AMERICAN FORK, Utah (ABC4) — The Fox Hollow Golf Club recently faced a significant challenge as a massive culvert running through the 14th hole burst, leaving a considerable gap in the course. This incident has caused disruption to the golfing experience at the club.

Located in American Fork, Fox Hollow Golf Club intersects with the American Fork River. To manage the river’s flow, a section of it is directed underground through a large 8-foot steel pipe.

However, over the weekend, this specific section of piping eroded away, resulting in a messy situation on the golf course. Golfers playing at the club noticed something amiss and promptly reported the issue to both the course management and the City of American Fork.

One of the golfers, Brent Harper, described the destructive force of nature, remarking, “Reminds you of the great force of nature. We play this hole every day and, I mean, it tore out what, a hundred yards of turf, and probably 30 yards wide… It’s just amazing to see when it gets mad.”

City officials state that the piping system installed through the golf course was implemented following the flooding in 1983.

“In approximately 1984, the National Guard came in and covered this, putting in an 8-foot corrugated pipe,” said Clark Taylor, an American Fork City Councilman and Fox Hollow Board Member. “It has truly withstood the test of time. 1983 was our last heavy water year, so this year presented a real challenge.”

The golfers’ observation on Saturday triggered immediate action, with the course and the City of American Fork being notified promptly.

“Part of the crew present at the time actually witnessed the pipe literally emerge from the ground and break through everything in its path,” Taylor said.

According to Susan Goebel-Canning, the Public Works Director for the City of American Fork, the section of piping beneath the golf course underwent inspection earlier this year.

“Before the runoff, our teams thoroughly inspected the entire river, including the golf course and the pipe running underneath, to ensure structural integrity and identify any blockages,” Goebel-Canning said.

Authorities speculate that the force of the river, possibly combined with the impact of a large log, weakened the pipe.

“It’s possible that it damaged the culvert upon entry, potentially peeling back a section, ultimately undermining the entire structure,” Goebel-Canning said.

To mitigate the effects of the incident, the city has been placing large boulders in the eroded section, aiming to stabilize the riverbanks and prevent additional erosion. Crews will continue to monitor this section and other vulnerable areas along the American Fork River for any potential flood risks.

The city authorities are actively collaborating with engineers to explore viable repair solutions for this specific section of the river. In the meantime, golfers at Fox Hollow Golf Club will have to adapt to the current circumstances and make the best of the situation.