The birds are singing, the flowers are budding and the golfers are golfing.
Spring has arrived at local golf courses, with all three in the closest radius to Salmon Arm up and running.
The Canoe Creek Golf Course at 6015 Shaw Rd. opened on Friday, April 18, featuring the 18-hole Dave Barr-designed course, the driving range and chipping practice area.
“The course is in excellent shape,” says pro shop attendant Marty Szetela. “People have been commenting on how well the greens have wintered.”
New head pro Mike Loewen comes to the course from Kelowna, where he split seven years between Predator Ridge and Sunset Ranch. He’s pleased to be at the Canoe Creek course.
“It’s definitely in my top five in the area. I’ve always enjoyed playing here in the past so now I get to work here and enjoy it even more.”
Loewen is also implementing a new rate structure to make it more attractive for locals to play.
At Club Shuswap Golf and RV, 5751 Trans-Canada Hwy. NE in Canoe, the course opened later than normal this year because of the weather – but is in good shape.
“The greens are looking wonderful; ours wintered very well. We’re happy with that,” said owner Noreen Barnard. She says last weekend a lot of Albertans came to play and were wearing shorts – “it’s like summer here compared to what they left” – while local residents were still bundled up in sweaters and long-sleeves.
Club Shuswap has an 18-hole course, Lakeview Greens, with a view of Shuswap Lake, as well as the nine-hole Coyote Ridge. There’s also an 18-hole putting course on real greens, a driving range with all the practice facilities, and pickle ball.
“The pickle ball is doing really well – that’s new for us,” she says, explaining the courts opened partway through last season.
At the Salmon Arm Golf Club, 3641 Hwy. 97B, the nine-hole Heritage course, created with its historical layout in 1928, opened last Friday.
“Things are looking great, the greens are in great shape, everything’s fine,” said Tim Kubash, masters superintendent at the club.
“It was a long cold one, but golf courses seem to like that. Good snow cover is a good insulating blanket. We’ve wintered quite well this year.”
The driving range is also up and running, while the 18-hole Champions course will be opening Wednesday, April 30 at 10 a.m.
Coming up is the Zone 2 Junior Open on May 3 and the Spalding Cup Tournament on May 24 and 25, the longest-running best ball tournament in B.C.