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Local Golf Course Closes Due to Drought

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EL DORADO COUNTY -- The owners of Bass Lake Golf Course in El Dorado County say they are closing their 18-hole course due to the drought. However, owner Sabrina Ho tells FOX40 she will keep the driving range open.

"This is sad for me. This is my baby. [I built it] from scratch," Ho told FOX40 Friday.

Ho's general manager Jeremy Harris says golfers want green golf courses. "We can continue to operate. We can't put out enough water to maintain conditions golfers expect."

Ho and Harris say they were hoping the private irrigation system they installed a few years ago on site would save the course. But, as water levels decrease, the energy bill has gone up as the wells on site go deeper and deeper to pump water in to the holding pond.

"We used to use this much [350,000] gallons of water in a night. Now, we use that much in four days," Harris told FOX40, adding that they've chosen to let the fairways turn brown while still watering greens and tees.

The challenge Ho and Harris are facing is faced by golf course owners across the state.

In Merced County, the Stevinson Ranch Golf Course will close in July of 2015 for drought related reasons. Agencies like the California alliance for golf are working with irrigation districts to discover new sustainable golf course models to keep courses in business.

And, at bass lake, that's the plan. On July 1st, the course will close but their resources will go to the driving range, which will remain open.