April 17th, 2019 02:12PM
The talented folks who run the Gaylord Golf Mecca’s tremendous collection of 15 golf courses know how you are feeling. They watched Tiger Woods win the Masters. They saw the vivid green grass.The Masters signals golf is coming soon, and a few hundred miles or so north of Augusta National in Gaylord, golf is very soon at hand.
Mike Pearson of Black Lake Golf Club in Onaway, the northernmost course in the Gaylord Golf Mecca, has what he calls a “wishful thinking date” of April 26 to open for business.
“We are working on it, but right now that probably is wishful thinking,” the head golf professional said. “The snow in the shade goes away last, and we have a lot of shade up here. We’ll see how the weather goes in the next week though. If not April 26, soon after that.”
J.T. Aude, the PGA professional and general manager at Gaylord Golf Club, said he has his fingers crossed for April 26, too.
“That’s what we are hoping for, but that’s if the weather cooperates,” he said. “For sure we will be open by May 3, but we are hoping for the week before.”
Just over 139 inches of snow has fallen on the Gaylord area this winter, which is close to normal standards, and the normal date for the Mecca courses to open is around May 1.
Cory Crowell, the general manager at Indian River Golf Club, is hoping to push the limit up to next Tuesday, April 23.
“We have one league that likes to start that early, so we’re hoping for that,” he said. “We haven’t been able to do much on the course yet. We are just starting to get out there now, but once the snow is gone it will green up fast.”
Rob Schrader, golf professional at The Loon Golf Resort, said the annual target for their three courses is May 1 and closing on Oct. 1.
“We will not open any sooner than May 1,” he said. “We like to get the courses in top shape before we open. We take our time on it to make sure people get a nice playing surface. We have some stay-and-play bookings starting May 3, so we should be cleaned up pretty well by then.”
Judy Mason, the director of golf at Michaywe’- The Pines said their target is May 2.
“We are hoping for a few days before if we can, and we have some warm rain headed our way so it might be possible,” she said. “We have some snow and ice buildup, but it looks beautiful where it has already melted.”
Kevin Henley, the general manager at The Natural at Beaver Creek Resort, said the plan is to open on May 10.
“We have a new cart fleet coming so we will have to get those going, and there is still a lot of snow out there,” he said. “I decided to make it May 10. Then we can concentrate on getting everything ready for that date. We hold back a little, then it looks great when we do open.”
Otsego Resort both golf courses – The Classic and The Tribute – will be opening this spring for play through the season.
Amanda Raymond, resort sales specialist, explained “We’re hoping to have both courses open on May 3. If the weather permits, we may open at least 9 if not 18 holes on The Classic the weekend before.”
Kevin McKinley, the director of golf at Treetops Resort said the Masterpiece course on the main campus will be the first to open on April 25.
“The north courses will go on May 3,” he said. “They are only five miles north, but there is a difference in those few miles. A couple of the courses up north are always the last ones to have snow on them.”
McKinley said the original goal was April 19, but it was not going to happen after last weekend’s additional snow.
“We are close though,” he said. “Rare is the year we don’t have a little bit of snow in bunkers and on the back sides of some hills, but once the cart paths are passable and safe, we will go.”
Yes, golf is coming to the Mecca, and you should plan on it, too.
Visit gaylordgolfmecca.com or call 800-345-8621. We will have green grass for you to play on very soon.