By Mike Augustyniak

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Our first stretch of mild March weather has prompted some golf courses across the state to open ahead of schedule or at least get ready for the season to start.

As of Tuesday, there are two golf courses near the Twin Cities that are open for business, and more are scheduled to get their season started this week. Oak Marsh Golf Club in Oakdale and Creeksbend Golf Course in New Prague are both open for play.

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Two courses are scheduled to be ready for players by Wednesday. They include Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee and Shadowbrooke Golf Course in Lester Prairie. Tanners Brook Golf Club in Forest Lake is scheduled to open Thursday, and Emerald Greens Golf Club in Hastings is planning to be open for play on Saturday.

“I didn’t think the courses were going to be open yet this year,” Scott Sprechter of New Richmond, Wis., said Tuesday at Oak Marsh.

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“I got a phone call at 10 o’clock saying ‘Hey, golf course is open, let’s go’ and I said why not?” Ralph Ludden of Maplewood said. “I’m actually better in the snow.”

With mild weather expected throughout the week, more courses could be ready to play earlier than anticipated. If you’re looking to hit a few shots but not ready to take on a course yet, several driving ranges around the Twin Cities should be opening soon if they aren’t already.

Driving ranges are currently open at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Gross National Golf Club in Minneapolis, Riverwood National Golf Course in Otsego and Cedar Creek Golf Course in Albertville.

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Here’s more information on opening dates for Minnesota golf courses.

Mike Augustyniak