Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A lot of Minnesota golfers get through the winter by circling April on the calendar.
This season, however, they got a pleasant surprise.
There was more to March Madness than just basketball.
“For us this year, it was ready or not, here you go,” said Brookview Golf Course manager Ben Disch, located in Golden Valley. “It was March and I didn’t even have staff ready yet. You opened up and you had to.”
Brookview had its earliest opening ever. March 14 was the day — three days before St. Patrick’s Day.
The early start was one thing — the dry weather was another. Golf courses around the Twin Cities had only a handful of rain-outs all season long.
“I can’t remember being rained out this year,” golfer Bob Johnson said. “It was dry. It was great for golfers and bad for everything else.”
Looking back, the weather from August until now looked like a golfer’s dream. In fact, only eight of the past 100 days have had any kind of measurable rainfall.
“We were at Stonebrook and got rained out after four holes, but that was our only time that the rain caused us to leave early,” golfer Scott Endres said.
Now it’s a matter of when will the season end? Minnesota’s still in a drought, and there is no snow forecasted through Thanksgiving.
And it’s not unheard of to have a little December golf.
Some courses say revenue is already up 10 to 15 percent from last year. Going a few more weeks would be like shooting under par for an entire season.
“You think Minnesota, you think that’s five to six months of golfing, tops,” Endres said. “So eight and-a-half months? That’s a pretty good golf season.”
Another encouraging sign is that while we average more than nine inches of snow in November, so far this year? We haven’t had a trace.