Late-arriving Spring means late tee times

Published On: Apr 22 2013 08:30:21 PM CDT
Late Tee Times
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Many fairways and greens remain empty throughout the Coulee Region, causing headaches to golfers and golf courses alike.

"We don't necessarily dictate what happens, we can't control it, so that may be the most difficult thing," Forest Hills General Manager Keith Stoll said.

"It is what it is, as far as a start to any year," said Cedar Creek General Manager Dave Cornelius. "Last year was the anomaly, starting really early. This year, it's going to be a little late."

And with more rain in the forecast, "a little late" might be putting it lightly.

"Obviously, everyone wants to get outside after a long winter, and so do I, but it will come soon enough," Cornelius said.

"It's kind of coming at its own pace, unfortunately. That's a little slower than last year," Stoll said.

There is one bright spot: the late start could mean better course conditions throughout the year.

"An early start has more of a result on the golf course because you play on it when it's not growing. Anytime this time of year, you're doing damage to it," said Cornelius.

"We've had some valued moisture this Spring that we've taken advantage of," said Cedar Creek Superintendent Darren Armstrong. "I think it will be a good year once we get it going."

"The benefit is that the golf courses are going to be in good shape," added Stoll.

So what will it take to finally get the courses opened up?

"We probably need four to five days of no rain, warmer temperatures and maybe some wind to dry things out," Stoll said.

"Obviously, we'd like to get some warm nights going so we can get some grass growing," said Armstrong.

So for a little while longer, the anticipation will build for that first perfect drive.

"I guess a little patience works for all of us, so it'll be soon enough and hopefully everybody will go gun-ho after that," Cornelius said.

"The anticipation is just rising, we're all getting excited for the season," said Stoll.

Forest Hills hopes to open nine holes on Saturday, while Cedar Creek said they're shooting for Wednesday. Both courses said it will be walking-only for a while.