The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection recently issued a drought watch notification to golf courses and local businesses. Stone-E-Lea Golf Course in Attleboro, Mass., reported challenges in controlling anthracnose due to the heat, but noted that the conditions have not affected golfer turnout.
With Southeastern Massachusetts in the grip of drought, local golf courses are scrounging for water, the North Attleboro, Mass., Sun Chronicle reported.
“Some golf courses are worse than others. It’s just a matter of where they get their water from,” said Bobby Beach, co-president of the Attleboro Area Golf Association.
Golf courses and other businesses in the area recently received a notification of a drought watch from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Chronicle reported.
“Some have said it is the worst dry spell they’ve experienced,” said Don Hearn, executive director of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England. “There are clubs that have ample water supply, but an inadequate system for delivery, while others have good delivery systems but are forced to reduce irrigation because their supply has been reduced.”
The drought has affected the way local greenskeepers do their work, the Chronicle reported.
“When we had the 90-degree spell for 14 straight days, we had an anthracnose problem, which kept us hand-watering every other night,” said Ryan McGovern, assistant superintendent at Stone-E-Lea Golf Course in Attleboro. Anthracnose is a type of plant disease.
There’s also a safety issue when the weather heats up, the Chronicle reported.
“Once it gets over 90 degrees, people don’t really like to play, so we give out waters regularly to keep people from passing out,” McGovern said.
Nonetheless, golfers are still enjoying the courses even if course workers are having a hard time coping with the hot weather, the Chronicle reported.
“It hasn’t affected golfer turnout,” said Rachel LaPierre, a crew member at Stone-E-Lea.
“The fairways are rough because of the weather, not having the water on,” said Al Smith while playing at Stone-E-Lea. “But, the course is good, the weather is nice.”
Even so, many local golfers would rather have a damper course, the Chronicle reported.
“There’s two ways to look at it,” said Peter Cronin. “If the fairways are dry, you get a lot of roll on your ball, but it’s hard to get your iron shots out of the hard pan. Sometimes, you can’t even get a tee in the ground.”