The flooding, triggered by historic releases of water from upstream Missouri River reservoirs, has raised havoc at two other metro area courses as well.
The usual rounds of golf at Dakota Dunes Country Club, North Sioux City, S.D., have been replaced with round-the-clock National Guard patrols this summer, reports the Sioux City Journal.
South Dakota National Guardsmen continually walk an earthen levee that cuts through the course, checking for any leaks or defects as the giant barrier offers the first line of defense from the ultimate water hazard – the Missouri River.
A month ago, the unprecedented flooding forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents of the planned community in southeast South Dakota. Most of those displaced live in the County Club neighborhood, where dozens of upscale homes were built around the 18-hole Arnold Palmer-designed course.
The flooding, triggered by historic releases of water from upstream Missouri River reservoirs, has raised havoc at two other metro area courses.
In South Sioux City, the Covington Links Golf Course lost half of its 18 holes to an earthen levee that was built on top of fairways and greens to protect the northwest part of the Nebraska city from the Missouri, which has risen more than four feet above flood stage.
Another Dakota Dunes course, Two Rivers, has battled high water from the neighboring Big Sioux River, a tributary of the Missouri, for more than a month. Sunday, June 26, the water level rose nearly every hour, forcing course officials to close two holes by noon and another seven by 2 p.m., club professional Rodd Slater told the Journal.
That evening, a storm dumped two to three more inches of rain. Crews spent the next week pumping out standing water, Slater said.
With the Big River receding, all 18 holes reopened last week. Two Rivers also is restarting its summer leagues, which had originally been canceled after viewing the initial flood projections.
While things are looking up at Two Rivers, it’s a different story at Dakota Dunes.
With the elevated river flows scheduled to last through mid-August, it’s uncertain when Country Club evacuees will be allowed back into their homes, let alone when play will resume on the links.
The extended shutdown has been costly for the club, which has an estimated 300 members. The clubhouse, which regularly hosts business meetings, wedding receptions and other special events, has had to cancel scores of reservations.
The club, which reserves Mondays for charity golf outings, has been forced to turn away a number of those groups as well.
This weekend, the Dunes also had been scheduled to host the South Dakota Golf Association Men’s Match Play Tournament. The amateur matches were moved to Aberdeen.
In the month of June alone, more than 3,000 rounds of golf would have been played at Dakota Dunes, head professional Justin Arlt told the Journal.
To give their members an alternative place to play this summer, the Dunes reached reciprocal agreements with more than a dozen other courses in the tri-state region. In addition to providing access to some private clubs that otherwise would not be open to non-members, some clubs are offering the Dunes members various discounts on fees.
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