Preparations in full swing for 2019 season at area golf courses

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Franklin Carriere works on his shot on Tuesday afternoon at the Fairview Fairways driving range.

With the long cold winter becoming more of a distant memory, Prince Albert golf enthusiasts are already getting their first swings in.

Thanks to warm temperatures over the last week, driving ranges have opened up and courses around the region are gearing up for an influx of golfers over the next few weeks.

Cooke Municipal Golf Course

After opening the driving range last Wednesday, the 18-hole course will begin its season on Thursday at 10 a.m.

“We ended up making the call here today with how well things are looking here,” assistant golf pro Ryan Wells said. “This is probably the earliest that we have opened in the last three or four years.

“Our multi-million dollar irrigation system is now complete here and all 18 holes will be ready to go, with the tee boxes all open as well.”

A new tournament will be joining the course’s annual Northern events, with a Team Northern taking place on May 18 and 19.

“We have 32 two-person teams signed up already and we have room for 48,” Wells said. “It’s open to both members and non-members.”

The Ladies’ Northern will be held on June 1 and 2, the Men’s Northern will run from Aug. 3-5 and the Senior Northern will take place on Aug. 20 and 21.

Fairview Fairways

It’s all systems go at Fairview with the driving range opening on April 10, the mini golf course starting operations two days later and the nine-hole course beginning it’s season last Thursday.

“It’s quite a bit earlier than when we usually open,” CPGA golf pro Gord Hobson said.

“We’re usually looking to get back on the range around the 24th with the course opening a few days later. All of this is just extra bonus time for us.”

Kachurs Golf Club

The 2019 season got underway on Friday at the 18-hole facility, which is a normal start time according to owner Patty Kachur.

“We had a later start the last couple of years, but with the weather being as nice as it has been we were able to open in the middle of April once again,” Kachur said.

“The course is in excellent shape, especially compared to some of our later starts. We have a brand new practice green here as well, so we’re excited about that.”

Marks 9 Golf Club

Plans were in the works to open for business this Friday, but the nine-hole facility is now leaning towards starting up on Monday.

“With the weather cooling off a little bit in the evenings later this week, we decided to push things back a couple of days,” owner Laurale Cartier said.

“Our start date varies from year-to-year, but we’re hoping to be going in the next few days.”

Waskesiu Golf Course

The snow is continuing to melt at the 18-hole facility in Prince Albert National Park, with the new season slated to get underway on May 11 if the weather holds.

“There’s still some areas in the park that are drying out and we don’t want to open to early, as it would just be us staff members mulling around the course before the seasonal residents start moving in,” general manager Tyler Baker said.

“If that said, we should be in really good shape when the course opens, as our greens and fairways are both in excellent condition already.”

Plans for a nine-hole rate are in the works for the course this year, while a new menu will be served the clubhouse after a new food and beverage manager was hired.

The dates for the annual Lobstick tournaments have also been announced for this year.

The senior men’s event will be held from June 4-6, with the men’s tournament taking place from June 10-15.

The junior men’s tournament will run from Aug. 12-16, while the ladies’ event will be held from Aug. 19-23.