Delay is about two weeks later on average, golfers anxious

Last year at this time, golfers had been out on the course for four weeks already. This year is obviously different.

It was March 14 of last year when the Sleepy Eye Golf Course was ready to play. This year it’s looking to be almost a whole month later.

“I can’t imagine we really will be able to hit the course until hopefully next week or so,” Sleepy Eye Golf Club Manager Brian Hertling said.

Next week that is, the week of April 15. Even though the opening will be over 30 days later compared to last year, Hertling said it’s only a couple of weeks later than the average.

“I think on average if you’re open by April 1, I think you’re doing pretty well,” Hertling said. “We’re probably on par with average, taking last year into account being a couple weeks early so I think it all averages out.”

Although the late spring has delayed the course conditions, the driving range and chipping range are already open for golfers to use.

Also, Hertling said the cold spring and delayed opening hasn’t affected their business too much, being that customers are still showing up.

“We’ll have some people come out regardless, whether it’s for coffee or just playing cards,” Hertling said. “Guys getting the itch a little bit just like anyone this time of year. I think they’re just really itching to get out and be social again. It slowed us down some, but it’s given me a little time to play some catch up with stuff around here, but we want to get going as soon as possible.”

As far as events this golf season, the Sleepy Eye Golf Course has 13 tournaments scheduled, not to mention the numerous high school golf meets that will take place at the course as well. Some of the high school meets, however, have already been canceled and postponed to a later date. The closest event at the course besides school meets, will be a raffle drawing for club membership on April 20.

Compared to other courses in the state, Sleepy Eye Golf Course has no more snow left on the ground. However, Hertling said there’s still frost, which only warmer temperatures can fix.

“It is what it is,” Hertling said. “It’s something that I know baseball teams are dealing with, golfers are dealing with, even people who like to get out and hike and just walk around are dealing with it. It’s tough. I think everybody this time of year has that cabin syndrome and they really feel bound and just want to get out.”