EVERETT — It’s been a rough summer for Walter Hall Golf Course and not just for those who miss the fairway.
The City of Everett-owned course is currently playing with temporary greens after a chemical mishap caused the grass on all 18 of the course’s greens to die.
Kimberley Cline, the city’s communications director, said a misunderstanding with a supplier led to an incorrect material being sprayed.
Multiple sources reported a chemical fungicide was sprayed on the greens prior to the heatwave that blanketed the region in late July. However, the containers holding the chemical were mislabeled, meaning the wrong chemical was sprayed on the greens, killing the grass.
The course, which is operated by Premier GC, initially had golfers playing on the damaged greens, but eventually they were deemed unplayable and closed. The course installed temporary greens, which are currently in use, and greens fees have been reduced from $35 per person per round to $25 per person per round while the regular greens are out of play.
The process of replacing the damaged greens is nearing completion. All of the greens are being re-contoured and the sod is being replaced. Cline said the repair work, which began Aug. 2, is almost finished and it’s just a matter of waiting for the grass to grow out.
The city is targeting Labor Day for having the greens playable again.
Additionally, the city won’t be on the hook for the cost of the repairs. While the city was not able to provide an estimate for the cost of the replacement of the greens, the full cost is being footed by the contractor, since the containers were mislabeled. Cline confirmed that no public dollars are being used for the repair work.
Walter Hall has been quieter since the greens were damaged, as there’s been a significant drop off in the number of rounds played at the course over the past few weeks. City of Everett senior communications officer Julio Cortes said in an email that traffic at Walter Hall is down about 60%.
However, a significant chunk of that traffic has moved to Legion Memorial Golf Course, which is also owned by the City of Everett and operated by Premier GC, as Cortes said traffic is up about 20% at Legion Memorial.
In the meantime, Walter Hall remains open to the public at the discounted rate, and when it’s all over it will have a brand new set of greens.
“While this is an extremely unfortunate incident, we are excited to have new greens, increased playability and enhanced opportunities for future play at Walter Hall,” the city’s statement said.