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Golf courses swing into spring

It's almost that time again ...
It's almost that time again ...

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

April 9, 2011 — The return of warm weather to southern Ontario means many people are looking forward to taking part in a time-honoured tradition: the first golf day of the year.

Rushing the season? It takes a while for courses to dry out after the winter, managers say
Rushing the season? It takes a while for courses to dry out after the winter, managers say

Phones at area golf courses have been ringing off the hook since the temperature first climbed above 5 degrees as golfers clamor to book their first tee time of 2011.

Kim Holman, manager of the Beaches Fairway Golf Range in Toronto, said it doesn't take much for golfers to get excited about getting out on the course.

“This time of year, even if it’s only 6 or 7 degrees, if the sun is out, the golfers are out,” she said. “All they need is a little bit of sunshine and they’re keen to get their swing going again.”

Just can't wait!
Just can't wait!

Snow in March and colder temperatures throughout the first couple of weeks of spring have meant the season is starting later this year.

Last year, Holman's course opened on March 22nd; this year, she had to wait until April 1st, but highs in the teens and little rain in the forecast are a good sign.

“We’re very excited about the forecast this week, and we definitely check the weather forecast every single day, cause the weather drives the business here,” Holman said. “All we need is some warm temperatures and this place is full.”

Other courses are waiting for the grounds to dry out a little more before they open.

Tom Vanderlip, general manager of Peninsula Lakes Golf Club in Fenwick, said the course will officially open on April 13th.

With Saturday's sun, it was difficult to turn people away, he said, but there is still snow in some of the bunkers.

“It takes a while for it to dry up,” he said. “Once it's dry and we do a couple of cuts (of the grass), we're pretty much ready to go.

“It's Mother Nature that dictates everything at this time of year, and she can be nasty,” he added.

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