CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — It’s been a tough year for the city-owned Jones Golf Course after flood damage in the fall caused the back 9 holes to be closed until just last Monday.
For the first time in at least 10 months, golfers were able to make their way into the back 9.
“It’s been a crazy year,” said Interim Golf Operations Manager, David Roe. The 2019-20 season has been a battle against flood and rainwater to replace seedlings that were washed away in the fall.
“It rained so much they were having trouble getting down there and then the heat doesn’t help with growing the grass either, so it’s been a challenge to get the grass up out here,” said Roe.
The green wasn’t the only thing hurt by floodwaters.
“We looked back over the years and the with a 9 hole course, we were at about half of the numbers as we were at an 18 hole course,” said Roe.
Last year, from May to July when Jones had all 18 holes open golfers totaled 5,518. This year, during the same time frame at just 9 holes, golfers totaled only 3,066.
“When we opened back up as 18 the numbers have been great,” said Roe.
Since fully opening last Monday attendance has more than doubled from 50 players a day to 145. One of them is Golfer, Doug Kolstud who says when conditions are good he golf’s four to five times a week at Jones.
“When it turns into a 9 hole course we generally don’t play it we go to another course but as soon as it opens up as 18 we’re out here right away,” said Kolstud.
“This was probably the only year we’ve been 9 holes for that long,” said Roe.
Low attendance numbers and financial loses had once prompted the possibility of a closure. However, for now, the city said Jones is open and operating as planned with no formal action for a change from City Council.
Now, golfers and staff are hoping the green doesn’t turn brown in muddy floodwaters, once again.