Cape Club acquires Fox Club Florida

It’s not often that crew members are able to reap the benefits of their hard work on the course. It’s even less often that they get the first tee time on opening day. That’s what happened for the team at The Club at Cordillera in Edwards, Colorado, when an unexpected snow day in late May closed the Valley course.

“For my course, normally in May, we don’t get snow, we get rain,” says Carey Hofner, superintendent of The Valley Course at The Club of Cordillera. “So, I was very shocked waking up getting snow and the fact that it stuck.”

The Club at Cordillera ended up receiving around 6 inches of snow on May 21. After calling off crew members and catching up on work around the office, a few employees gathered for lunch when they had the idea to be the first of the season to tee off.

“We just jokingly said ‘Hey let’s go have the first tee time at the Mountain Course,'” Hofner says. “So, there was about six of us that grabbed drivers and grabbed some balls and went out and lined up on the tee box and teeed off.”

The snow day was welcomed by Hofner, especially considering the Valley Course had been the only one of The Club at Cordillera’s three layouts open for play.

“That next day, Saturday, we still had some snow, so I just did some fiddly things around the course and just enjoyed it,” she says. “I enjoyed being a little bit lax and took a breather, because I’ve been the only course technically open for a month now.”

Also shocked by the snow’s arrival was Sean McCue, director of agronomy at Castle Pines Country Club in Castle Rock, Colorado, a couple hours east of The Club at Cordillera. He tweeted on May 21, “50-degree temperature swing from yesterday.” This comes after his scenic post on May 17, saying “Ladies opening day today, couldn’t ask for a better day.”

In just 72 hours, Castle Pines Country Club went from having more than ideal playing conditions to being covered in about a foot of snow.

“It was pretty shocking to know that we were gonna get that amount of snow,” McCue says. “It’s very typical for us to get snow in May anyways, but for us to get that amount that late in the month, was very unusual for us.”

Regarding course conditions, though, the snowstorm could have been much worse.

“Fortunately for us, we did not have our annual flowers planted yet, so we didn’t have to worry about protecting them or incurring some damage from the freezing temperatures,” McCue says. “We’re mostly Ponderosa Pine trees throughout our property, we didn’t really incur any damage from the heavy snowfall and the limbs. We’re very fortunate in that respect. We didn’t really have much damage at all.”

Hofner is fortunate in other respects. The cold and wet spring helps to ease the risk of wildfires that threaten the entire state frequently.

“Anywhere up here, we look at it as any kind of precipitation just helps depress any fire danger,” she says. “We’re so excited for any kind of moisture because we know what can come.”

Despite the surprise of the snowfall and the possibility of more to come, it’s nothing these courses haven’t seen before and nothing they spend time worrying over.

“Our team took it in stride,” says McCue. “The weather here in Colorado is highly unpredictable and one day to the next, you never know what you’re going to get and you just kind of keep on moving forward as best you can.”

Cassidy Gladieux is a Kent State University senior participating in Golf Course Industry’s summer internship program.

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