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Weather creates issues for local golf courses

Mother Nature has given area golf courses a bogey this spring.

Rain has kept golfers off the links in recent months, resulting in revenue dips and increased maintenance issues.

Wilmette Golf Club, run by the Wilmette Park District, saw a $61,000 decline in revenue through May, compared to a year ago, said Commissioner Mike Murdock.

That’s roughly 3,500 fewer rounds of golf.

“The weather has certainly been difficult this spring and rounds are down significantly,” Murdock said.

But a $35,000 increase in membership helped off-set some of the losses.

“Through expense management, we’re basically at the end of May within $3,000 of where we were last year, so even though we’ve had difficulty on the revenue side, we’ve been able to manage the situation pretty well, all things considered,” Murdock said.

Winnetka’s public golf course has seen weather-related declines as well, said Henry Michna, Winnetka Park District’s golf course superintendent.

“This spring has been brutal on golf courses in Chicago, and we’re no exception,” Michna said.

Of the 60 days in April and May, Michna said only 22 that were acceptable for golf.

Though golfers weren’t on the course as often creating divots, his crews have had their share of maintenance requirements in other ways, Michna said. The course has flooded several times in places. There are 1,500 surface drains on the course that need to be hand-cut, he said.

“We still have a crew out there right now doing it,” Michna said at 1 p.m. Friday.

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