There were many examples of devastation when the horrendous flooding came to this region in the summer of 2014. I recall my flight across the area with Chris Miller and remember being blown away by what I saw. Culverts washed out, homes flooded, lakes expanded to unbelievable levels, towns threatened… these were the sights that flashed beneath our wings on that summer day. (Re-visit original article and pictures HERE).
Yet, in all these visions of destruction, there was one that stands out forever in my memory as being emotionally powerful, and that was the flooding of Esterhazy Golf Course.
Take another look at the two pictures above. With the exception of a few high-sitting areas, just about every yard of the course was under massive amounts of water. Yes, I recall the sinking feeling I experienced as we circled round the newly-formed lake, it was a feeling of profound sadness as I wondered if Esterhazy Golf Course would ever recover. To my eyes it looked highly unlikely.
Fast forward approximately 14 months and the miraculous has happened. Today, Esterhazy Golf Course is recovering nicely, and some play has even taken place in the last month or so. Of course, the miracle is largely due to the incredible dedication of a group of people who took to heart the phrase “Never give up!”
I met up with members of the Esterhazy Golf Advisory Board earlier this week, and before taking a tour of the course, they made the following report available for publication.
Update for year end 2015
As October is upon us and we look at shutting down the course for the year, it is time to give golfers and the general public an update as to what has been done on the course in the past year.
Course Fill and Seeding
As of the end of September, over 28,000 yards of fill (clay and topsoil) has been put on the course and the leveling was complete. Because of the wet weather and the softness of the course, it took this long to complete the fill project. At this point J. M. Yard Care was brought in to condition, landscape and remove as many stones as he could. As J. M. Yard Care completed each fairway, the course staff seeded the fairways and travel roads that had been used to place the fill. As of October 1st, all seeding was completed, with the exception of a small area on number 8 which may have to be left until next year. On all the fairways the grass is starting to grow, with some areas having to be cut at this point. With some good weather this fall and in the spring of next year, we hope to have the course in full operation by the start of June 2016.
As the fairways were completed with fill and money became available, we started to upgrade the irrigation system to a point where we have most of the watering being controlled from the satellite stations. New lines were installed on fairways 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 (8 had new lines and heads installed in 2014). Fairway 1 had new 2″ line installed on both the green and tee side of the fairway. Fairway 2 had a new 2″ line installed on the lower side of the fairway with new sprinkle heads. Fairways 3, 4 and 7 had a new 3″ line installed down the center of the fairway with new heads. With the use of old control wires and some new sires that we installed, we were able to get the satellite stations operating.
Number 1 and 5 bridges have had a new base installed underneath them. The Lego blocks that were used allowed us to raise both bridges up above the water line. Number 1 bridge will require some guard rails on each side, and number 5 bridge will be changed out with a new bridge that will look like the one between 8 and 2. The new bridge on 5 will give access for heavier loads to cross over the river.
At this time nothing has been done to the cart paths as we are not sure if we will receive any money from the PDAP claim. It would have been nice to have upgraded the cart paths, but the golf course is useable the way things are. We hope to upgrade the paths next year.
We would like to thank Jean for operating the club house this year and making it a very good place to enjoy some very good food and a view of the valley. It was very nice to see the non-golfers come out to enjoy what the club has to offer. We look forward to seeing more of the non-golfers next year, as everyone is welcome.
We would also like to thank Sheldon of Triple G Enterprises for all the extra work he did that was outside what the contract called for. Some of the others we would like to thank for their time or donations are Parkland Manufacturing, Ficek Transport, Noble Construction, J.M. Yard Care, Big Sky Electric, Mosaic Canada and any other business that helped out so much on the course.
Thanks also go to Gerald Bernath, Vic Paidel, Bob Norden, Lorne Delmage, Vic Brace, Steve Zaparaniuk, Cappy Rieger, and the staff of the golf course.
We look forward to seeing all the golfers and non-golfers back next year, either to golf or to enjoy some good food and the view of the valley.
Notice:- No ATV’s or Skidoos are allowed on the golf course. This is very important this year as any travel over the new grass will damage or delay the growth next year.
And now, take a quick photographic tour of the course as seen this week. Pay careful attention to the many areas of new grass, the new bridges, and the special road that was built to allow many thousands of truckloads of fill to be transported onto the course. Regular golfers might also notice some new mounds placed at strategic places on some fairways. These will make play just a little harder on some holes. Our thanks to Gerald Bernath for the written material and the tour.
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