Warm weather allows golf course to open in Lethbridge as simulators become popular

LETHBRIDGE-

It may be hard to believe, but just last week southern Alberta saw -20 C and snow. Fast forward a week and some golfers are hitting the links.

“Today, Friday January 14, we will be able to open the course,” said Josh Walker, head professional at Evergreen Golf Centre.

Although the grass is brown and the greens are slow, Evergreen takes full advantage of the good weather.

“Definitely more buzz since the weather finally cleared up and we’re getting nicer temps, people are phoning for tee times,” Walker said. “It’s nice to see people again”

Evergreen is open year-round with a heated driving range, but when the sun is shining and there’s no snow on the course, golfers can hit the links for nine holes. Staff say golfers can’t wait to get started.

“Tee times book up fairly quickly. They can’t wait to get back on the golf course, get out there and enjoy the nice weather,” Walker said.

But, if you don’t want to brave the cooler temperatures outside, there is another option for working on your game. Golf simulators have become very popular over the past few years for golfers hoping to pull off some shots their dashboard.

“We have a very long off season even in southern Alberta where our golf season is a bit better than most, it’s still a long off season. Being able to swing through the winter really gives you the ability to continue your game so when you go back in the spring it doesn’t feel like you’re starting all over again,” said Mike Mulroy, owner of Drop Zone Golf Center, an indoor golf course.

The Drop Zone Golf Center has been busy since the beginning of October with players of all skill levels coming in to swing a club.

“It’s perfect for any golfer with any ability at any level of golf. It’s a great place for people to learn when you’ve just swing a club for the first time and I have a lot of guys who come here as first-time golfers who really enjoy the accuracy of the simulator and the ability to play some of the best courses in the world,” Mulroy said.

Golfers can choose from around 80 different courses.

“We have a course from Cranbrook BC, we have courses from Montana that people have played from the south. So it’s really good to have that variety and the ability to change every time you walk in,” Mulroy explained.

Drop Zone has only been open for two seasons, but Mulroy says this winter has already been extremely busy.

“When the weather is nice and the sun is shining in mid-January, even then people are really eager to start their game of golf and it’s no surprise that people take advantage of everything they can to get out and swing,” Mulroy said. “One of the benefits of an indoor golf facility is that you don’t have to worry about weather variables.”

Whether indoors or outdoors, the demand for sports never slows down.

“Especially during the pandemic over the past couple of years, people aren’t traveling as much, people are looking for things to do and having the golf course open at this time of year gives people an extra thing to do – even outside,” Walker said.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, Walker and Mulroy say there’s no better time to train than during the winter months.

If you’re hoping to go out for a game, tee times will be available until the next snowfall.

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