New Brunswick

Warm weather means earliest opening in decades for N.B. golf course

Algonquin Golf Course is in 'tip-top shape' and open for the season, one month early.

Algonquin Golf Course is in 'tip-top shape' and open for the season

The Algonquin Golf Club is open to the public as of April 8, the earliest opening for the course in recent memory. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

The Algonquin Golf Course opened Thursday morning, the earliest opening in recent memory. 

Thanks to months of preparation, a mild winter and some cooperation from mother nature, the course opened to the public three weeks ahead of schedule. 

"The golf course is in tip-top shape," said Zach Rodrigue, the director of golf at the Algonquin Resort. "The greens are rolling just like they were back in October and November of last year, so we're extremely pleased about that." 

Zach Rodrigue, the director of golf at the Algonquin Resort, says getting to open the course three weeks early is good for business. (Graham Thompson/CBC News)

Rodrigue says opening so early is a big boost for business, especially amid the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19.

He says having nearly an extra month of golf, especially in the spring when golfers are eager to return to play, makes a big difference for the resort. 

He's unsure if it's the earliest the course has ever opened. 

"I think it's a record since 2000," said Rodrigue.  

Before his tenure at the course, Rodrigue says there may have been a year, decades ago, where they opened in March. 

"But that was not in pristine condition like we are today," said Rodrigue. "We're the only course that I know of that is open in the province."

Staff at the Algonquin Golf Club in Saint Andrews point to a favorable winter and a warm spring, along with hard work, for the early opening. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

Rodrigue says the sport has been resilient during the pandemic because it's outdoors and golfers are naturally spread far apart on the links.

And those golfers are ready to play. Tee times at the course are booked until at least Monday, five days out. And early reviews of course conditions are glowing. 

Paul Logan was one of the first on the Algonquin golf course Thursday morning. He says he's shocked by the good condition of the course given how early it has opened. (Graham Thompson/CBC News )

"Just a few weeks ago, there was snow on the ground," said Paul Logan, the first person on the course Thursday morning.

"So to think we were going to be playing on flush green grass, being able to roll putts on greener greens. They were super-fast today, but it's a golfers dream to be able to golf this early in April." 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shane Fowler

Reporter

Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.

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