Rain puts back nine out of commission at Oak Ridge

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staff, Gazette
Friday, June 28, 2013

— Oak Ridge Golf Course took a beating in 2008.

The historic Rock River flooding left much of the course underwater and unplayable for several days.

The damage appears to be more extensive in 2013.

Only the front nine is currently open for play at Oak Ridge and carts are not allowed. Several holes on the back nine are unplayable.

Bonny Meade, the Scottish Links course located across the street from Oak Ridge, is also closed. Holes four, five and six are underwater.

Facility director and golf professional Andrea Meeker-Wieland said tentative plans call for Oak Ridge to possibly open up the back nine by the weekend.

"We've got a big golf outing on Saturday and we'd like to open up as many holes as possible," Meeker-Wieland said. "I don't think there's any way we're going to have all 18 holes ready for play, but hopefully we can have 16 holes ready by Saturday.

"The biggest problem is we can't get into the pump station to get the water out of the pond. And having the course ready for carts is going to be very difficult because when it's this muddy, the carts can really tear up the course."

Meeker-Wieland said the majority of flooding occurred between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. The rain gauge at Oak Ridge measured nearly four inches in a 12-hour period.

The Highway 26 bypass is also taking its toll on both Oak Ridge and Bonny Meade. Run-off from the project has not only flooded several holes on both courses, but also several yards of homeowners living adjacent to Oak Ridge.

"We've got water in places where we've never had it before," Meeker-Wieland said. "And the only way it could've gotten onto the course was from the Highway 26 expansion project. It's run-off that has come up over Oak Ridge Drive and onto the courses.

"There's flooding on Hole 11 at Oak Ridge that has never happened before and didn't happen just because of the rain we got the other night. That was caused by run-off."

Meeker-Wieland knows that even if the back nine at Oak Ridge and the Bonny Meade course open up for play in the next couple of days, it's going to take an extended period of time for both courses to dry out.

"Our projections for opening up are based on not getting any more rain," Meeker-Wieland said. "If we get more rain, it could be awhile."

Last updated: 7:52 am Monday, July 29, 2013

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