Going green

Local golf courses tee-up for summer season

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— Golf season will shift into high gear this week with three out of the four local courses opening for the summer season.

The Steamboat Golf Club opened on April 6 to the delight of hundreds of local golfers.

"We've been packed every day when the weather is sunny and warm," Steamboat golf pro Dennis Johnson said. "The course came through the winter really nice and it's in great shape."

Johnson said the busiest day so far this year came on Easter Sunday, when 165 players came out to take advantage of the course.

Steamboat Golf Club will be joined by two more local courses this week, however.

Haymaker will be the next local course to open this Tuesday, May 1, and the Sheraton Steamboat Resort course is scheduled to swing into action Thursday.

"If it's green we are going to be playing," Haymaker professional Hank Franks said.

Franks said the course has been ready to go for the past several days, but snow last weekend set back the maintenance schedule just a bit. He also wanted to wait until he had a full staff before opening for the season.

The Sheraton will open for business on Saturday and John Haller, superintendent, said things are looking good.

"Our plan is to open all 18 holes," Haller said. "But that will depend a lot on the weather this week."

Local golfers will be treated to some great early season rates in the next few weeks before the tourism season blooms.

Golfers can play 18 holes at the Steamboat Golf Club for $29 and the Haymaker for just $30. Reduced rates are also offered in the early season at the Sheraton Golf Club.

All three courses will be opening their junior programs and several major tournaments are slated in the next few months (the Steamboat Golf Club will hold one today).

Franks said things will be business as usual when his course opens Tuesday. All 18 holes on the course will be open as well as the range, putting and chipping greens.

"We would have liked to open earlier, but we set a schedule and stuck with it."

Both the Sheraton Steamboat Resort and Steamboat Golf Club are privately owned courses. The Haymaker is run by the city of Steamboat Springs.

The private golf course at Catamount Ranch and Club is tentatively scheduled to open May 15.

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