Drought in the Vendée: at the Domangère golf course, “we pray for thunderstorms”

Dominique Hervouët, golf director, monitors the level of the seven ponds fed by rainwater which are used to water the greens every day. ©Nicolas PIPELIER

A Nesmy (Vendee), the domangere golf course does not escape the bite of the sun. On the 70 hectares of lawns trimmed with a line, the drought one does its work. Yellow predominates everywhere. Only a few islands of greenery remain around the 18 holes: the greens which are spread over 1.5 hectares.

To keep them green, Dominique Hervouet, golf manager, draws from its seven ponds fed by rainwater. A reserve of 60,000 m3 that the Nesmysian monitors daily.

We pray for thunderstorms. But the weather spies aren’t foretelling anything good.

“Without a green, there is no golf”

The green hands of golf have been brushed to use the precious liquid sparingly. “We only got up at night. Never the day, it doesn’t make sense. The water would evaporate immediately. And only greens. “Without a green, there is no golf. »

The surface made up of sand, stones, earth and grass needs water. “Without it, the earth cracks and the grass dies. » Knowing that a green costs between 30,000 and 35,000 €, we understand the care given to this part of golf. “Unlike the fairway, which we stopped watering a long time ago. »

Green light from the prefecture

This management of green spaces was validated by the services of the prefecture who came to carry out checks. “They authorized me to water since we do not take any samples. We only use rainwater. »

The 470 subscribers, 70 students and 50 children of the golf school have become accustomed to seeing their course turn yellow in fine weather. Even if the practice of golf is altered. “The ball is harder on the ground and the ball rolls more. Grass has the advantage of absorbing rebounds. »

“Golf courses will change”

But golfers, mostly “enthusiasts,” are adapting. “Through communication, I prepare them to get used to playing on drier land. In the years to come, golf courses will change. With the end of the use of phytosanitary products in 2025, we can also expect to see daisies and clovers reappear. »

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For the time being, the golf course remains “very vigilant” about its water consumption. “We save as much as possible. Waiting to see the dark clouds gathering on the horizon.

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