In Wisconsin, summers are wet. Warm, humid and wet.
When the calendars turn to June across the Dairy State and the air starts to thicken with sticky moisture, rain is nearly inevitable.
“That’s just the way it works up here,” says Dan Casey, Sand Valley Golf Resort.
“It can be a perfect sunny day, but when the humidity rises above 86 to 90 percent, you can bet on a thunderstorm in the afternoon.”
Knowing when and where the rain falls – and, critically, where lightning strikes – is key info for any golf course operator.
Sand Valley wanted a weather system uniquely designed for golf courses, and a platform that they could further customize to meet their specific needs.
With three separate courses, managing golfer safety while also minimizing unneeded disruption was key.
“If we have to evacuate the golf courses and we have 400 people out there, that can be mass chaos,” he says.
Sand Valley conducted thorough research on weather monitoring systems.
“We went through the whole process,” he says. “I looked at a lot of different options, even building a system ourselves.”
Then Sand Valley found Perry Weather.
“I was impressed,” he says. “We wanted a weather system that we could utilize and conform to our needs – not a weather system that controls us. We want to control it. The Perry Weather platform does just that for us.”
Flexibility to set up the Perry Weather system with their own course-specific policies was important, as weather conditions affecting one Sand Valley course don’t always affect the others.
“Sometimes it’s just inevitable,” he says. “We sound the alarms and pull everybody off. But there are other times when we only sound the alarm when we decide necessary. And it might be a hit or miss call on us whether or not we sound it.”
Empowering specific course managers to make informed on-the-ground decisions has been a big benefit of the Perry Weather system.
“Multiple managers have the opportunity to make calls when we have impending weather,” he says. “It might not hit us, or it might miss us enough to keep people out there.”
Different courses can react as needed when storms hit.
“We can sound the sirens when we want to – we can make judgment calls based on the information Perry Weather provides us,” he says. “Which is very nice.”
The ease of using the Perry Weather mobile app has been another plus.
“We’ve got sirens scattered all over our property which I can sound from my cell phone, even when I’m not on the property.”
Perry Weather’s system also provides Sand Valley with the detailed data needed to make weather-related decisions with informed confidence.
“It allows us the opportunity to understand pressure, heat index, relative humidity, and more” he says.
All based on hyperlocal weather data, not an aggregated estimate.
Perry Weather gives Dan readings “at the golf course – not in Green Bay, which is hours away,” he says.
“That on-site information helps us make better decisions,” he says. “Usually a lot quicker.”