Water’s Hazard

After the flood: Colorado golf course update

ISLAND GREEN: The par-4 fourth at Milliken’s Mad Russian Golf Course (above) —the only hole to close for repairs—should reopen this year.

September’s record-setting floods forced many golf courses to shut down for days, resulting in millions in lost revenue and costly repairs. Three courses were hit particularly hard.

Coal Creek Golf Course
Fairways, greens, bunkers, cart paths, bridges and even the irrigation system fell victim to the raging torrents of the course’s namesake, closing everything but the clubhouse and practice range until further notice. “I don’t know if you can drive a stake into the heart of the golf course, but the storm brought our operations to a screeching halt,” Louisville Parks and Recreation Director Joe Stevens told the Daily Camera. “There is the potential to lose a season here.” When or if the course will reopen before 2015 depends on how much money it will receive from FEMA, insurance carriers and the City of Louisville, which experienced predictably heavy demands on its resources after the storm.

CommonGround Golf Course

Thanks to its location on a flood plain, the course owned by Colorado Golf Association and Colorado Women’s Golf Association had more than half its holes submerged in as much as six feet of water. Exacerbating the situation, Director of Agronomy Tracy Richard went into cardiac arrest the week after the storm and is still recovering. CommonGround will operate as a nine-hole course (nos. 1-3, 8-10 and 16-18) until at least next June, while dormant seeding and other restoration activities take place.

Mariana Butte Golf Course

The three holes (nos. 15-17) that run along the Big Thompson River required extensive silt removal, re-seeding and re-sodding. The course will play as a 15-holer until at least mid-April.

Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.comJon Rizzi is the founding editor and co-owner of this regional golf-related media company producing magazines, web content, tournaments, events and the Golf Passport.