One year ago, the Quad Cities was suffering through drought. Now one year later, Mother Nature’s definitely on par.
“It was just not a lot of fun playing on a burnt out course,” Rod Hill of Palmer Hills Golf Course said. “This year is entirely different.”
Different is a good thing at Palmer Hills in Bettendorf. Last year’s drought was not only tough on farmers, but for golfers as well.
“It was hot and the conditions were rough,” Coal Valley resident Rick Lawson said. “Things were hard, the fairways were hard. The balls ran a long way, but you had no control on the greens.”
“Last year, you go out and play nine holes and you’re basically playing on hay,” Eldridge resident Tate Carter said. “It was so dry out there.”
More rain this year has kept the links green and the course soft. That combined with comfortable temperatures for most of the summer have brought out a better crowd.
“June and July have been real good,” Hill said. “This is a great break today. We had a tournament of 99 kids and we’ve had a lot of people coming out after work so we’re hoping this cool weather stays for a week so we have a lot more play.”
The course is playing different this year because it is softer. The dry course carried the ball further off the tee, but golfers like Lawson and Carter will take this year’s conditions.
“This year has been better to come out here and play with the lack of heat,” Lawson said.
“Game’s better this year because we can get out and play a little more, get it under your belt, get your swing better,” Carter said.
And weather like Tuesday’s doesn’t hurt the golf game either.
“It beats the heck out of work,” Carter said. “You’re 4:30 on a Tuesday and could be stuck in the office so this is much better especially with the weather.”
Palmer Hills installed a new irrigation system last year and coupled with nine extra inches of precipitation this year, the staff says the course has never been in better shape.