Haymaker golf course set to open Thursday

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— The wait is over.

For the past week, Haymaker pro Hank Franks has fielded between 300 and 500 calls from people asking when the local course would open.

Golf committee chairman John Vanderbloemen announced Monday that golfers will be able to play the course beginning Thursday, unless it happens to rain or snow.

"It's been an amazing spring," Vanderbloemen said. "It's been great for our reservoirs, water and the drought issues, but it's made it difficult to get the course open."

Golfers can call 870-1846, starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, to make a tee time to play this week. The course will offer a special early season rate of $32 to play 18 holes or $20 for nine holes.

He said the rates would only be offered for a limited time, but that they will be good through this weekend.

"We've just been chomping at the bit to get this place open," Franks said. "We've taken thousands of calls from people who were ready to start playing and we've done the best to deal with a tough situation."

The course's late opening is something most locals have not had to deal with over the past seven seasons. The wet and cold spring weather has pushed the opening date back to its latest point ever. In the past, the course typically opened the first week of May, but this is not a normal year.

The course's pro shop and practice facilities opened earlier this month, but the traffic has been light.

Franks is expecting to take a lot of calls today, but he said he doesn't really mind. He is ready for things to pick up at the course.

"Getting this place open and the season going is our goal," Franks said. "Everybody in town wants to see this place open -- including me."

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