Golfers, take heart: Warmer weather is on its way. But you’d better have your nine-iron at hand today and Tuesday because there’s a threat of showers and thunderstorms later in the week.
Tom Olsen, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Davenport, said temperatures this week will be less windy and warmer, but there’s a chance of precipitation starting Wednesday. Sunday’s high was 58, with the highest gust of wind measured at 36 mph out of the west.
MONDAY'S FORECAST: We can expect areas of frost before 8 a.m. — you might have to scrape frost off the windshield this morning.
Otherwise the day brings increasing clouds with a high near 67 degrees.
Tonight will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 54. South wind around 10 mph.
Golf course employees and managers say their courses have had plenty already.
T. J. Hockett of Davenport, attendant and groundskeeper at the Pebble Creek Golf Course pro shop, said he had eight days off in April because of the rain.
“It’s really hard to mow, just because it is so wet — too wet to drive a tractor on,” he said. “Last year, we opened in March, this year we opened the first part of April.
“The trees aren’t as green as we would like them to be,” he said. “Mother Nature just hasn’t been very nice to us this year.”
“The cold temps and rain have definitely hurt us this year,” said Jon Waddell, head golf professional at Palmer Hills Golf Course. “The upside to all the rain is the condition of the golf course.”
He said the course didn’t open until April 3, “the latest opening day in at least 20 years. Last year, we opened on March 13. So we started the season in a big hole compared to last year. April rounds were down from last April (which itself wasn't good).”
Palmer Hills is in “a unique situation when comparing revenues from this year to last,” Waddell said. “In the fall of 2011 we began a major renovation to the 14th, 15th and 16th holes. Those holes didn't re-open until August of last year. So until we were able to get the new holes open, we were charging a deeply discounted rate. As a result of that, even though rounds were down in April, our revenues were up.”
“Our superintendent Tim Johansen and his staff have done a great job dealing with the wet weather. Palmer Hills is in fantastic shape,” Waddell said.
“March last year was fantastic,” Johansen said. “We had 80-degree temperatures and had great golf weather. This year, we lost all of March, and had a lot of rain in April. It cost us a lot of down time. And it’s almost impossible to keep caught up with keeping the grass mowed.”
Tuesday evening will be warmer and sunny, with highs in the middle 80s and southern winds from 10-15 mph. Tuesday night will be even warmer and partly cloudy, with a 20 percent chance of showers after midnight. Lows will be in the middle 60s.
Wednesday will be mostly sunny, with highs in the lower 80s. Wednesday night, there’s a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, with lows in the upper 50s.
Thursday’s skies will be mostly sunny, with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms and highs in the upper 70s. On Thursday night and Friday, there’s a 40 percent chance of showers. Friday night will be partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms and lows in the lower 60s.