Soggy fairways turn golfers away

Soggy fairways

HORRY COUNTY, SC- Thousands of visitors hit the links every year in the Grand Strand, but recent heavy rains could be forcing golfers to change plans.

Golf courses like River Oaks Plantation say the rain has been tough on business, however, so far the summer has not been a complete wash-out. Steve Taylor with River Oaks says they're still managing to put golfers on the fairways.

Overall, local courses report the number of rounds played in June is down and they blame the rain. Last month, the Grand Strand had 12.45 inches of rain, which is three times more than the average for June. 

Taylor points out soggy weather doesn't just hut a course's bottom line, it also puts a strain  on maintenance. After every major rain event, maintenance crews have to clear out any debris and are forced to wait out for consecutive dry days to work on mowing the grass.

Taylor said yesterday was the first time this year River Oaks closed its course.

"We just had so much rain and we actually had some scheduled events yesterday, we would get heavy rain and then a brief period where it wouldn't rain, and you just can't start and stop that many times," explained Taylor.

Jason Fatica with Arrowhead Country Club says rainy days don't keep all golfers away. Grand Strand visitors are still getting their rounds in and just work around the rain delays

"They will try their best to stick it out and play a round. That's what they're here for, so we hope that we can accommodate their round of golf for them, and they can have an enjoyable experience," said Fatica.

Many of the courses say while numbers could be better,  overall this season could still be on par with last summer.

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