The drought conditions that plague much of Colorado have trickled down to Greeley area golf courses, resulting in closures or limited use of electric riding carts that can cause additional damage to the already dry turf.
The Greeley County Club, a private facility on 10th street in Greeley, closed its course, driving range and putting greens on Jan. 21 following the lead of other private clubs in Fort Collins and Tinmath.
Greeley’s two public courses, Highland Hills on Clubhouse Drive and Boomerang Links on 4th Street, are year-round courses and remain open weather permitting, but course staff has restricted the use of carts that can beat up dried out sod especially in common areas such as entry and exit spots on the fairway that wear down with repeated use.
Without cooperation from Mother Nature, the low amount of moisture in northern Colorado dating to at least January 2018 has area golf course officials taking matters into their own hands to protect the future of their facilities.
The city posted a notice about the restriction on the courses’ website, http://www.golfingreeley.com.
“This is due to the extreme drought conditions and to make all efforts to currently protect the golf courses and secure the excellent playability of our golf courses for this upcoming season,” read the letter that was signed by Wayne Leighton, manager of golf for the city.
Though area golf course staffs use water on greens and tee boxes, watering the fairways is generally off limits because of the amount of water required and the risk of freezing the irrigation system.
“Normally what helps us is in December we have six to eight inches of snow and then we close, and then we open and we have another storm,” said Highland Hills Superintendent Dwight Staats.