Warm spring flooded courses with golfers

July 23 [Mon], 2012, 11:23
Before dealing with the lingering effects of the intense heat and the June 29 derecho, area golf courses couldn't have asked for a better winter and spring.

Golfers came out in record-breaking numbers at several courses.

At one point in mid-March, the temperatures were in the mid 80s.

"We opened Feb. 27 because the weather was so nice," said Ben Tigner, director of golf at Kyber Run Golf Course in Johnstown.

"It was by far one of the best two months, as far March and April are concerned, that we've had. Because of the good weather, the course was in the best shape it has been in for awhile.

"We couldn't have had a better start to the season, and it was a welcome sight because of all the rain we had in 2011."

Longaberger Golf Club, which annually is voted as one of the top public golf courses in the state, took advantage of the mild weather.

For the first time in the club's existence, play started in February.

"We've never really played golf in February," said Danny Ackerman, the club's general manager. "But we ended up having 250 rounds played during the month of February, which was outstanding."

Ackerman said the course had budgeted for 340 rounds of golf in March, but because of the warm weather, they had 1,100 rounds played during that time.

"What a great start to the season," Ackerman said. "March was just warm and dry, and people are always going to play when it's dry, but for that time of the year, it was unbelievable."

Granville Golf Course also saw an increase in its numbers.

"We had great turnouts during the winter and early spring months," said Luke Radabaugh, an assistant golf professional. "The last couple of years had been a struggle, but we had a lot of play during the winter months this year.

"We were very fortunate to have such good weather. It gave us a great start to the season."

The warm weather in the winter months also keeps cost down because the upkeep isn't as demanding as it is in the summer.

"We were way ahead of schedule because it was so mild," said Wayne Sorenson, the general manager at Moundbuilders Country Club. "We didn't have to mow the greens as often during those months, and we also picked up several new members. I'm sure the good weather helped.

"The key is getting people to the golf course, because when they are here, they are going to be more involved in all facets of the club, which is what you want. It was perfect."