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Christmas ice storm haunts Ontario golf courses

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Rachel Schoutsen
Presenter, The Weather Network

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 11:41 AM - The ice storm may seem like a distant memory to some, but for golf owners the big repairs are happening now.

The Victoria Park Golf Course in Guelph Ontario let The Weather Network into their grounds and gave us a first hand look at the damage.


OUTDOOR REPORT: The unofficial start of summer


“We knew the ice storm would affect the greens, but it was not until everything melted, that's when we really saw how bad the damage was,” says David DeCorso, General Manager of Victoria Park Golf Course.

The ice hugged the specialty grass called Poa Annua, for much too long and officials say this is some of the worst damage they have ever seen.

Courses in Guelph are not the only ones suffering.

Mike Stubbs, Membership and Marketing Manager at York Downs Golf and Country Club told The Weather Network, "GTA golf courses, were significantly affected by the ice storm. We understand that many courses are still not open and some private clubs are contemplating remaining closed for the season as a result of damage."


GOLF REPORT: Check the conditions in your area


"The ice cover lasted 78 days, which left our Poa Annua Grass in very poor condition," Stubbs adds.

What is the next step? Can the golf courses be repaired?

DeCorso showed us the tarps that are placed over the dead spots in the grass. These tarps act like a green house, keeping in heat and moisture in hopes that the newly planted seeds will germinate.

“The golf courses will look different this year,” Decorso says. "Tarps and temporary greens will be a common sight but we hope to have everything back in regular condition by June."

Golfers are not letting this put a damper on the start to the season. Victoria Park golf course was busy, tarps or no tarps.

DeCorso added that, "the golfers are very patient and we are still optimistic of a great season."

Meanwhile, repairs are proving successful at York Downs Golf and Country Club where they are not reporting any closed greens. 

Keep safety in mind this long weekend
Outdoor Report: The unofficial start of summer
Long weekend forecast: Below-seasonal temperatures for parts of Canada

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