Snow's impact hits Central Oregon golf courses hard

'I was wondering if we were going to open at all'

Harsh winter causes some damage at...

BEND, Ore. - This winter's snowfall was unlike anything Central Oregon has seen in a while, and one place dealing with the lasting impacts are the region's golf courses. 

The owner of Widgi Creek Golf Course, Barry Helm, said he's been here for 13 years and it's the most snow he's seen. And with the extensive damage we saw this season, many people are wondering if Central Oregon's golf courses have seen the same. 

"This year, I was wondering if we were going to open at all," said Helm.

Bend's Awbrey Glen Golf Club and Widgi Creek Golf Course are two courses that are not yet open. Both are dealing with after-effects of the snowfall.  

"The damage that we're seeing is not typical," said Kyle Watt, superintendent at Awbrey Glen. "You see a lot of vole damage out there. They've been hanging out beneath the snow, leaving tracks. It's not something we usually see."

Watt also talked about snow mold and how that is common on courses this time of year. 

Paul Rozek, superintendent for Widgi Creek, said,"With that longer period of snow cover, we have a longer chance for snow mold to happen," s

Courses like Widgi Creek or even Sunriver are located at higher elevations, closer to the Cascades, meaning the snow doesn't melt off quite as quickly. The voles also seemed to borrow a bit deeper this winter. across the board. 

Although the first few months may be rough in terms of play, the vole and mold problems will be cleaned up quickly and the courses will be ready for normal play. 

Widgi Creek is tentatively opening on March 30, while Awbrey Glen plans to open as early as the middle of next week. 

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