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Pomperaug Golf Course in Connecticut Bounces Back From Flooding. A Story by John Torsiello

POSTED July 04, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

The Pomperaug Golf Course in Southbury, Ct. has bounced back nicely from one of the worst floods to hit that area of the state since the infamous Flood of 1955, reports Dave Cook, director of golf at the nine-hole public facility.

Heavy rains in early March rose the Pomperaug River rise up out of its banks and flood the course with up to three feet of water in some places, wiping out bunkers and cart paths and destroying the course’s fleet of golf carts.

“It was a mess,” said Cook this week. “We had two to three inches of silt all over the golf course and two and a half feet of water in the barn where the golf carts were stored. We had to purchase an entire new fleet of carts.”

Luckily, the greens at Pomperaug are all slightly raised, which protected them from the inundation, although several had some silt on them. It took a lot of painstaking work to bring the course back, said Cook.

“It was a total cleanup and delayed our opening about two weeks. It was time consuming work because we had to shovel, rake and sweep the silt off the course. We started with the tees, greens and fairways and went outwards to try and get the course in playing shape as fast as possible.”

I had a chance to play the course about a month ago and it had already returned to its usual fine condition, although there were still some areas where you could see just how much damage had been done by the water.

“The course now is in great shape and you would never know we had a flood here a few months ago,” said Cook. “We came through it all OK.”

There are a few modifications being made to this little favorite of Waterbury area golfers. The second hole, which now plays as a short par-four, is being adapted to play as a real nice par-three on the second nine if golfers chose to play 18. The tee box will stretch the hole from 155 to 170 yards with the shot across water to the green.

Also, the seventh hole will be played as a short par-five measuring around 470 yards on the second nine holes of a 18-hole round. A new tee box is being built to give the hole, which is a somewhat long par-four for the front nine, some added distance.

“The hole will play a bit short for a par-five the second time around,” said Cook, “but there is water on the right on the tee shot and water left and right on the approach. The better players will still be able to get to the green in two but it will turn into a three-shot hole for most players.”

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