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Western Newfoundland golf courses in great shape despite harsh winter

Norma Chapman of Stephenville makes a putt on one of the greens at Harmon Seaside Links. The 18-hole course in Stephenville is open for the season.
Norma Chapman of Stephenville makes a putt on one of the greens at Harmon Seaside Links. The 18-hole course in Stephenville is open for the season.

Seeing green after a harsh winter is music to the ears of golfers on the west coast.

Harmon Seaside Links in Stephenville has been open for almost two weeks and a number of other courses on the west coast are planning for opening day later this month as long as Mother Nature provides her blessing.

Harmon Seaside Links experienced some damage to the greens over the winter, but club president Justin House said that’s usually the case every winter because they don’t cover its greens during the off-season.

He said staff cut the greens for the first time over the weekend in an effort to treat them for fungus and the course is really starting to look good.

“Snow melts really fast on our course because it’s sand-based,” House said. “As soon as we get a bit of warm weather and a bit of wind it usually takes care of itself. The snow has been gone now for three weeks on our course.”

Blomidon expected to open May 25

Andrew Margeson said there was minimal damage done to the greens at Blomidon Golf and Country Club in Corner Brook over the winter months, but that wasn’t a real shock to him.

Staff are expected to be busy Monday getting the course ready for a targeted opening day of May 25 and Margeson doesn’t expect anything to change unless the weatherman brings some unwelcome weather over the next few weeks.

“The only thing that really screws me in the winter is when we get all that snow and it gets really warm, and you get a bunch of melt and freeze, but we didn’t get that,” Margeson said. “We had enough snow and we didn’t get the warm temperatures that we got the winter before.”

Humber Valley Resort expected to open by end of May

Gary Oke of Humber Valley Resort said all the snow was removed from the greens on Monday so he’s optimistic the course will be ready for play by the end of the month, if not earlier.

Oke said there was some minor damage over the long winter, but nothing worth talking about, so he’s happy with the way things are shaping up.

Target date

May 20 is target date for opening of Humber River Golf Club.

Humber River Golf Club president Derrick Wagg said the Deer Lake golf facility will open May 20 unless Mother Nature wreaks havoc on the plan.

Traditionally, he said, the course opens on the long weekend, but last year golfers didn’t hit the greens until June 1, so he’s hoping to open on the target date.

He believes the course is in pretty good shape because there wasn’t any flooding to deal with like they’ve had to do in the past, so that was great news.

“You get your normal winter kill, but, other than that, in past years we’ve had greens under water and so far we don’t have that,” Wagg said.

Turf specialist Andrew McCormack carries out some maintenance work on the greens at Humber Valley Resort golf course Tuesday afternoon.

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