SANDHILL RIVER GOLF COURSE RECOVERING FROM UNUSUAL AUGUST FLOOD

The Sandhill River Golf Course in Fertile is waiting to reopen after heavy rains late last week caused water to spill over the banks of the Sandhill River and onto many different parts of the nine-hole course. Course manager Jeff Gullickson said that as of Tuesday afternoon, the water level is finally starting to drop to a level which allows crews to start pumping water out.

“The water has gone down about 4-6 inches from where it was,” Gullickson said. “That’s made a big difference, as far as being able to see certain fairways, get across bridges and things like that. That allowed us to start pumping in some of those lower areas, like on (holes) five and six. We’ve been aerating greens and fairways. The tees were done last week. The hope is to get all of this down now when we’re closed and get the golfers back so they can enjoy the fall.”

The Sandhill River Golf Course has been closed since Sunday. Thunderstorms last Thursday night and Friday dropped 2.25 inches of rain in Fertile, but further down river in areas like Rindal, storms produced close to 10 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. Gullickson said the Sandhill River’s rapid rise made it difficult to do any sort of repairs at first.

“There’s some areas where (water) gets kind of trapped on the course,” he said. “We could keep the water off it’s below a certain level, but once it gets over those banks, it kind of gets stuck.”

On Monday morning, there was water on six of the nine holes. As of late Tuesday, however, things are starting to improve.

“Holes 1-5 are pretty good,” Gullickson said. “Six has water in front of the tee area. You can’t get a cart through it yet. On seven, the whole fairway from the tee to the green was under water, but now it’s pretty good. You can at least see it now. Eight is pretty good, except for the cart path area. Nine still has quite a few spots that are underwater.”

Despite the difficulties this week, Gullickson said it has been a solid summer of business on the popular and scenic course.

“There’s just been a lot of open golf and getting out on the course that way,” he said. “It’s been good. It’s been a good summer. Even if we lose a week here, it’s not the end of the world. We can recover, and things will be fine.”

Courtesy of Sandhill River Golf Course Facebook page.