MAUMELLE, Ark. – Taking a tour of the back 9 holes at Maumelle Country Club currently requires a boat.
“The cart path is just about right under us,” says Michael Fletcher.
Michael Fletcher has been working here for 14 years and seen quite a few floods — but this one is different.
“It’s sat underwater longer than I’ve ever seen it under water,” says Michael Fletcher.
Floating through the fairway we can see where greens have turned to ‘browns’ and sand traps are more trouble than usual.
“There’s the only area over there that didn’t go underwater just about and you can see the little hilltop over there.”
As for the other eight greens slowly appearing from under the water — it’s revealing what the river left behind.
“Our greens probably have a quarter inch of silt on them,” said Lance Norwood.
Holes 9 through 18 run along the Arkansas River.
“It’s my favorite part of the golf course,” said John.
And longtime member John Ussery is ready to have it back… So he’s using his time to help.
“We play 18 holes but we have to play the front 9 twice!”
About 5 tournaments have been postponed — the course is losing money and a lot is needed to revitalize the land… But superintendent Lance Norwood is keeping it in perspective.
“I feel for the people whose homes were underwater, this is just a golf course,” said Norwood.
But they’re hopeful they can park the boats and start swings clubs instead of shovels soon.
Norwood says they are hopeful the water will be down in a week and be able to get more clean up done.
He says his target date for everything to be back to normal is the end of July for the Maumelle Classic, though it is expected to be open before then.
The front 9 holes are still open.