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No plans to open Olds golf course on warm winter days

Olds Golf Club pro/manager Mat MacDonald is leery of opening the golf course for play on warm winter days
MVT aerial Olds golf course
An aerial view of Olds Golf Club in 2013. File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS — A couple of golf courses in Calgary opened for some late rounds in late December due to unseasonably warm weather but there are no plans to do so at the Olds Golf Club, pro/manager Mat MacDonald said. 

However, he’s not ruling out that possibility next year if it can be done in a way that doesn’t damage the course for the following season. 

“It’s something that I would be willing to discuss with the board and the superintendent in the future. However, it’s one of those things you have to be very, very careful about it,” MacDonald said during an interview with the Albertan

"It’s not necessarily a bad idea, but you do have to be careful, because the more compaction and impact that happens while the ground isn’t able to heal itself, the more work you’re going to have to do in the spring and the longer it’s going to take for that golf course to recover.” 

He sympathizes with the desire of golfers to get in a few more rounds and of golf courses to get that extra income. 

“There’s always that debate, right? Especially when it comes to golf courses that are privately owned. The ones that are member-owned are a little bit different.  

“The privately-owned ones, they always debate ‘well hey, if we can get an extra – let's call it $10,000 in revenue in a season where we otherwise wouldn’t – we should do it.’ 

“Whereas, the reality is that $10,000 in revenue, is that going to make up for the poorer conditions, come spring time potentially?” 

MacDonald said he’ll lean on superintendent Jason Clouston and his crew for advice on that question. 

“Those are the guys that have the degrees. They’ve been doing it for a number of years. And I mean, the condition of this golf course speaks to Jason’s expertise and the expertise of his staff,” he said. 

MacDonald cited the rave reviews about the condition of the course received when it hosted the 2023 Alberta Men’s Mid Masters Championship last June. 

“I’ve always known it's in good condition, but it was obviously in extra special condition, because I had people raving about it for months afterwards,” he said. 

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