How Summer Drought Affects Local Golf Courses

AGAWAM, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – Hot, dry summer days continue across western Mass. You may have noticed your lawn turning brown in recent weeks, but you’re not alone. Local golf courses also failed to see their usual lush green grasses. But does the heat impact business or play?

Western Mass News stopped by the Agawam Municipal Golf Course on Saturday. They said one of their top priorities this summer was to keep the grass and the players well hydrated.

If you play a few holes at the Agawam Municipal Golf Course, you might notice that their greenery looks a bit brown and dry.

“We try to keep our fairways and greens as green as possible using the irrigation we have, but it’s been a very difficult season,” said Tom DeRico, golf manager at Agawam Municipal Golf Course.

DeRico told Western Mass News the dry summer heat hasn’t been the mildest for local golf courses.

“It doesn’t look very nice, the golf courses don’t look very nice, that’s why we try to keep our green tees and greens in the best condition possible,” he said.

DeRico said they hope for more rain in the coming weeks.

“Once the nights start to cool down a bit and we get some water, the grass will start to get a little green,” DeRico said.

And that will allow for greener pastures next year.

“We are entering a season where most golf courses are going to aerate their greens, aerate their tees and fairways, and then overseed, so we need good weather to really have that impact on our golf course,” DeRico said.

Despite the drought, golfers we spoke with on Saturday afternoon said they hadn’t let the summer heat get in the way of their time on the course.

“You’re in a cart, you’ve got a breeze, it’s golf, it’s what you love to do and you get out there and do it,” said John Hyland of Feeding Hills.

In fact, Hyland is the least of his worries.

“You’re out there, you don’t worry about the heat, you don’t even think about it when you’re golfing, you worry about your next shot,” he said.

East Longmeadow golfer David Dubner shared with Western Mass News what he keeps in his golf bag to stay cool.

“I like to keep water, Gatorade and other refreshments cool,” Dubner said.

Any advice for other golfers?

“Stay in the shade as much as possible and have fun, that’s what it’s all about,” Dubner said,

Saturday afternoon was definitely a good day for golf, but if you haven’t been out today our first-alert weather forecasters said Sunday is also shaping up to be a good day for golf, you have time to practice your swing.

Michael C. Ford