While the summer weather has been fantastic for beachgoers, it's been kind of a nightmare for golf course operators.

The overall lack of rain has turned fairways from green to brown in many cases - and the impact for some courses has been more severe than others.

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Earlier this month I wrote an article on the playing status of the Green Tree Golf Course in Egg Harbor Township. The weather had turned dry and that was causing parts of the course to deteriorate quickly, with tee boxes becoming brown and/or nothing but dry dirt patches.

It turns out there is a reason for what's happening at Green Tree: there's no water.

John Lamey is the Executive Director of the Atlantic County Improvement Authority which oversees the course. He says. "We agree that there are areas of the course that are not in the condition that we would like."

The problem is a great lack of water.

"In addition to the lack of rainfall across the state, an additional challenge that we face is that we have no access to public water. Green Tree’s irrigation system is fed by a pond and due to the extended period in July and August with no rainfall, the level of the pond is extremely low. Because of that, we are in a situation where we have to ration the water."


Lamey says they've even reached out to local fire departments to assist in bringing water in - but is not a good nearby source of fresh water available.

The priority, says Lamey, to this point at Green Tree has been to keep the greens looking as good as possible. With cooler temperatures and some rain, the fairways and tee boxes should be able to be repaired fairly quickly.

As I mentioned in my original article, the people who work at the golf course - they were all friendly and professional. My only problem was the condition of the course. Lamey says they are now notifying golfers about the current challenges of the course with signs at the front desk and in the locker rooms. (As a golfer, I very much appreciate that!)

Lamey also shared with me a recovery plan for the course, put together by the golf course superintendent. It's a comprehensive plan to get the course looking good again, but, of course, it requires rainfall and cooler temperatures.

I look forward to the improvements and can't wait to play the course again. I love the 3rd hole, which is a rare Par 6. (There are several holes I hate, but that's because I'm not a very good golfer....)

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