Photo courtesy Ak-Chin Southern Dunes

 

Large portions of the golf course are under water, but Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is not completely shut down.

Arroyo Grill and the pro shop are still open with regular business hours, though the course probably won’t see golfers again until November. Blame it on the rain.

“There’s been nothing like this since I’ve been here,” General Manager Brady Wilson said.

Last week’s flooding of Vekol Wash was particularly hard on the Dunes. Wilson said the course received 3.9 inches of rain and then the flash flood waters from the south. It is still too early to assess damage.

The #miniDunes and first fairway were under water. A vast section of desert from hole 13 to hole 16 was full of water. Water was flowing over State Route 238 east and west of the course entrance, and the parking lot was flooded. Wilson was among employees stranded by the water and rescued by Ak-Chin Fire Department personnel.

Besides pumping out water, the restoration of the course will take a lot of hand work, but Wilson expects it to be back on schedule Nov. 3.

“And that’s only because of the commitment from our team,” Wilson said. “They are the most dedicated employees around.”

While there has been a lot of outreach from the community, vendors and friends volunteering to help, Wilson said the best way to help is to support Arroyo Grill.

“They were open for lunch for today. We still have one of the best restaurants in Maricopa,” Wilson said. “The Arroyo Grill is 100 percent operative.”

A wine dinner is scheduled for Oct. 27.

Though the flooding has been called catastrophic, the timing was not terrible. Ak-Chin Southern Dunes had been scheduled to close for overseeding Oct. 14 and reopen Nov. 3. Now, staff will be in a cleanup phase before the overseeding with the expectation of still re-opening Nov. 3.

Though the course is dealing with the biggest water hazards in its history, the greens are in good shape. As for the rest, the staff will have to wait until the water is gone.

The turf is muddy, and Wilson said the irony is there is no way to clean the turf except with more water. The National Weather Service is predicting more rain by Sunday.

“We don’t know at this point how impactful that will be,” Wilson said.

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