The Portage Golf Club is reminding citizens that the trails on the course are not for off-road vehicles. The club posted to their Facebook page on Sunday stating ATVs or Snowmobiles had been using the trails on the course and seemed to have damaged parts of the green on holes three and five. Superintendent of the Portage Golf Club Farrol Asham outlines why this is bad for the course.
"The golf course isn't a place you want to see the recreational vehicles just because of the damage they do to the turf," Asham explains. "It's not good for what we come to in spring. I'm hoping there's no turf damage but we won't know until spring."
Asham says these trails on the golf course are made for cross-country skiing as they are in partnership with the Junk Yard Dogs and the trails they used to avoid the tee boxes and greens. He says he has had to deal with this in the past.
"Being in the industry for almost 30 years, I've seen it. When I was up north the Skidoo traffic was very bad. One of the greens was completely destroyed, there wasn't a piece of turf left on it," says Asham. "You don't just grow the greens overnight. So, basically, the green wasn't complete for the whole summer because someone was driving their Skidoo."
He adds it has also happened before, to a lesser degree, in Portage but notes it is still something you can't recover from in one year. Asham says there are a ton of other places people can have fun on their off-road vehicles in the area.
"We're a rural community, so there's a lot of groomed trails and there are the sandhills south of town," Asham continues. "There are numerous amounts of land that they can use the off-road vehicles, we just as very politely that they avoid the golf course. In the last few years, dealing with mother nature has made it difficult enough to grow turf. So, any man-made damage would be pretty disheartening."