FORE!: Golf season begins, kinda, in Cornwall and area

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Cerighton Honeck, a Texas golfer on the CPGA Tour, practices an iron shot at Summerheights.

CORNWALL, Ontario - The winter that wouldn't quit has forced a couple of local golf courses to remain shuttered this spring - but some others have duffers on the fairway.

Summerheights Golf Links in Cornwall opened Thursday, and golfers are already lining up in the tee boxes.

Owner Rory MacLennan said only half the course is open - MacLennan south - because it's still early in the season.

"It's just like a restaurant," he said. "You don't open the whole restaurant if you don't need it."

MacLennan added as demand increases as spring moves along, both course will open.

It's the same story at Heritage Golf Club near Lancaster, which began accepting golfers way back on April 19 when nine holes were opened. The full 18 opened 24 hours later.

Most golf courses report the deluge of snow we received this winter was actually a good thing.

"It packed down everything, so we didn't have as much frost in the ground," said Helen Hurtubise, operations manager at Heritage. "But it's always hit and miss when it comes to winter."

It's also like that when it comes to which courses are open at this time of year.

The Cornwall Golf and Country Club likely won't be open until May 1 or 2, while Upper Canada Golf Club near Morrisburg is looking at a similar timeframe.

"Right now we're shooting for May 3," said Upper Canada pro shop manager Allan McNairn. "We're at the same level as the St. Lawrence River here. And the creek on the back nine is just starting to move now, so we need to dry things out."

McNairn said the weather forecast will play a role in when the club opens - more wet weather means a possible delay.

Golf courses typically start opening around April 20 - though in 2012 some opened a full month early because of the warm start to spring.

"The last five years we've been kind of spoiled with the weather," said MacLennan. "But I'm satisfied with opening today."

Organizations: Heritage Golf Club, Cornwall Golf and Country Club, Upper Canada Golf Club

Geographic location: Cornwall, Ontario, Lancaster Morrisburg Canada St. Lawrence River

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