Nebraska golf courses work through drought, extreme temperatures

Nebraska golf courses are doing their best to maintain playable conditions while battling long droughts and extreme temperatures.

Beatrice Country Club head pro Owen Schuette is taking all necessary precautions to protect the players and the course.

“We’re just making sure we have enough water out on the golf course," Schuette said. "A lot of that is sort of changed with the pandemic, we’re trying to do more bottled water as opposed to coolers.”

No matter how much golf courses irrigate their grounds, with extreme temperatures and frequent droughts, courses still can suffer without proper care.

“You can really start to see the stressed out areas that aren’t irrigated... if it’s non-irrigated areas, it shows,” Schuette said. 

Areas of southeast Nebraska saw heavy rainfall just over a week ago, with some areas seeing up to an inch of rain per hour. However, Schuette said those down pours are not ideal in conditions such as these.

"It does help, obviously, every little bit does, but the slow steady rains, every once in awhile are better than the heavy down pours."

In the middle of droughts, and hot weather, dry conditions lead to harder fairways which can yield more distance and make the course more playable. However, it also speeds up putting greens, making one of golf’s most challenging aspects even more difficult. This can either be good or bad, depending on what sort of event the course is holding.

"It depends. If it's a senior tournament, we won't want the greens rolling as fast, as they would in a U.S. Open qualifier," Schuette said.

When golfing in extreme heat, golfers are encouraged to drink plenty of water before, during, and after their round.