Mild weather is giving golf courses a leg up on the season.
The Dunes opened Thursday and Rivershore Golf Links opens today, while Mount Paul Golf Course, usually first to tee off, opened up its regular greens last weekend.
“It is early,” said Brenda Bartram, controller at Rivershore. Tee sheets are showing that golfers are anxious to get swinging again.
“We’re probably 10 days to two weeks early,” said Bill Bilton Jr., head pro at The Dunes. “It’s nice to get a jump.”
As much as they appreciate the weather — the weekend forecast calls for a mix of sun and cloud — they’re aware that March could bring additional snowfall in the valley.
Bilton said a combination of factors has enabled the early opening, not just temperatures and early snow melt.
They applied a special spray treatment on the tees, fairway and greens last fall after a concentrated effort building turf health over 18 months. That seems to be working, preventing snow mould and holding the colour in the grass.
Kamloops Golf and Country Club, meanwhile, wants another week to to bring its fairways up to snuff. It will open on March 15.
Ditto for Eaglepoint Golf Course in Barnhartvale, where some snow remains on the greens. They have tentative plans to open on March 16.
Mount Paul opened its temporary greens on Feb. 17, a little later than in 2012, said associate pro Cory Robinson. Its regular greens were opened March 2.