Rossland Trail Country Club member Morris Walton gets in a damp round Thursday but despite recent wet conditions the Nelson resident says the course was in great shape all year.

Rossland Trail Country Club member Morris Walton gets in a damp round Thursday but despite recent wet conditions the Nelson resident says the course was in great shape all year.

Golfers swing into fall

Golfers still have time to “putt” in their final rounds of the season as area courses are intent on staying open until the end of the month.

Golfers still have time to “putt” in their final rounds of the season as area courses are intent on staying open until the end of the month.

After one of the wettest springs in the Kootenay region’s recorded history put a damper on early golf plans, courses bounced back with a busy summer.

Redstone Golf Resort, the Rossland Trail Country Club (RTCC), Castlegar and Champion Lakes all reported a decent year after an abysmal opening to the golf season.

“The weather played a huge role at the beginning of the year, and I think once the sun hit people took a little while to get in the groove of golf again, so I’m kind of happy how the season rolled out in the end,” said Redstone’s Cary Fisher.

The Les Furber designed course was rated third in Canada by ScoreGolf magazine as the best new golf course of 2010, which helped attract visiting golfers this year.

“The out of town golfers were very good. We saw a lot of people from Calgary and a lot more from the U.S., which kind of surprised us.”

Courses are also offering incentives for their members to get a jump on next year. Birchbank and Castlegar are rolling back their prices for late season golfers. Birchbank is offering $38 green fees for 18 holes to the end of the season and  Castlegar offers nine holes at $25 or all day for $40.

“The weather impacted us but since the first day of sun, July 29, it’s been great,” said Castlegar Golf Club manager Brian Miller.

The RTCC hosted the B.C. Junior Championships and split the 2011 Seniors Games with Castlegar, which not only helped the bottom line but also widely promoted the area and its great golf courses, said Birchbank’s Craig Fines.

RTCC also has all its golf merchandise on sale and is hosting a wine an cheese wrap-up on Oct. 14 at 4 p.m.

“Anyone that wants to golf before they can come in afterward and have a glass of wine and enter some draws,” said Fines.

In Fruitvale, Champion Lakes Golf Course hosted numerous social and business functions, its Mens and Ladies Open and was a stop on the junior golf circuit.

“These functions and events are a huge factor for both the restaurant and the golf course,” said course manager/pro Kevin Nesbitt. “I think everyone had a slow start but when all was said and done we still managed to be alright, and did a little bit better than last year.”

Although the early wet weather was not ideal for golfing, it did make for great conditions on all the courses.

“The course is in bloody good shape,” said RTCC member Morris Walton as he putted out on the slick ninth green at Birchbank Thursday.

“The greens are faster than your living room carpet.”