We had an emotional day on Sunday as we began to assess the damage from the flood in the Calgary area.
I had been here Saturday night until around 11 and you could see the water was going down. It’s amazing how fast it comes, but when it starts to go, it’s like we’ve filled up a bathtub and then let the water out.
I got back Sunday morning first thing and it was amazing how much the water had gone away. We actually could formulate a game plan and kudos to our superintendent Tyler Patroch and our head professional Gregg Schubert for organizing the troops.
We probably had around 30 staff there on Sunday and they were still out there late into the evening.
When I got in, I was amazed that I could drive right into the clubhouse and get a really good look at things. There is a lot of silt, but my bigger concern is the standing water because that’s where the silt is going to sit.
I was so concerned that we were going to lose parts of the eighth and ninth holes to erosion due to the fast-flowing water, but they’re fine. We’ve got to move push some silt and we’re going to lose some turf, but our greens are going to be fine.
My biggest concern is our catering facility. It’s devastated. We’ve lost both bridges to the island it’s on. We’ve lost the one bridge in the past, but we’ve never experienced the other bridge being gone.
Now, we’re in a position where we’ve got functions to run and we don’t have a facility anymore. Some great golf courses have been run out of a tent for one or two years when they first opened, so we’re going back to old school pretty quickly. We really need to salvage our revenue.
I think that’s the toughest pill to swallow. You can save turf and the water is going down. There’s a lot of work to be done, but we’re in a position where one of our biggest revenue generators is ruined.
We have seven feet of water in the basement of the clubhouse, which includes our club storage area. When all this began, I put them up high, thinking we would take two or three feet, but be fine.
There is still a lot of water yet to go down. Once it does, we’ve obviously got a lot of clean-up, but we were able to groom the top half of the golf course on Sunday.
I’ve postponed the city ladies’ amateur event we were supposed to have next week, but I’d like to see if we can still pull it off later this year because I think it would be a huge feather in our cap.
It will likely be two to three weeks before we start getting anywhere close to normal. As for catering, we’re going to put up a temporary structure and operate out of there for now.
We’re not the worst-hit in the area and it’s not your house. At one point, we thought we were going to lose upstairs in the clubhouse, but didn’t.
The water’s going down and things aren’t going to be pretty once we get over to the island or into the basement, but you just have to keep chipping away at it every day.
I work for an owner who is so strong. Lyle Edwards was on the end of a shovel Sunday pushing silt. The last thing he said to me Sunday before he left was, `Don’t worry kid, we’ll get through it.’
And we will.