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It was a soggy mess ar Edgebrook Golf Course

On May 18, 2014, Edgebrook Golf Course was a soggy mess. This was the result of a lot of rainfall during the week of May 11, 2014-May 15, 2014. The low temperatures (in the 40s) did not allow rainwater to evaporate sufficiently.

This is messy and muddy casual water on the 10th hole.
This is messy and muddy casual water on the 10th hole.
© 2014 Vernon Brookins
Wet weather certainly contributed to the rotten wood condition of this tree.
© 2014 Vernon Brookins

Edgebrook Golf Course, which is at 6100 N. Central Avenue in Chicago, Ill., has the worst drainage of all Forest Preserve Golf courses. Part of this bad drainage problem is that fairway levels are even with the brook’s level. (This course’s, solitary brook winds around the fifth, eighth, ninth, 10th, 13th and 16th holes.)

Casual water was on several holes. The back nine had the most casual water. On the ninth hole, golfers could smell the soggy grass. The 10th hole’s water hazard overflowed its banks. Herring gulls were squawking and wading in the casual water on the 12th hole. Golf course management shortened the 13th hole, which is usually par four, to par three with a temporary putting green. (This hole, which normally averages 371 yards from the mat/Blue teeing ground, was only about 160 yards from the White teeing ground. The temporary green was not cut as a putting green, so golfers “awarded” themselves two putts after getting on it.)

After learning the abnormal ground conditions from the pro shop clerk, many golfers avoided playing the back nine. Instead, they may have played certain holes two or three times. Despite soggy ground, management allowed motorized golf carts. It is probable that many golfers using motorized golf carts finished 18 holes (substitutes) in 2.5 hours.

The Rules of Golf have procedures (without penalty) for abnormal ground conditions. Such rules do not particularly allow golfers to score better when the fairways are soggy and muddy. However, usually golf courses with such conditions will give you a noticeable discount for greens fees.