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Bemidji area golf courses ready to open

It may be global warming. It may be the effects of El Nino. Or it may be just good fortune.

Whatever the reason, area golfers are not complaining about this year's early spring.

"To my best recollection, during the past 25 or 30 years I don't ever remember the Bemidji Town & Country Club opening before April 7," said BTCC golf pro Rick Grand.

That record will officially be broken today as the golf course will open for business at noon. Golfers were welcome to use the driving range last week and today the entire 18 holes will be available.

"The course looks very good," Grand said. "Tom (Johanns, the course superintendent) is very pleased with how it wintered."

The BTCC survived the winter so well that no temporary greens or tee boxes will be required.

"We will be fully open," Grand said.

Anything can happen in the spring and course officials will keep an eye on the weather when determining when to allow golf.

"Exactly when we will be open will be dictated by the weather," Grand said. "I'm guessing that we probably won't open before 9 a.m. the first few weeks because of frost but we'll see what the weather will allow."

To make a tee time or for more information call 751-9215.

Another area golf course, Greenwood, opened last Friday, while Maple Ridge will open at 9 a.m. today.

"It's been many years since we opened this early," said Alice Arndt, who works at Greenwood. "The course came through the winter very well. The greens, the fairways and the tee boxes all are in good shape."

For more information about Greenwood Golf Course call 751-3875. To make a tee time at Maple Ridge call 751-8401.

The Blackduck Golf Course will open Monday, April 5 and, according to course manager Dick McKean, the 9-hole course came through the winter in very good shape.

"We could use a little rain and sunshine to green things up but the course came through the winter very well," McKean said. "There may be a temporary tee box on Monday but I don't think we'll have any temporary greens.

"This is my sixth year managing the course and before this year the earliest we ever opened was April 8. And usually it was much later than that," McKean added.

For more information on the Blackduck course or to make a tee time, call 218-835-7757.

Sandtrap at Cass Lake will probably open Friday, but it could open as early as Thursday afternoon, according to owner Gary Larson.

"The course is in beautiful shape," he said. "The snow disappeared so fast this spring that everything accelerated. There is no mold or winterkill anywhere on the course and all of the greens and tee boxes are ready for play."

For more information on Sandtrap Golf Course call 335-6531.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200