Posted on 07 March 2013 by Keith Lacey
One of the sure signs another long winter is over and spring is just around the corner is the opening of local golf courses. That’s why there were so many smiling faces at the Osoyoos Golf and Country Club and Sonora Dunes Golf Course at the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort this past weekend as the 2013 golf season officially opened.
Sonora Dunes opened its small, but scenic nine-hole layoff last Friday, while Osoyoos Golf and Country Club opened nine of its 36 holes on Saturday morning.
Osoyoos Golf and Country Club is expected to open nine more holes by this coming Friday or Saturday and have its entire 36 holes – which includes the Desert Golf course and Park Meadows course – by the middle of the month, said general manager Lee Sapach.
Being able to open the first week in March is always appreciated by golfers who haven’t been able to play in more than three months, said Sapach.
“We’ve opened in February on numerous occasions in the past, but we’ve also opened in late March, so this is pretty average,” he said. “We’re just glad to be back in business and I know local golfers are thrilled golf season is back.”
The golf course survived another Osoyoos winter in relatively good shape, said Sapach.
“The greens are in very good shape for our opening and we didn’t have much winter kill at all except for some areas of the rough on a few holes,” he said. “I would say the course is in very decent shape for opening weekend and much better than it was last year.
“All we need is a little co-operation from Mother Nature and a few days of warm weather and nice sunshine and the course will green up very nicely in a hurry.”
The driving range and pro shop are in full operation, while the Greenside Grill will operate on a reduced schedule until all 36 holes are open over the next couple of weeks, he said.
Next to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, the South Okanagan is one of the few places in Canada where golf courses are open for business in late February or early March, so it’s an exciting time of year, said Sapach.
“We’re excited to be back, the golf course is in good shape to start the season and we’re expecting the entire golf course to be ready to go in a couple of weeks, so we’re expecting a great start to the season and a very good year,” he said.
For new members, the board of directors has voted to keep the initiation fee at $2,000 for the 2013 season, while a regular yearly pass remains around $1,800, said Sapach.
For a golf course that offers 36 holes of championship golf and nine months of play, the price structure is very reasonable compared to other facilities in this province, he said.
Greg Bourne, general manager of Sonora Dunes Golf Course, said he and his staff are also excited to be back to work.
‘We closed for the first time throughout the winter, so we’re glad to be back and the course is in very nice shape, especially the greens,” said Bourne. “Overall the course is in good shape and we know things will get a lot better as the temperatures warm up.”
For more information, contact Osoyoos Golf and Country Club at 250-495-7003 or Sonora Dunes Golf Course at 250-495-4643.