Island golf courses don't putter on opening despite snowy weather

Islanders may have woken up to a blanket of white, but that's not stopping the greens from opening. Avondale Golf Course is opening their gates to eager golfers Thursday.

Connor Lea, the general manager, said although the course is a bit wet from this week's weather, it's not going stop their plans.

It's an early start for Avondale, Lea said. Typically it would open up around the end of April or early May. He can only remember one other time it opened this early.

"The winter was not too bad for us," Lea said.

For the most part the snow is all gone but now it's a matter of getting the frost out of the ground. - Marshall McMahon

Lea said he was nervous during the winter, when there seemed to be a cycle of freezing and melting, but he said it's all shaping up now.

The open space and high winds helped the ground dry up faster here than some other courses, Lea said.

French River Golf Course opened on April 5. Owner Wilber Lamont mainly credits the high ground for his early opening — it's usually the first course open on the Island.

Steve Bruce/CBC

The general manager and head professional for Belfast Highland Greens Marshall McMahon, said their course is opening up a week later than normal. But, he says, they're still starting earlier than many Island courses.

"Because it sits high and it's quite sandy it seems to dry out a little faster than most of the other courses," McMahon said.

The greens weathered the winter better than what he expected. They're scheduled to open on April 23.

Up to the weather now

He is hoping the higher temperatures in the weekend forecast will dry up the course enough to open next week.

"For the most part, the snow is all gone but now it's a matter of getting the frost out of the ground, and getting our irrigation systems up and running and getting a little heat to grow some grass," McMahon said.

He said at this point — it's all up to the weather.

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