Ridgewood battered by microburst

Ridgewood Country Club
Ridgewood Country Club Greens and Grounds Department via Twitter
The microburst that hit Ridgewood Country Club on Monday knocked down more than 50 trees and sheared the tops off more than 100 others, according to the greenskeeping staff.
By John Holmes

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, October 07, 2013 | 7:29 p.m.

If you thought the weather was bad at the Presidents Cup, it was just warming up – a microburst hit Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J., on Monday, knocking down dozens of trees and damaging many more.

The photo above was tweeted out by the Ridgewood greenskeeping staff about 7:00 p.m. ET on Monday. ''Microburst hit club today 50+ trees down, another 100+ tops sheared off. Course closed tomorrow. More later,'' the club said in its tweet. It gave no indication as to whether anyone was injured or whether the clubhouse or any other structures were damaged.

The mirobust was created in a zone of severe weather as a cold front sliced into what has been an unseasonably warm and humid early-October air mass in the northeastern part of the country, according to The Weather Channel. 

''As the cold front marches toward the Eastern seaboard, a band of rain and thunderstorms along the front is expected to intensify Monday afternoon as strong low-level winds overspread the region and the storms move into an environment with high dewpoints (atmospheric moisture),'' it said. ''This combination will be favorable for damaging wind gusts to develop with some of these storms. An embedded spin-up tornado cannot be ruled out in this situation.''

Fortunately, there didn't appear to be any tornadic activity at or around Ridgewood, but the microburst clearly did plenty of damage all by itself.

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Ridgewood is well-known as for its A.W. Tillinghast-designed golf course, which opened in 1929 and is often ranked among the best 100 courses in the United States. Byron Nelson served as as assistant professional there in the 1930s, and earned many of his early victories as a touring professional while representing the club.

In recent years, Ridgewood had invested as much as $8 million to upgrade the tees at the 27-hole complex, as well as updating its irrigation system and rebuilding the bunkers back to Tillinghast's original design. Among the events it has hosted are the 1935 Ryder Cup, the 1974 U.S. Amateur, the 2001 Senior PGA Championship and The Barclays in both 2008 and 2010.