Duncan Park Golf Course ‘really lucky’, superintendent says

Published 2:16 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2021

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NATCHEZ — Duncan Park Golf Course superintendent Greg Brooking said he woke up around 3 a.m. Monday and watched the storm from his balcony on Silver Street. The wind howled through the night, and trees swayed, he said.

As daylight broke, he went straight for the golf course. He drove around the course to inspect any damage from the storm.

“There was not a limb or line down. I thought for sure there was going to be trees down,” Brooking said. “For it to be a leaves and twigs event, I got tickled over that. We got blowers out and blew the leaves off. By tomorrow, we will have it completely cleaned up and mowed.”

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Additionally, the course received very little rain. Brooking said the golf course was “dry as a bone,” and he would have to pump water to irrigate the greens and fairways.

Hurricane Ida’s eye was forecast to pass over Natchez, he said. He expected at least five inches of rain. “It very much surprised me,” he said.

As course superintendent, Brooking has gone through at least seven hurricanes and two tornadoes, he said. By far, Hurricane Gustav was the worst hurricane to hit the golf course, he said.

“Gustav devastated the golf course. We had all of these big trees down,” Brooking said. “Even with the hurricanes, I don’t think anything has been as significant as the ice storm of 2021. I have never seen so much damage. We had so many huge trees uprooted.”

One of the tornadoes had uprooted three oak trees and dropped them on the fourth green. Brooking said he had to get a backhoe to get them off the course. This year’s ice storm shut down the golf course for weeks, he said.

Duncan Park Golf Course was closed on Monday and did not have electricity at the course until 10 a.m. Tuesday. Without electricity, the golf course could not process credit card payments, and they could only accept cash or checks. It is open to players.

“We really feel lucky about this storm, real lucky,” Brooking said. “I was so glad. You can’t do anything when you have trees come down. It shuts everything down.”