Golf anyone! In February!
"They call it the Florida of Iowa," said Doug Frenz, the superintendent of Sheaffer Memorial Golf Park in rural Lee County.
Frenz was referring to the weather typically being better in southern Iowa compared to his hometown of Mason City.
Sheaffer, Burlington Golf Club and Flint Hills Municipal Golf Course in Burlington will be among the courses open today in the area.
Frenz said, since Sheaffer was founded in 1962, it has opened four times in February, but this would be the earliest starting time.
Two habits for Frenz are hard to break as he's been with Sheaffer's 28 years.
"I always like to mow the greens no matter when we open," Frenz said, which he did Thursday.
"Unfortunately, for me I'm going to Arizona on Saturday, which I go this time every year," Frenz said.
Flint Hills regulars were calling about the course being open before the course sent out its first marketing messages Tuesday.
"We sent an email blast to all of our customers," said Brad Selby, Flint Hills recreation manager.
"Right now, we will be open this holiday weekend," he said. "This is crazy weather."
The National Weather Service predicts it will be 66 degrees Friday, 62 on Saturday and 67 Sunday.
Selby said, typically the earliest Flint Hills opens is in mid-March.
The only work to the course will be getting the cups and flags ready on the greens, along with the tee boxes.
The clubhouse will have food and beverages, but not stocked like it would in the regular season.
Burlington Golf Club is in the middle of renovations, especially the clubhouse, but the course will be available to members, guests and even the public.
"This is the earliest we've been open for at least 10 years," said Greg Gilg, the general manager.
By Thursday morning, like the other courses, the country club already had taken several tee times for Friday.
"We are just excited to have people back out here," Gilg said.
Staff spent Thursday cleaning up the course of sticks and preparing for Friday's golfers.
"We have a certain level we want to keep the course," Gilg said. "I'm very happy with how the course will present itself."
The pro shop will be open and refreshments available to golfers.
Customers on Friday will get to see the country club's new practice green. The new bar in the clubhouse won't be open until March 11.
"It's for the curiosity seekers," Gilg said of the early start to the golf season.
Spirit Hollow Golf Course, south of Burlington, was not taking advantage of the weather. General manager Jim Wyffels said the course was undergoing work on some of its cart paths, along with other projects.
Though Wyffels expected the course to open earlier than previous golf seasons.
This article was written by Rex L. Troute from The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network.
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