Golfers get early jump on the links thanks to mild spring

Published 6:23 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The gift of an early spring is the best present a golf course can ask for, and this spring has been about as good as it gets for area courses.

A dry and warm spring allowed golf courses to open in early March, which is giving many golfers who picked up the sport last spring a chance to stay fresh. Many people started golfing when COVID-19 put a limit on activities last summer, and Meadow Greens Golf Course owner Mike Grinstead is happy to see that a lot of those rookie golfers have the greens this spring.

“We had an influx of young people and young families last year. I assumed we would lose some of them this year because school sports are going on, but they all came back. Maybe they caught the bug,” Grinstead said. “Hopefully we’ve grown a new generation of golfers. That’s what the sport needed was a shot in the arm from the younger generation.”

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No Minnesota golf courses were allowed to open until mid April in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, but not only were most courses open by early March, they were fully operational. While Meadow Greens is probably not going to host as many tournaments this summer as it has in past summer, Grinstead said the course is not being held back by any regulations.

“This has been a busy place and we started where we left off,” Grinstead said. “Right now it’s pretty much business as usual if you want to have a banquet or a tournament. You can have gatherings up to 200 inside, but we still have masks and social distancing. A lot of people are vaccinated or have at least started that process and that is opening things up.”

It’s been great and we feel really blessed. We’re quite thankful.

Golf is also thriving in Adams as Mike Schneider, president of the Cedar River Golf Course, said the course was booming last summer.

“We all got started a lot earlier with the dry conditions and the warmer weather. It’s been good.  We’re not quite where we were last year, but it’s still good,” Schneider said. “At this juncture, I think all of our typical tournaments are planning to go forward with their events. We intend to have all of our regularly scheduled tournaments.”

After being shut down for a stretch last spring, Schneider is excited about the prospect of having golfers at the course throughout this summer.

“We’re all open and ready to go,” he said. “Hopefully the weather holds up so people can enjoy playing golf outside.”