Golf courses across central Alberta are seeing tee sheets fill up as fast as they open.
A few courses got a bit of an early start this year, with Balmoral Golf Course letting its first group out on March 27 and Wolf Creek Golf Resort also allowing play that same day.
In Sylvan Lake, Lakewoods Golf Course opened March 31 and Meadowlands welcomed golfers over the Easter Weekend.
Lacombe Golf and Country Club started its season Wednesday and Innisfail Golf Course will open Saturday.
River Bend Golf and Recreation Area is a bit behind a few of those courses and will welcome golfers Friday morning.
“It’s going to be great. Early start, earliest start probably in the last 10 years. It’ll be picking up right where we left off. We were busy right up until closing day last year. All indications are we’re going to be full right off the bat,” said River Bend Golf and Recreation Area GM Rob MacPherson.
While some courses took advantage of the unseasonably warm early spring temperatures, MacPherson said they opted to wait in order to preserve the long-term health of the course.
“Courses rush to get out and things aren’t growing and you get 300 people a day across your greens and what happens is the greens will actually go backward. We have to get closer to the day when we can get the irrigation on and warmer temperatures so we can water,” he said.
“We could have been open probably a week earlier but the golf course would suffer because of that.”
MacPherson added that after they opened the driving range on March 20, it has pretty much been lined up non-stop.
The warm weather and the early golf course bookings may be a welcome sight for courses, the announcement by the provincial government this week wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Courses won’t be allowed to have indoor dining when the season starts until current COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
Having players on the course is still better than the uncertainty that existed last season around this time.
It’s a little bit more certain but things change almost on a daily basis, you never know what’s coming around the corner next,” added MacPherson.