Spring-like weather opens golf courses early

Published 5:43 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

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The grass hasn’t quite turned green yet, but greens across the state of Minnesota are being filled with golfers due to an unseasonably warm spring.

Meadow Greens Golf Course officially opened on March 1, along with courses around the area as dry winter and temperatures in the 50s and 60s have made things easy to get started.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever been this open this early and it looks like we’re going to stay open,” said Meadow Greens owner Mike Grinstead. “We’ve always tried to be one of the first in the state to open and we make it a lot of times, but this year a lot of courses opened early.”

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Riley Grinstead, the son of Mike, who also works at Meadow Greens has tested some of the holes and he said they play pretty well for this time of year.

“I would say it’s better than I expected,” Riley said. “They were cut the Thursday before we opened and everything looked really good.”

Participation in golf received a boom from the COVID-19 pandemic, when it was one of the few recreational activities allowed, and it has continued to grow. The early course openings this spring will add to the enthusiasm of the sport.

“It’s been really good,” Mike said. “We’ve sold a lot of memberships to people who don’t usually join because they know it’s going to be a long season. They’re excited and we’re excited.”

The opening weekend brought a lot of hustle and bustle from area golf courses as they scrambled to get ready for a start that came six weeks earlier than the normal opening day.

At Cedar River Country Club, clubhouse manager Becky Miller admitted that the fast start caught her a little off guard.

“We actually weren’t prepared for this,” she said. “I’m still getting caught up on food orders for the clubhouse. We’re catching up.”

CRCC opened last weekend as well and they’ve had a strong mix of golfers wooing up to play.

“We had some really good play last weekend and people are coming out to play golf,” Miller said. “Our grounds are beautiful right now.”