RAPID CITY (AP) -- A record-breaking early October snowstorm that hit western South Dakota's Black Hills has added to the weather woes of golf courses in the region this year.
Courses suffered financial losses early in the season due to a spring blizzard in April; then they got hit by the fall blizzard that dumped up to 4 feet of snow in the region. The snow and damaged, unsafe trees have forced some courses to close temporarily and others to shut down for the season.
The municipal Meadowbrook Golf Course in Rapid City has seen about 10,000 fewer rounds of golf played this year because of the bad weather -- from about 58,500 rounds in 2012 to about 49,000 rounds so far, the Rapid City Journal reported.
"It's been a rough beginning, and a rough ending for golf this season," said Doug Lowe, manager of Rapid City's Recreation Division.
Hart Ranch Golf Course south of Rapid City is one that has closed for the year. Pro Craig Hatch said the early October storm is the worst the course has seen in its 28 years of operation.
Hatch tried to keep things in perspective, however, noting that others lost much more in the storm. Ranchers in western South Dakota, for example, have lost tens of thousands of cattle.
"It's important to note that it's just a golf course," he said. "Come spring, we'll be as good as gold."