The Dunes Golf Course in Sanibel has a long way to recover after Ian


Mike Dobslav visited his golf course in Sanibel on Wednesday. It was the first time he had been there since Hurricane Ian hit the island on September 28.

He was candid when asked what he had seen.

“Well, the island is still there,” said Dubslav. “A lot of the houses are still standing.” “In our case, we received a very devastating blow.”

Sanibel is home Dunes Golf and Tennis Club at Sanibel Bars. Dopslaff, a Bonita Springs resident, served as PGA President there for two years. He and his staff have a lot of work to do.

The list is long and includes everything from replacing a fleet of damaged golf carts to understanding the long-term impact from the saltwater influx that blanketed the fairways and Bermuda grass.

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There is a good chance that they will all need to be replaced.

Damage assessments are in progress

Dobslav said damage assessments would continue. He and other members of The Dunes will return, by boat, to Sanibel on Friday. The island is not accessible by car or truck after Ian causes five breaches of the Sanibel Bridge.

Dubslav, 62, said: “Some of our members had sidewalks behind houses and we walked into the club. Ten of us were walking down the street carrying supplies. We just wanted to see what we had to do.”

Besides potential saltwater weed damage, Dubslav said there have been many “big beautiful” trees uprooted, similar to what happened during Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Clubhouse, Pro shop still standing

The club is still standing.

“To the extent that the walls and ceiling are still there. We will start tearing up the carpet tomorrow,” he said.

The professional store is located on the south side of the club which is where the storm came from. About eight inches of water got inside.

“Can you believe that a shirt has not been taken off from the barn,” said Dubslav. “We have some overall losses and nice surprises. Our wing is still standing.”

Dopslaff said there are approximately 500 members (about 100 who play golf) at The Dunes, which also includes tennis courts and a swimming pool. The par-70 golf course consists of 18 holes and is 5600 yards long from the rear tees.

The Dunes is on the northeast side of the island and oddly enough, based on Ian’s itinerary, this was good news. The damage could have been worse.

The Dunes is one of two golf courses in Sanibel. Sanibel Island Golf Club is another. Dubslav had not heard of the damage there. There is a course at Captiva called The Sanctuary.

eyes on healing

Dopslaff understands that golf isn’t something many people think about right now. He said he, his staff and The Dunes are committed to helping the island recover as quickly as possible.

He said, “My heart breaks for the residents there.” “Business we are rebuilding but there are full-time residents who have nowhere to live.”

When the day comes when Sanibel returns to his former state over Ian, if possible, Dopslaff looks forward to that day and especially the good feelings it will bring to him and countless others.

“Once the trauma is gone, and the inspiration I’ll get from putting it back and overcoming the challenges… we’ll feel good when we open the doors and make someone take that first tee again,” he said.

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