by Jason Olson
With the warm weather this week, area golf courses are opening well ahead of schedule and given that a few were open into Decemeber the off-season for area courses was shorter than usual.
The Links at Northfork in Ramsey closed the day after Thanksgiving and planned to open at 9 a.m. March 17. Carts would be used and the full practice area would also be open which is two days short of opening a full month ahead of 2011. Golf Professional Joshua Breen said the course handled the mild winter well and the public course in Ramsey was excited to start the 2012 season much earlier than anticipated.
• Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids is also ahead of schedule. The executive nine-hole course opened for play Wednesday with the championship course scheduled to open March 17.
“This is a very early opening and we are very excited,” said Tim Anderson, golf director.
The pro shop began taking tee-time reservations Monday, he said.
There has been a lot of interest in when the Bunker Hills course was going to open for the season, probably because of the mild weather, Anderson said.
“Hopefully, there are other reasons, too,” he said.
In fact, the driving range has been open since March 7.
“We had to open the driving range because we had so many golfers waiting to get on it,” Anderson said. “We have had 200 people using the driving range.”
• The Refuge opened its driving range March 13 and the course opened for the season 8 a.m. March 15. General Manager Curt Jasper said the course has gone through a lot of work drop trimming and removing trees, leveling all the bridges and cutting back the wetlands and some rough. “We’ve done a lot of good things out here,” he said. The course also welcomes new Golf Pro Shop Manager Josh Fischer, who joins the course from Arizona April 12.
• Green Haven Golf Course in Anoka opened to the public at 11:30 a.m. March 15. The clubhouse began accepting reservations at 12:30 Tuesday afternoon and allowed golf carts on the course.
• Rum River Hills planned to open for walkers March 15 with the full course opening on day later. General Manager Jeff Tollette said the course made it through the winter and should be ready to go after recovering from last summer’s flood.
• Majestic Oaks was accepting tee times for the executive and crossroads course as of Tuesday and planned to open the Signature Course March 16.
• Chomonix Golf Course opened its driving range at noon March 13. According to its Facebook page, #PleaseLetMeHitItStraight was a popular hashtag on the page. An earlier posting said it was still a few weeks away from opening.
• Victory Links and The Ponds did not return our messages for comment.
Managing Editor Peter Bodley contributed to this story.