Heavy rains force Nyanza Golf Course designers back to drawing board

A section of the golf course that is covered by water at Nyanza Golf Club, Kisumu on May 25, 2024. PHOTO | NMG

Whenever Lake Victoria bursts its banks, it is Nyanza Golf Course that feels its wrath first due to its proximity to the lake.

Water at times takes months to recede into the lake, prompting a redesign of the course.

Recently, the backflow of the lake caused by the unrelenting rains has seen holes one, six and 18 on the fairway side unplayable, while the tee-box areas of holes nine and 18 are inaccessible since they are completely submerged.

“We have taken some temporary measures to help us continue playing. We play some holes twice and some temporary holes have also been created,” Handicap player Ken Kaunda said during the May Babies Tournament on the submerged course on Saturday.

Some greens have also been impacted by the floods.

“Green number eight has been flooded and is not even accessible, so we incorporated other temporary green to offset the submerged one,” he added.

After every flooding, the greenkeeping team has the serious task of maintaining both courses one and two.

Bunkers, paths, tree, leaf, and debris clearance along with some improved drainages are given priority after the decline of the water level.

James Onyango Odongo, the chairman of the May Babies Tournament, underscored the impact of flooding on a golf course.

"Dealing with contamination issues such as litter and debris are the immediate concerns. There may be sewer debris contamination from blown drains so ensure there is a risk assessment in place to tackle the clean-up operation,” Mr Onyango said.

John Robert, another Handicap player, states that floods lead to turf decline: “Flood damage can adjust the soil chemistry, often not visible until there is evidence of turf decline.”

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