Rain impacts classic, tournament plays on

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, July 20, 2021

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In an already hectic week at Beau Pré Country Club, weather caused more havoc when thunderstorms cut short the pro-am round of the Natchez Golf Classic Monday afternoon.

More than eight inches of rain has fallen in Natchez since July 1. This total is five inches more than the average for the total rainfall by July 19. Rain impacts the playability of a golf course and green-keeping crews have to work hard to get everything in good shape, Club Pro David Meyer said.

“We have been working really hard to get the course ready over the last couple of weeks,” Meyer said. “Every time it rains, it creates a small issue here and there. For us, we plan and when it rains, it always disrupts our plan.”

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Breakfast was ready for Women’s All Pro Tour golfers on Tuesday morning. The first tee time was 8 a.m., but rain delayed the start of the first round to about 11 a.m. or 12 p.m., Meyer said. Food would be left uneaten until golfers arrive at the course.

On a golf course, rain can make the ground soft and water on grass blades slow down the roll of a ball, so the course plays longer. Greens need to be dry to mow, and they are the first task on the priority list, he said. The second task is to get bunkers in playable shape.

“Bunkers are an issue,” Meyer said. “We don’t have a big staff, and it’s getting the bunkers that take time. If they washed out, it would be difficult to get them back in the shape they should be.”

Rain may cause problems for course management, but it does not keep players from playing golf. Lightning would stop a round if it is within five miles of the course, he said.

Standing water on the greens would also prevent play. He said the grass had absorbed a lot of the water, so it should not be an issue. They are playing the tournament, but it could be cut short if the weather does not cooperate, he said.

“Every day is a new day,” Meyer said. “This tournament will get started today. It just depends on the weather for how many holes we will get in.”