High Heat, Dry Conditions Take Swing at Macomb's Golf Industry
Golf courses in Macomb Township are working around the clock to keep their greens in top condition and ensure golfers are safe amid record high temps.
Dry weather and scorching temperatures have Macomb Township’s golf courses battling daily to keep greens “green” and golfers hydrated.
“It’s definitely harder to keep watering,” said Brad Beels, pro shop worker at Bello Woods on 23 Mile Road. “We usually water at nights, but one groundskeeper will go out now during the day, too. He’ll start watering the back nine before the golfers get there.”
Like Bello Woods, Cracklewood Golf Club on 24 Mile Road has been able to keep costs down by using water from a private pond to irrigate the greens, but manager Kevin Nicholl said Cracklewood staff has had to “increase the amount of water and length of time we irrigate to keep areas of the course healthy.”
“We’ve hand watered a lot of spots that are drying out quicker,” Nicholl said, "but we have plenty of water to keep the course in nice condition.”
Although high temperatures are now keeping some golfers off the greens, an early spring allowed most of Macomb’s courses to open ahead of schedule, helping them sustain some of the current losses.
“This has been one of the best springs we’ve had since Cracklewood has been in existence,” Nicholl said. “The middle-of-the-day play has taken a decrease, but the morning and evening leagues have been solid. In the afternoons and on weekends, a lot of people are not playing because it’s so hot.”
But for the golfers who choose to play regardless of the heat, Bello Woods and Cracklewood are taking extra precautions.
“We definitely keep more water on the course,” Beels said. “Usually, we have water coolers that we fill every other day, but we’ve been filling them even twice a day. (In bottled water sales), on a normal day we go through a case of water. Now we’ve been going through four to six cases of water a day.”
The same holds true for Cracklewood.
“We have beverage carts out there for all of our leagues and events, and for normal, daily play we have water stations every few holes," Nicholl said. "We’ve had to fill them up in the morning and hit them again in the afternoon. Beverage sales have probably seen an increase, too.”
Temperatures are expected to remain in the 80s throughout the week of July 16, with Tuesday, July 17, topping out at 99 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Extreme heat poses many dangers, such as heat stroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion, according to the American Red Cross.
Here are some tips for keeping safe when temps get uncomfortably hot:
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol.
- Have small meals and eat more often.
- Stay indoors.
- Avoid strenuous exercise.
- Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
- Take frequent breaks if you have to be outside.
- Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes.
- Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
- Check on pets frequently. Use these safety tips to keep your pet cool.