Golf courses prepare to open
The dry conditions of the recent winter have been a blessing and a curse for the South Shore’s golf greens.
On one hand, the courses will soon be open, for some, an earlier start than last year. On the other hand, the lack of precipitation and bitter cold was tough on the sensitive grasses.
Out at Bijou Golf Course Wednesday, the fairways were a mishmash of yellow and brown patches mixed with swathes of fresh green stems.
“It’s typical of grass coming right out of dormancy,” said Greg Ross, a parks supervisor for South Lake Tahoe. “The grass hasn’t really woken up yet.”
Though the holes still need to be set and the tees need to be marked, the course will open to the public Saturday with new lower fees approved by the City Council Tuesday. A round at Bijou will now cost $15 for residents (down from $19) and $17 for non-residents (down from $22).
The other South Shore courses will open in the coming weeks. For some, it’s been a tougher winter season than others.
“We’re really positive about the way our course is going to come out of this winter,” said Bryan Davis, Edgewood Tahoe marketing manager.
Because of the dry winter, course maintenance crews had to turn on the irrigation in January, Davis said. Though some of the grass is brown now, the warm weather should spur growth, Davis added.
The greens are uncovered at Tahoe Paradise Golf Course in Meyers, but staff is still waiting for some of the snow to melt off the course. They’re shooting for an May 1 opening, about a month earlier than they were able to open last year, said golf director Abram Robinson.
“The front nine is looking pretty good,” Robinson said. “The back nine still has some snow on it.”
Across Highway 50 and to the north, Lake Tahoe Golf Course will open the range and the pro shop Saturday. The course isn’t quite ready, but the grass is greening up quickly, said new general manager Kevin Sommerfeld.
“The difference from yesterday to today is very noticeable,” he said.
Maintenance workers still have some aerating, seeding and top dressing to do, but the course should be open by May 1 as long as there aren’t any big storms between now and then, Sommerfeld said. The early winter dry spell was pretty rough on the grass, he added.
“We have some areas that are coming out pretty good and some areas that are going to need over-seeding and some work,” Sommerfeld said.
Nonetheless, golf will be under way soon.
“The grass is getting greener by the minute,” he said.
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This past year has been a rollercoaster for the Lake Tahoe region. As the coronavirus pandemic dragged on, undeterred visitors continued to flock to the area.