Crews are watching Ocean Course conditions closely

By Eric

KIAWAH ISLAND, SC (WCIV) -- The Ocean Course has a few advantages, especially when it comes to dealing with the rain. There's no need to worry about playing conditions, at least not yet.

The course covers plenty of land along the coastline. Course crews have about 65 acres of grass to keep in pristine condition. Course superintendent, Jeff Stone, oversees it all. He says when the rain falls, he knows what to keep an eye on.

"When we see it start to rain, depending on the intensity we really know where to go, where to attack first, where our issues would lie first," said Stone.

Despite there being all that grass, at times the sand needs the most attention after a heavy hitting storm.

"First thing we'd really do is check on our waste area or our sandy areas, because that's what we'll address first and get those things back in play, since that will probably take us a bit longer," Stone said.

The fairways and greens bounce back fast thanks to the slopes and the sandy based soil.

No matter how much water, it funnels into miles of drainage built under the Ocean Course.

"That drainage captures a lot of the irrigation and rainfall, and we put it back in our ponds," said Stone. "We actually utilize that water back on the golf course."

You'll find thousands of the drains near the bottom of the course's signature hills. They capture the water so it can be reused and pumped back into the lush land through irrigation.

This helps more than just the golf.

"We don't have a lot of runoff or things going into the wetlands from off the golf course," Stone said. "The golf course is kind of a bowl shape so everything drains back in toward the center, which helps us out a lot."

Stone says he hopes the rain disguises what the course is really all about, that being the wind, which could sneak up on some of the players by the weekend.