FLANDREAU, S.D. (KELO) — After being closed most of the summer last year due to flooding, the River’s Bend Country Club in Flandreau is open and up to par.
“Last year started out with an early spring flood, then a lot of rain throughout the spring, as everybody knows how wet it was last year, and then of course in September we had another big flood,” board president Jason Ramsdell said. “We’d be standing in about knee deep water right here last year come September. Most of the course was underwater.”
The most holes they had open at one time last year was six, but that didn’t last long.
“It seemed like as soon as we’d get the holes open, we’d get another couple inches of rain and it’d flood them back again and we’d have to close down again,” Ramsdell said.
But with a slower snow melt this spring, a dry summer and a quick drop in water levels, the course was able to fully open back up with all nine holes.
“Not being open the last couple years was kind of hurtful on us and with some damage to the fairways, we were questioning on if we were going to have another flood, what we were going to do, but fortunately it was a good spring and we didn’t have a flood. Our greens keeper does a great job out here, able to open it back up and get everything playable,” Ramsdell said.
Memberships as well as the number of people playing the course have seen increases this year. Member Joan Severtson was out enjoying the course this afternoon and can’t believe it’s in this kind of shape after the floods.
“I wasn’t out here at all last year because it was flooded the entire year, I think,” she said. “And then the year before, I believe we were flooded 3-4 times. So it’s a real treat to be out on our home golf course. Our board of directors and our greens keepers have really done a good job in getting this back into shape.”
The City of Flandreau did bring in a company to do a study of the course.
“We had that study done and the City of Flandreau presented it last week, I believe, so just kind of shows that you could do some minor things,” Ramsdell said. “Raising some tee boxes. Raising some cart paths to be able to get some areas more playable even if those small floods come in in the early spring.”