Usually by this time of year you can expect to see plenty of people outdoors and enjoying some warmer weather. However, with the current wintry weather conditions not many people are making their way outdoors. The Rockford Park District says seeing weather like this so late in the spring season, is causing some delays at their golf courses around the area.
"It's always hard to recover from stuff like this," Head Golf Professional at Sandy Hollow Golf Course, Ann Bloomfield said. She continues "Snow and rain and cold temperatures at night really put a stop to golfers coming out,"
In general, the golf industry is in it's 10th consecutive year of closing more courses, rather than opening them. The Rockford Park District says they haven't been making a profit on their golf courses since 2010. Now, with this delay in the beginning of the golf season, the Park District says it's setting them back even further, especially with a decline in memberships.
"Memberships would be our most affected thin right now because we usually see a lot of people coming out and getting their memberships and getting ready for the summer," Bloomfield said.
On April, 16 2017 the high temperature was 72 degrees, and today the high was just above freezing. A large difference in temperatures that golf course superintendent, Ken Giesler, who has been working with the Park District for over 45 years says is creating some abnormal wear and tear on the links.
"The 20 degree temperatures at night, they are keeping our ground temperatures from increasing to grow the grass that we would like to have for the number of players who are playing the course," Giesler said.
The Park District says their best day so far this season was this past Thursday. They say they had over 200 golfers come out to play for the one day the weather decided to warm up. However, since that day, the courses have been closed and the Park District says they plan to be closed until Thursday of this week.