Local golf course openings three weeks behind last year - InfoNews

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Local golf course openings three weeks behind last year

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March 20, 2017 - 8:00 PM

KELOWNA - As snow banks continue to melt and fresh grass begins to sprout, golf courses around the Okanagan are getting ready to open.

Currently there is only one course open in the Kelowna area: Two Eagles Golf Course & Academy, located in West Kelowna, opened March 15. However, others are following behind quickly.

Gallagher’s Canyon Golf & Country Club hopes to open April 5, nearly three weeks later than last year’s opening date of March 17, which was tied for the course’s earliest opening date ever.

“We still have six inches of snow in a lot of places on the course,” Superintendent Frits Verkerk said. “The biggest thing for us is to get clear of the snow so we can get staff on the course to clean up a bit, and get it ready.”

With their earliest opening ever recorded last year on March 4, The Harvest Golf Club plans to open Friday, March 24.

“The course has winterized beautifully, so early season conditions are excellent,” Bruce Vermee, the course’s head professional said.

Although the courses are starting to open, if you plan on driving a golf cart you’ll have to wait a few more days.

“The carts can damage the turf, we just have to wait a few more days until the course dries up a bit more until they can be used,” Ian Robertson, general manager of Kelowna Springs Golf Club says.

In his 23 years at the course, Robertson says this year has bucked a trend in the past 10 years.

“Last year and the year before were the earliest years we’ve been open, this year would probably be our second latest opening in the past 10 years.”

The opening dates cannot come soon enough for Kelowna golfers, as according to multiple golf courses, phones are ringing non stop.

“We can tell people are excited by the way the phones are jumping, everyone’s eager to go, we just need it to dry up,” said Robertson.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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