Two holes on the Donald Ross-designed course at Mark Twain GC in Elmira, N.Y. often have to be closed because of clogged drainage pipes that are partially on a neighboring company’s property. But 2020 was “one of our busier years” in the course’s 84-year-history, says General Manager Jay Turcsik, and 2021 got off to a good start because of being able to open in March, “which is pretty good for courses in this area,” Turcsik notes.
The Mark Twain Golf Course in Elmira, N.Y. is having serious flooding issues on the fifth and sixth holes because of clogged drainage pipes that are partially on a neighboring company’s property, WETM of Elmira reported.
The public 18-hole course in the Town of Horseheads is owned and operated by the city of Elmira. The course was designed by Donald Ross and built in 1937 as a public-works project by the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration and named after Mark Twain, who had lived nearby.
A flooding issue on the course has plagued its operation for years, General Manager Jay Turcsik told WETM.
“We have to close several holes down,” said Turcsik. “That is the most apparent thing. The other thing is fixing it. Once the water goes away, if there is mud and everything left, we have to go through re-seeding it. So, that is consuming as well.”
The course uses a motorized pump to try and drain excess water when it accumulates, but that raises other issues, Turcsik told WETM.
“That pump, there is another thing, [it takes] man hours moving that thing around,” he said. “Often in the little creek that sits off to the side of the sixth hole and the fifth hole, there are pipes going underground that go to the other side of the railroad tracks [and] they are pretty much plugged. [There is a] 36- inch pipe that probably has about 5 inches of gap for water to go through.”
The course has had issues with clearing the pipe, as a portion of it is on the property of the company next door, WETM reported. But despite often only having 16 holes to play, Mark Twain’s business has been doing well recently.
“Last year, we probably had one of our busier years despite the pandemic,” said Turcsik. “This year we were able to open in March, which is pretty good for courses in this area.”
Golf is the one sport that has flourished when most have been restricted due to COVID-19, Turcsik told WETM.
“I think as far as the golf and getting outdoors, it is a good thing for people to come out and do,” he said. “They can stay six feet, three feet away, so I think golf courses are pretty inviting for that.”
WETM’s full video report on Mark Twain GC can be viewed at https://www.mytwintiers.com/news-cat/local-news/local-golf-course-struggles-with-flooding-issues/