North East’s golf courses hoping for an end to wet weather

Heavy rain has caused chaos across the country as flood warnings are issued and roads closed. The region’s golfers are hoping for an end to the wet weather as courses struggle to cope with rain continuing to fall on already saturated fairways.

We spoke to a number of the region’s top courses to find out how they’re coping.

Jonny Mould, Golf Sales and Operations Manager at Ramside Hall, said: “I think today, despite this already being the wettest summer on record, is the wettest I’ve seen the course in my time here.

“Our Head Greenkeeper, Roger Shore,  has said this morning that he has never seen the course this wet.

“The good thing about Ramside Hall is that as soon as the rain stops the irrigation system will be able to cope with the volume of water on the course and move it into one of the 15 lakes here on site. We should be open and playable very quickly.”

The situation is similar at Matfen Hall, home of top coach and European Seniors’ Tour player John Harrison. Nicola Hawes, Assistant Golf Manager at Matfen Hall, said: “ We’re closed at the moment but the tees and greens are all ok. It’s particularly wet between those with a lot of water lying on a couple of the fairways.

“If the rain stops, there’s a good chance we’ll be open tomorrow as the drainage will start to do its job.”

Rockliffe Hall, one of the region’s top resorts, seems to be coping well with the rain so far. John Stacey, Head Professional at Rockliffe, said: “The water seems to be draining away quite well at the moment. Obviously, as it’s rained for the last 48 hours, there is a little bit of standing water on the course at the moment.

“Rockliffe does benefit from some fantastic drainage and we’re hoping to be able to open as soon as the rain stops. This looks to be Thursday morning at this moment in time.”

David Ord, Head professional at Ingleby Barwick, said the clubs winter programmes were being hit hard by the heavy rain: “I think that all the courses in the region have been hit hard over the last couple of days. We’re lucky here as the river runs through the course and allows it to drain very quickly.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any drainage system that could cope with the rain that’s fallen over the last 48 hours. This has come at a really hard time for a lot of courses as we move into the winter months and have to prepare the course for the changing season. At the moment we’re hoping that, with a dry spell, we’ll be able to open back up for the weekend.”

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About Dean Bailey
I'm currently in my third year at Sunderland University, studying Sports Journalism. I'm interested in a wide variety of sports but golf is my passion. (I follow Newcastle United FC, Newcastle Falcons, Newcastle Eagles, Whitley Warriors and Leeds Rhinos.) I currently play at Backworth Golf Club, with a handicap of 11. Follow me on Twitter: @deanbailey92 & @northeastgolf Or get in touch through email: deanbailey92@hotmail.co.uk

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