News & ToursSeptember 15, 2008

Ike hits Valhalla, but does no major damage

Is there a calm before the Ryder Cup storm? Not at Louisville's Valhalla GC, where 75 mile-per-hour wind, remnants of Hurricane Ike, uprooted trees, blew down TV towers, snapped flagpoles and caused an evacuation of the course.

Spectators were not allowed on the course Monday anyway, as both teams were scheduled to arrive and begin preparation for Friday's opening round of the matches. There was no serious course damage, including to the 12th green, where one of four TV towers fell. Kerry Haigh, the course set-up man for the PGA of America, had not pre-planned a hole location in that precise location of the green.

Valhalla course superintendent Mark Wilson told the Louisville Courier-Journal that after a full day of work on Monday, players and spectators would hardly know a storm blew through.

"We got tree limbs, but we'll take care of it," Wilson said. "This is what a golf course superintendent does, tournament or not. I'm pretty confident that, by Tuesday, you won't know anything about it."

-- Tim Rosaforte

More from The Loop