Golf returns to Yampa Valley

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Steamboat Golf Course superintendent Tom Houk picks up plugs near the ninth green of the Steamboat Springs Golf course Wednesday afternoon. Houk said the course will be ready for play on Saturday, and eager golfers can call the pro shop 879-4295 to make tee times.

— The bad news is closing day at the Steamboat Ski Area is a little more than a week away. The good news is, if all goes as planned, golfers could be back on the greens of the Steamboat Golf Club by Saturday morning.

"The snow has melted off quick," course superintendent Tom Houk said. "It's still a little wet, but it's in pretty decent shape"

Houk expects the course to open at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, barring any other major spring storms. That's about two weeks earlier than last year's opening and will make the course just west of Steamboat Springs the first in the valley to open.

The course is offering a discounted rate of $25 for nine holes and $35 for 18 holes during the shoulder season. Greg Koehler, a longtime board member and vice president of the club, said the course will be working with a skeleton crew this weekend and food and beverage services will be limited for a short time.

Golfers in the area have been able to play the Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig since it opened March 20. But now they will have a local option.

"This is an important part of the season for us," Houk said. "We are always busy in the early part of the season."

The nine-hole Steamboat Golf Club was founded in 1964, and is the oldest established golf club in the Yampa Valley. The course borders the Yampa River and the snow-covered slopes of Mount Werner can be seen from just about every fairway.

"I was out on the course today, and it looks great," Koehler said. "We are all excited about the season and ready to get going.

Koehler said the course normally is busy the first few weeks, and that members and the general public should call 879-4295 in advance for tee times.

-To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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