Flooded California desert golf courses slowly coming back to life

Larry Bohannan/Palm Springs Desert Sun

Flooded California desert golf courses slowly coming back to life

Golf

Flooded California desert golf courses slowly coming back to life

By

When floodwaters rushed through the desert from heavy rains Feb. 14, those waters took parts of numerous desert golf courses downstream in the rapids.

While some desert courses were able to open within a day or two of the flooding, others are just now getting players back on the first tee. And a few others will take a little longer before they can open again.

The storm hit Palm Springs with 3.70 inches, causing flooding in canyons and washes, including the washes where golf courses are often built.

Cimarron, which is built in the Whitewater Wash, was subject to flooding from not just the Palm Springs rain but by the more than six inches of rain that hit the Whitewater area.

Originally designed by John Fought, the golf courses are built above the floor of the wash, with channels designed to let water run through the course without impacting the holes. But the amount of water that rushed through the property earlier this month did significant damage, with erosion to holes and exposed irrigation pipes visible from the Ramon Road bridge at the south end of the course.

Other courses have been working hard to make repairs and get their courses open again during the peak of the season.

Damage from flood waters that shut down golf courses earlier this month, like the Legend Course at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs, is still keeping some courses closed. The Legend Course was able to open just a few days after the Feb. 14 storm that dropped 3.70 inches of rain in Palm Springs.

Damage from flood waters that shut down golf courses earlier this month, like the Legend Course at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs, is still keeping some courses closed.

“I had 700 discount card holders calling me saying ‘When are we going to be able to play, when are we going to be able to play?”, said Todd Connelly, general manager of the Indian Canyons Golf Resort in Palm Springs, where the South Course was closed by the rains. “I talked to my superintendent and asked what’s the worst-case scenario. He said March 1. March 1 was the date we felt we could be open. But we worked and we worked and we were able to get the course up and running Monday.”

Meanwhile, bad weather in Arizona this week left several Phoenix-area courses covered with snow.

Located near the base of the Indian Canyons in South Palm Springs, the South Course at Indian Canyons Golf Resort didn’t suffer much erosion damage other than losing half a bunker on the second hole and a cart path on the third hole. There were other problems that caused the closure, Connelly said.

Flood waters on golf courses were so strong earlier this month that a swift-water rescue had to take place at Mesquite Country Club in Palm Springs.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home