The weather hasn’t been great this winter for people who ride snowboards and snowmobiles, but it is allowing golfers to extend their season. The operations manager at the Twin Pines Golf Course in Cedar Rapids, Lisa Miller, says they’re seeing some rare play this year.
She says they haven’t had any recorded rounds of golf in January going back to at least 2000, and says there were some February rounds in 2000, but says it’s “unusual” to be able to play in January. They decided in December to take advantage of the lack of snow and prepared the course for winter play.
But Miller says they had figured they would allow play on a day-to-day basis depending on the weather conditions. “We had coined the term ‘snow golf’ and set up the temporary greens several weeks ago and actually had about 78 rounds after we had officially closed the course for the snow golf. Now it’s just a bonus time where we have 50-degree weather coming,” Miller says.
You can play winter rules golf at Twin Pines for a $5 green fee. “Eighteen holes are available, the difference is with the temporary flags, we have a 15-foot circle around that flag out front of the greens. Once you’re in that circle you can just consider it a one putt and move on to the next tee. So it’s pretty much no putting, but it’s still being out there playing a round,” Miller explained.
Miller says winter play around the state varies as some courses allow you to use the regular greens. She says they avoid the regular greens because of the potential they could be damaged.
“There are some problems that can happen with no snow cover and then warmer temperatures n the day and colder temperatures at night, it can actually kill the grass, especially on the tees and greens,” according to Miller. Another problem with the warm weather is the lack of snowfall and windy conditions have dried out the course and she says they will have to do some extra watering.
Miller is a P.G.A. master professional, but she says she has a 50-degree threshold for outdoor golf, and will have to see how warm it gets before she takes her own clubs out on the course.