Local golf courses dealing with the inclement weather

Both courses expect to be open by mid-May.

The sign for the sixth hole at Hillcrest Municipal sits as the course prepares for visitors.
Max O'Neill / The Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — Those wanting to break out their clubs and hit the links will have to wait a few more weeks before they are able to do so at the Hillcrest Municipal Golf Course and Jamestown Country Club.

“We would like to target the second week of May if possible,” Jamestown Country Club Golf Course Superintendent Gordon Prasek said.

Before he formally announces an opening date, Hillcrest’s Golf Course Operations Manager John Ruff said he is pumping the water off of the front nine holes and then he will check the course out.

“This year is terrible and last year was bad because basically, you lose a month of the season,” Ruff said. “An average year we’re open the first part of April and last year we opened May 2nd and this year we’re probably gonna get open even later, it looks like maybe a week later than that this year. It hurts and it hurts on the revenue part and all the golfers too, you know, they want to get out and play and really can’t. It hurts everybody.”

Prasek said the biggest impact that the weather has had on the course is that it has delayed the opening of the course.


Ruff said the hole that has been impacted the most is the 11th hole. Ruff said the 11th hole is regularly the most impacted hole every winter because of the water from the north part of Jamestown.

“We’ve got hole number 11, that’s where the water comes from the northeast part of town actually and runs through our golf course,” Ruff said. So, hole number 11 usually has a stream of water for a while till the weather gets nicer and dries up. So, number 11 is usually a little river going through there. But mostly all the other ones are pretty good, it just takes time for them to dry so they’re playable.”

Prasek said as the snow melts the course will be in better and better shape. Prasek said it wasn’t until recently that they could even get outside to see how much the snow actually impacted the course.

“Until this week we haven’t been able to get out onto the course because we were still covered in snow,” Prasek said. “So, this week we’ve been able to start getting out there and doing some more outside work and observations of how the snow or how the winter impacted us.”

As Prasek and his team look ahead to opening up in the middle of May, he said they will be clearing stuff off the course and letting Mother Nature dry the ground.

“A lot of what we have to do is clean up of a lot of tree debris that we have experienced from the snow and winter weather that we’ve had this year, not that trees have fallen down it’s just the litter, the branches that fell off,” Prasek said. “We have a lot of tree debris to clean up and just probably get the turf ready to play…Gotta get the grass groomed and ready to play. Our biggest challenge right now is waiting for the surface to dry up and not be so wet.”

Ruff said his next few weeks in the lead-up to opening see him and his team making sure the greens are clean and putting the pins out.

“We don’t really mow nothing right away for a week or so and then we’ll get out and then we’ll get out and do a little mowing,” Ruff said. “But right away when you get going it’s not real hard to open it’s just when you pull the trigger on how wet it is. We don’t want to let them out when it’s too wet, so we gotta kind of watch that. We want to get it open just as fast as the golfer wants to. But we gotta be careful too because we don’t want our course ripped up right away.”


One of the consequences of the courses being closed past normal opening dates is the necessity to cancel or postponed previously scheduled events. Recently, the Jamestown Country Club had to cancel the Boys Class A East/West Classic that was supposed to take place on Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23.

“I’m sure there will be some financial impacts,” Prasek said. “I think whenever you start later in the year, later than you want to there’s always some financial impacts but when you’re talking April, I don’t think it’s that significant.”

My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
What To Read Next
Get Local