February Storm Submerged Wasioto Winds under 25 Feet of Water

By Ken Mink

Mother Nature plays no favorites and on Feb. 6, she landed a tremendous punch to the gut at the Wasioto Winds Golf Course at Pine Mountain State Park, unleashing a rainstorm of biblical proportion, dropping some eight inches of rain in less than 24 hours.

The result was transformation of what had been one of the most beautiful golf courses in Kentucky into a virtual sea, more fitting for Noah’s Ark than a stroll through a pleasant green valley. The course is a mostly-level 120-acre links-style layout, but in February it was turned into a big lake covered entirely by about 25 feet of water. There was no sign there was ever a magnificent 18-hole golf course in the area.

When the water finally receded, the Wasioto Winds Golf Course was left covered entirely by mud ranging from a couple inches to eight feet deep. This was ten times the worst flood devastation they have faced.

But instead of wringing their hands and saying woe-is-us the state parks organization headed up by Green Supt. Ronnie Caldwell, immediately went to work, using special machinery to scrape tons of mud off the greens and fairways, washing everything down and recovering about 95 per cent of the Bermuda grass playable areas and bent grass greens. It was like Cinderella had fallen into a mud hole and now she was putting on a beautiful new green party dress.

The recovery was not overnight, but the maintenance crew had the golf course back into playing condition in about three months. The reopening was on May 15. “My hat goes off to our golf maintenance staff. These nine gentlemen accomplished the work of 50 to 60 men. They put their hearts into the cleanup and recovery and the pride in their work is evident in the end product,” said PGA Professional Donnie Caldwell. More