On the occasion of the Ottawa Gatineau Golf Expo on March 9/10 there was some hope for Eastern Ontario golfers that the golf season was just around the corner. Warm sunny days cut the snow to the quick and overjoyed golfers with the prospect of fresh grass soon to follow.
And then Monday night happened.
Mother nature sent one more blast our way and guaranteed a much later start to the golf season than in 2012 when higher than normal temps had golfers swinging in fresh air by mid-March.
Some golf courses are still predicting that their season might start within a few weeks but that may be very optimistic. Discussions with, and information from, several superintendents from around the region indicates that it will be some time before turf will be ready for golfing intruders.
Up in Deep River Mika Pehkonen, Superintendent at the Deep River Golf Club was not optimistic about golfing prospects even before Monday’s storm blanketed the region with a fresh layer of snow.
“1.5-2 ft of snow, 2 inches ice, and no help from the weather man. Gonna be a while yet golf nerds,” he advised by Twitter on March 15th. He added the following image in support of his statement:
Down along the St. Lawrence Seaway, where courses are normally get open a little earlier, the situation is similar. There is slightly less snow than in Ottawa and surrounds but a chat with Brockville Country Club Superintendent Lawrence Bouwhuis on Monday did not yield any opening day predictions. “We’re getting some work done out there with trees and things but it will be some time before golf will be happening.”
Bouwhuis says there is still plenty of snow and a good bit of ice to be found on their grounds.
Last year at this time more than a few courses in Eastern Ontario were open, considerably earlier than normal. The weather forecast looks decent long term but based on what is currently covering the golf courses, golfers in Eastern Ontario will have to wait a little longer to get in their first outdoor game.
As tortuous as it is, the opening dates for golf courses will likely be close to normal. Because of that, last year’s early thaw will just make it seem later than usual, already creating high anticipation from local golfers.
Watch for the stampede when the first few courses open the doors for the year. They are sure to receive a rabid response on the occasion.