80.7 F
The Villages
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Villager documents pocket gopher attack on executive golf course

A Villager has documented an attack by pocket gophers on an executive golf course near his home.

The photos of the pocket gopher activity were provided to Villages-News.com as numerous residents wrote in to rebut a statement from the Executive Golf Division that El Nino was to blame for poor course conditions.

Michael Scotto of the Village of Chatham described the pocket gopher attack at the Amberwood Executive Golf Course.

“They are not only destroying the course, but my yard as well. The supervisor is aware of the issue and said he would take care of it. We will see,” Scotto said.

Michael Scotto provided this photo of the pocket gopher attack at Amberwood Executive Golf Course
Michael Scotto provided this photo of the pocket gopher attack at Amberwood Executive Golf Course.

Pocket gophers are 10-12 inches long from nose to tip of tail, but they are capable of digging tunnel systems that may extend for 500 feet or more, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. As they dig, they push piles of loose dirt to the surface, a characteristic that has earned them the name “sandy mounders” or “salamanders.” Shallow tunnels generally run parallel to the surface and provide access to their diet of roots and tubers, while nest and food storage tunnels are deeper. 

Pocket gophers can dig massive tunnels
Pocket gophers can dig massive tunnels.

Meanwhile, residents are mocking the assertion that the executive courses in The Villages have been strained by the wet weather produced by the El Nino weather pattern.

“I read where the golf officials blame El Nino for the poor conditions of the greens in The Villages. May I suggest these officials visit the courses outside of The Villages? Check out Continental, Eagle Ridge and others. Continental in particular has beautiful greens,” said Daniel Whitney of the Village of Collier.

Ed Robinson played the Bogart Executive Golf Course on Friday morning and described the greens as “atrocious.” He isn’t buying into the El Nino explanation.

“Yes, we’ve had some unusual weather conditions this Fall and Winter but there are courses around the area where the greens are in good shape. Either the owners don’t give a damn or the greens keeper needs some tutoring,” Robinson said.

Rather than accepting the El Nino explanation from golf officials, Villagers are pointing the finger of blame at the overuse of the courses, particularly during snowbird season.

“I am not an expert in golf course maintenance, however, even ordinary golfers can attest to the unacceptable conditions on some of the courses,” said Villager Dianna Gray.

She said golf was one of the main reasons she chose The Villages, which promoted its “golf for all” culture.

“That is no longer the case, especially when the season/snowbirds are here. Is that why some of the courses in such terrible condition are still available on the reservation system? I wonder,” she said.

Villager Kathy Joseph pointed to the terrible conditions at the Tarpon Boil Executive Golf Course and said that others are in desperate need of a rest.

There are several executive courses in the Villages that should be shut down including Redfish, Pimlico, and Pelican to name a few more,” she said.

Villager Buster Delaroche said the problems are not limited to the executive courses

“I play six different championship golf courses near Sumter Landing and I have never in 15 years seen them in this bad of shape,” he said. “The only one in good condition for both the fairways and greens is Mallory. Why can’t all of them be in good shape? Putting on greens with no grass is like putting on my driveway They certainly aren’t worth the cost to play.”

The press is biased against Trump

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Osceola Hills makes the case that the press is biased against former President Trump.

Former Morse South Gate attendant offers a little perspective

A former Morse South Gate attendant, in a Letter to the Editor, offers a little perspective after another letter writer was critical of attendants working that gate.

A lot of our presidents have committed adultery

A Village of Piedmont resident responds to Ralph Bennett’s assertion that Donald Trump is a fake Christian and she claims that many of our presidents have committed adultery. Read her Letter to the Editor.

DeSantis’ extreme agenda pushing medical providers out of Florida

A Village of Santo Domingo resident, in a Letter to the Editor, warns that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ extreme agenda is pushing medical providers out of Florida.

Traffic congestion makes it a long haul to Villages High School at Middleton

A parent of a student at The Villages High School at Middleton says it’s a long haul through heavy traffic to get back and forth to the new campus.