Bay Point golf courses have some work ahead before reopening in the wake of the storm

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL (WJHG/WECP) The Bay Point Golf Club is among many area businesses scrambling to clean itself up and get back open for business. The process has been slow going though. So says Bay Point Golf G.M. Ryan Mulvey. He tells us it is a very a complex process figuring out the insurance, and taking bids on removing tree and debris. And how it's likely to be quite some time before the Club Meadows course can reopen.

Ryan though does say there is some relatively good news in terms of Bay Point's other 18 holes, the Nicklaus Course!

"The one thing we've been able to do is, at least the Nicklaus Course, kind of get it back to the best we can with what our guys have done." Mulvey says "Our course and grounds guys, some of the cart guys that have come back have been putting a lot of time and effort into the Nicklaus Course just to get it as good as we can. Until we start the major clean up process. So that when we get down the road we know that we can kind of jump right back into things on that golf course."

You may remember, Bay Point just spent over half a million bucks putting in new Tifeagle greens on the Nicklaus, with the first play on those greens the weekend before the storm. That made the days and weeks after the storm some nervous times for Ryan and the folks there, as they worked to keep those greens alive!

"Yeah it was definitely disheartening, but you know the whole area was in a dire situation. You know greens are obviously extremely important, they're obviously a big financial asset here at the club. It was definitely nervous. Myself and my superintendent, when we got back on property, and power got restored, we were able to get our pumphouse going, which was great because that means we could start putting some water on the greens. Because as you guys recall, post-storm it was extremely warm."

And Ryan reports, thanks to their efforts, those greens are fine! Again no set date for reopening either of the courses, likely weeks away for the Nicklaus.

As for why it's important, in these dire times, to even worry about the status of these and other area golf courses? Quite simply, they mean jobs, and are part of our area's economic engine, and have been for decades! The Meadows course has been here since the 70's, the Legend, now Nicklaus course, since the 80's.

"And you know the last few years we've really been able to "up" the facilities here and really get going on really increasing rounds, and being involved in the community. And another thing this is a home for a lot of people that don't live here too. And you know obviously the snowbirds that come down, that's a little different situation. But it's a second home for a lot of people, this is part of why people moved here."