Longtime players at Riverside Golf Course tell Head Golf Professional Rolando Hernandez that the current course conditions are some of the best they’ve ever seen.
“Some of them have been playing at this golf course for 15 or 20 years,” Hernandez said. “So for them to say that, it really has a lot of value.”
Hernandez credited the good conditions to the work of golf course Superintendent Brian Woolard, who ensures that the grass receive the right amount of water, fertilizer and other treatments to maintain a smooth and receptive top layer on the greens.
“He bases it on weather, growing patterns and his years of experience in the industry,” Hernandez said.
The City has been working to preserve the tradition of golf at Riverside Park for established players and newcomers alike since it took over management of the golf course in 2017.
“We have a lot of golfers who’ve been playing for a long time, and they want to carry on that pastime,” Hernandez said. “We’ve added a practice course and a driving range, and that allows people to come teach the sport to their kids or their relatives.”
May saw an average of 111 golfers per day at the course, the highest monthly average since the City took over the course. Hernandez attributed the increase to the good conditions, agreeable weather and the fact that many people had more time on their hands during May as businesses remained closed due to COVID-19.
Staff continue to wear masks and frequently sanitize golf carts and commonly touched surfaces. After previously closing the dining area to the public, staff have opened up a table but ask that golfers avoid congregating in the clubhouse and make use of the outdoor picnic tables instead. Although current state regulations allow more than one passenger to ride in a golf cart at a time, staff will make accommodations whenever possible for those who prefer to ride alone.
“We encourage people to wear masks and to practice social distancing on the golf course, to get out of the golf cart and walk around,” Hernandez said.
Attendance at the golf course is starting to dip back down to a more typical level, with participation down 10-20% Tuesday through Thursday. Hernandez said the recent heat may be playing a role in the decline and that many golfers are choosing to play early in the morning or late in the evening to stay cool. In order to help golfers beat the heat, staff have expanded the schedule of the weekend beverage cart to include Fridays and Mondays.
To play at Riverside Golf Course, call 361-573-4521 or visit www.playriversidegc.com.
PHOTO: Head Golf Professional Rolando Hernandez wears a facial covering June 18 at Riverside Golf Course.