Rain fell and so did golf course profits

A wet spring has several Grand Strand businesses off to a slow and soggy start this year, including area golf courses.

"I wish that I controlled the button, and I could turn rain on at 8 o'clock at night and turn it off at midnight three times a week, but it doesn't work that way," said Claude Pardue, President and CEO of The Witch Golf Links.

This Spring, it especially didn't work as heavy rain and unseasonably cold weather took its toll on local golf courses.

"The heavy amount of rain that we had really impacted those last minute travelers, those travelers that drive in and if they see the weather is going to be bad on the weekend or see that we are going to have some rain weekend. It really deters them from traveling," said Steve Mays, vice president of marketing and sales at National Golf Management.

The number of golfers wasn't the only thing that was down. Local golf courses also saw the number of paid golf rounds played drop three percent over last year.

However, the rain isn't all bad. Some golf owners say it has helped them save money.

"I don't have to irrigate and spend the money on irrigation. My entire golf course gets water, as opposed to just the places that my sprinkler hits or that I throw water at," Pardue said. "And not irrigating for a few days saves a bit on electricity."

It also has helped keep the greens stay green and keep the golfers happy.

"People that played my three golf courses today had an incredibly good experience. and a lot of that is because the beauty of the golf course, which is, in part, because of the rain you're talking about."

Area golf course owners say they are gearing up for the second peak golf season which is expected to hit in September.