St. Andrews Seeks Recovery Motivation From Sport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

St. Andrews Seeks Recovery Motivation From Sport

Morning rain didn't keep golfers away from St. Andrews. Even Hurricane Katrina couldn't hold the course back for long.

"Our grounds crew was out two days after the storm starting to clear things off. That gave them some hope that this can be done," St. Andrews Golf Director Luke Rooney said.

Marilyn Swanson shares that hope. After all, she's lived here for 12 years.

"I'm not going to let the little old Gulf frighten me from staying in St. Andrews," Swanson said. "I'm a fighter, and I don't like something being taken away from me and not able to replace it. So I started right away. My neighbor said he'd rebuild if I'd rebuild, so we didn't wait at all."

But Swanson and her neighbor are far outnumbered. They're the only two rebuilt homes along St. Andrews' Back 9. The rest are still slabs.

"I was disappointed they didn't return. My feeling is that this disaster was once in a lifetime. It may be another 100-200 years before this ever happens again," Swanson said.

Swanson says the golf course was her motivating factor to move back, even though it hasn't fully recovered either.

"Round wise, we're still down about 20 percent since the storm," Rooney said.

For Rooney and Swanson, St. Andrews is far from calling it quits, and they'll be here for many more rounds to come.

"I will never let that stop me from enjoying my sport. I enjoy life, especially in St. Andrews," Swanson said.

Rooney says in May, the golf course posted its best month since Katrina. He hopes that's a sign that the golf course will soon be back to those pre-Katrina numbers.

By Keli Rabon

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