Area golf courses endure extremely dry spring

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – Our dry weather continues in central Nebraska and some of the hardest hit businesses are golf courses.

Lochland Country Club in North Hastings hosted the Hastings College Open on Monday and Tuesday, and unlike years past when the course is mostly green in mid-April, this is anything but in 2022. In fact, it has been so hot and dry this year, Lochland CC course superintendent Ryan Reifert said he had to do something he rarely did.

“We had to haul water to all the greens (in winter),” Reifert said. “It’s something I’ve only done probably twice in the 25 years I’ve been doing it, so it’s a bit out of the norm for us.”

Wetting the course in months like January and February seems to have had the field team up and down, but Reifert says it always came with a few headaches.

“You know, just because of the drought, there’s been a lot more irrigation repairs because we’re turning the sprinklers on earlier than we probably should, so when they have ice it creates problems” , said Reifert. “We’re just trying – all of us superintendents – just trying to make things greener to make our customers happy, so it’s been really tough.”

Although we are now in the spring where the weather looks set to help us more, Reifert says his team’s battle against the dry conditions may just be beginning.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” he said. “A lot of things you see on the golf course that aren’t green could happen, but some might not be. We’re not sure, but we need to warm up that ground to see where we are. I think that we all have plans where we will probably have to plant seedlings.

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Michael C. Ford