Hoping for a good season

HARLINGEN — Nearly a year ago, Eddie Medlin began working to heal the parched fairways at the Tony Butler Golf Course.

After months, he’s groom the grounds into the best he’s played in many seasons.

Next month, the golf course opens its new season, as Winter Texans return to play the former stop on the PGA tour.

“We’re really excited about the start of the year,” Medlin, who heads the golf course, said yesterday.

And he’s relieved to put last year behind him.

Last season, poor ground conditions and a drop in Winter Texan numbers helped put the golf course in the red about $21,800.

By last fall, the seeds were sown for what became the toughest season since he took his first job at the golf course in 2002, Medlin said.

First, goose grass and crab grass overran the first four holes, sweeping across holes 24, 25 and 27.

“It was intensive enough where we needed to get aggressive before the season started,” Medlin recalled.

But a mix of herbicides stunted the fairways.

“It had an adverse reaction to different chemicals that were applied,” Medlin said.

Then a cold snap fueled the burn.

“It looked like it was dead,” Medlin said of the much of the Bermuda grass.

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By the Numbers

$21,800 – The amount of money Tony Butler Golf Course lost last year.

300 to 400 – The number of people daily who used to hit the course in winter.

250 to 275 – The number of people who last year hit the links in winter.

25M – The number of golfers in the U.S. in 2014.

30M – The number of golfers in the U.S. in 2005.

465M – The number of rounds played in the U.S. in 2013.