Don Brandt tees off on the 13th hole at the Rossland-Trail Country Club (Birchbank) on Thursday morning during Retirees’ golf. His shot landed closest to the pin on the par-3 hole

Don Brandt tees off on the 13th hole at the Rossland-Trail Country Club (Birchbank) on Thursday morning during Retirees’ golf. His shot landed closest to the pin on the par-3 hole

Greens ready for golf at local links

Golfers across the Greater Trail region are teed off.

Golfers across the Greater Trail region are teed off.

On the golf courses that is, as four of the area’s courses are now open or are close to opening in the next two weeks.

Rossland-Trail Country Club (Birchbank) is already open and has been welcoming golfers since Good Friday. As the earliest opening course in the West Kootenay, Birchbank members have even more reasons to tip their tees to this year: it’s the 90th anniversary of the club.

As a result, the club is running a Sunday special, with a foursome hitting the links at 4 p.m. for $90 for nine holes, said golf pro Dennis Bradley.

“Being the only course open is good for us, but we had a tough time getting our greens into shape,” he said, crediting the work of superintendent Greg Kennedy. “But this year it’s a big deal for us, being here for 90 years.”

Men’s night starts next week while ladies night began last Tuesday. On April 29 a member’s scramble heralds the first big tournament of the year.

On April 21 Champion Lakes Golf Club in Fruitvale will open their nine-hole course, with greens now rounding into shape, said golf pro/manager Kevin Nesbitt.

Looking east, one foot of snow in March has delayed the start of the season in Castlegar at the Castlegar Golf Club, with ice still settling out on the soil of the fairways and greens. The first nine should be open by next Friday, said course pro Pat Bilm.

It’s a little later than most years, he said, but it should be open before the first big tournament of the year for the first weekend of May, a men’s two-day tournament.

In the upper reaches of the golf stratosphere, Rossland’s 90-year-old course, now called Redstone Resort, is targeting an April 20 opening for the front nine, with the back nine set to open around May 1, said course manager Cary Fisher.

“The snow wasn’t as dense because it came later in the year, it didn’t have time to set up,” he said.