A hard rain’s a-gonna fall, said Bob Dylan as he peered out of the clubhouse window and decided to cancel his fourball with the lads. Or something like that.

You don’t need to be a member of the Royal Meteorological Society to know that it chucks it down a lot on these isles. Certain parishes, for instance, have just had their wettest February on record. It may now be a case of beware the tides of March?

For golf courses throughout the land, and the hard-pressed greenkeepers that parry and joust with Mother Nature’s furious assaults, it can be a sair auld fecht.

Some places have been bombarded by so many torrents and deluges, the greens and fairways are actually starting to rust around the edges.

Others have fared even worse. Last week, work commenced at Fortrose & Rosemarkie to repair damage caused by October’s Storm Ciaran which saw six metres of the first and second fairways lost to coastal erosion. It’s estimated to cost £140,000 and a fund-raiser has been launched.

But it’s not just the winter months that are sodden, soggy and stormy. Summer monsoons seem to be par for the course nowadays. The final day of last year’s Open at Hoylake, for instance, was so wet, the R&A just about called in Poseidon to do the prize giving.

Typically, such saturated scenes often come after a prolonged spell of dry weather that leaves courses parched. You can’t win.

“According to data we received, last July had 150 per cent more rain than we’d usually expect at that time of the year,” said Karl Hansell of the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA).

“It’s a huge issue; one of the biggest facing golf. There’s either too much water or not enough. The general feeling among greenkeepers is that they are losing that seasonality aspect.

"We are getting severe weather events at all times of the year. When it rains, it rains a lot. Some of these guys, particularly those who work at parkland courses, deserve medals.”

That appreciation, of course, is not often obvious. Try telling club stalwarts and creatures of golfing habit like old Cammy and Davy that the course is closed and you’ll be greeted with the kind of withering harrumphing that could come with a red alert from the Met Office.

“No greenkeeper wants to close a golf course,” added Hansell. “But members can be quite unsympathetic. They just want to play golf, after all.

"People have got to trust the greenkeepers and the club management. If they do close it, they are making that decision for the long-term health of the course, as well as the health and safety of the members.”

The greenkeepers are a stoic bunch. You need to be in this business. “I’ve had to build a thick skin,” said Alan Boyd, the custodian of the course at Bothwell Castle. “I don’t make the decision (to close the course) lightly, but it’s important to do it with your head rather than your heart.

“It’s not the annual rainfall that causes us the problems but the downpours it comes in. We could handle 1-3mm every day no problem, but when you get 10-15mm a day, then 1-3mm per day for a week after it, that’s when we get problems.”

The problem of the climate is just one of many issues greenkeepers face. A BIGGA survey the other year suggested that more than a third of greenkeepers were actively looking for a job outside the industry.

The stresses and strains of working in an undervalued and often overburdened job were clear to see.

“One of the long-term issues is recruitment and retention of staff,” said Hansell. “And there’s a real need to look at how clubs run their businesses and make sure they are fit for modern purposes.

"Greenkeepers, and their team, need to be respected and have working conditions that are good and a salary that reflects their training and experience.

“Some clubs look after them brilliantly, others are really behind the curve. If we are to attract the next wave of greenkeepers – and they could be generation Z or more experienced second careers people - then it has to be an attractive option.

“In so many ways, this climate challenge is showcasing the valuable skills of the greenkeepers. They’d prefer it if it was a bit drier, though.”

And on that note, we’d better have a keek at the forecast …