Soaking up the cost of the drought
Jermont Terry reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
BURLINGTON- At Browns Lake Golf Course, the greens and the fairway aren't quite as brown as the sand traps are, but the drought and the heat are having an impact on business.
"Last week did me in, it was over 100 and there was one day going to play golf with some ex-coworkers, because I'm retired, it said 100 on my car thermometer and I went back home," golfer John Loden tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka. But with slightly cooler temperatures, golfers like Loden are back out on the courses perfecting their putts.
Assistant Golf Pro Derek Fox says the hot and dry weather didn't help numbers in July but he's already noticing a turn around, "We did as best as we could but definitely August there's a lot more outings it seems like scheduled. People are starting to realize that it is getting better as far as the weather goes."
Fox says he can't complain about the numbers, and the dry weather has had some benefits: no rain-outs, giving golfers more chances to tee off. Some golfers have noticed an improvement in their score, the dry ground actually makes the ball roll faster and go farther. "Some of them are the fairways are a little more dry and you get a bit more of a bounce, but that's okay for a senior," Loden says.
But what profit courses gain in golfers is chipped away in gallons of water. "Thousands go on a day so I'd say to date, a couple million at least," is how much water they've used to keep their course green this year, Fox estimates.
All that water comes at a price however, and Browns Lake Golf Course is anticipating a large bill as a result of this summer's drought. "Last year we spent about 50-60 thousand on water, so I mean I can only guess on what it's going to be this year. We pumped at least twice as much as last year, hope Mother Nature treats us a little better these last couple months."
Even with a water bill that could top one hundred thousand dollars, Fox thinks their constant watering has paid off, "It is affecting the bottom line but at the same time it's definitely helped us keep up the revenue with the golf itself, just getting people out here seeing that we're one of the few green courses in the area."
Fox just hopes that the rest of the year yields more rain so their early profits from the mild winter aren't soaked up by the drought.