it was like Club Tropicana. It was one extreme to the other.
“This is the first barrage of wet weather we have had. Our golf course is a hybrid. We’ve got half that’s moorland or heathland and the other that’s quite parkland.
“There are areas that drain quite well. But we are lucky in a way that, if it continues to rain, we can chop certain holes out temporarily.”
The blaze at Knebworth, meanwhile, halted a greens drainage project that has borne considerable success – with three years of work having seen 12 putting surfaces completed so far.
“With the investment it needs, we’ve had to put it on hold,” said general manager Mark Bierton.
— Knebworth Golf Club (@knebworthgolf) November 14, 2019
“We have had to prioritise [the fire damage] that over the drainage and, obviously, we’ve now had the wettest start to winter in a long time.
“I think we’re now up to 210 millimetres of rain in October and November.”
Bierton and the greenkeeping team have turned to temporary greens when the weather has been at its worst as a way of offering a choice to members.
“It’s temporary greens rather than closing the course, while buggy restrictions obviously restricts revenue,” he explained.
“I see them as a choice. If people want to get out there and enjoy their Saturday or Sunday morning walk and a bit of fresh air we really give them the option to do that.
“We’re still giving them the chance to fill their routine, and a lot of our members are very routined, and to still get to the club.”
How has your club been affected by the rain? Let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me.