As soon as Mother Nature co-operates with a little warm weather, eager Manitoba golfers will start another season.
Gary Curtis, owner/manager of Kingswood Golf and Country Club, said staff had been blowing the snow off holes at the La Salle course. But that was before the last heavy snowfall.
Curtis said the course opened on March 17 in 2012, and said they try to be among the first to open each year.
Kingswood started with nine holes in 1986, adding another nine in 1991. With residential development continuing in the area, the course now winds around new homes and the La Salle River.
Curtis said they specialize in hosting corporate golf tournaments.
"We do about 100 corporate events every summer," he said.
Bridges Golf Course, near Starbuck, opened in 2000. Golf pro Larry Robinson said the clubhouse was designed with a banquet room that can accommodate 200 people. This room, with its wall of windows overlooking the course, and an outdoor wedding pavilion makes Bridges a popular wedding location. They host up to 70 weddings each year.
"We do more weddings than any other golf course in the province," said Robinson.
Last year this public course opened on April 4, and Robinson is hoping for an opening day in the second or third week of April this spring.
Cory Johnson, general manager at Breezy Bend Golf and Country Club in Headingley, said he recalls one year when bad weather forced opening day to be postponed until May 5, but he’s also crossing his fingers for an April opening.
"It’s very rare that we’re not golfing in April," he said.
The private course’s history goes back to 1960 and today it has about 550 members. Johnson said the membership number is stable, helped in part by new housing developments being constructed close to the course.
He is looking forward to the club’s hosting this year’s Golf Manitoba Men’s Senior Championship from July 29 to 31, with between 80 and 100 competitors.
Bel Acres Golf and Country Club in the RM of Rosser will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. General manager and head professional Steve Wood said the semi-private course is suited to golfers of all abilities.
Like the other golf clubs, Bel Acres is also a wedding destination with ceremonies and receptions booked every weekend throughout the summer. They also host Christmas parties.
Like all Manitoba golfers, Wood and other staff are anxiously waiting for spring to arrive.
"Last year we opened early on March 30, but the average time is between April 15 and 22," he said.