OLDS — Olds Golf Club officials had hoped to open the course for play during the Easter weekend, but made a tentative decision to postpone that opening, due to concerns about the weather.
A forecast for that weekend showed highs ranging from –4 C on Friday to +5 C on Sunday, soaring to +9 on Easter Monday.
During an interview, club pro Wade Bearchell said he was hopeful the weather would be suitable for play some time late this week.
He said likely nine holes would open first. Eighteen would open a week or so later.
Bearchell said the course made it through the winter in great shape.
“The greens are in awesome condition, fairways. Everything’s really, really good," he said.
He said no changes in staff occurred during the winter.
Some major improvements have been made to the course, especially in the corner where holes 12 to 14 are located.
Bearchell estimated the total cost of those renovations to be in the $250,000 to $300,000 range.
“Our hole number 12 has been redone from 150 yards in, so new green, new bunkering, new contouring in the fairways,” he said.
"Hole number 12, while it was fun, it was probably one of our – a lot of people's least favourite holes, given the green complex was very difficult and so we made those changes and we’re excited,” he added.
Water storage was also increased in water hazards in the area of holes 12 through 14, he said.
“We’ve got a bridge on 13 now," he said. "We’ve joined the water hazards together. So it’s going to be really, really pretty. People will be able to see it when we open here. They’re out there sodding right now, doing some of the work on the bunkers.”
He predicted that hole 12 will open to the public around June 1.
A couple of pretty major tournaments are scheduled at the course this year.
The first one is the PGA of Alberta tournament which occurs on May 30, followed by the Alberta Men’s Amateur Qualifier on June 6.
Open tournaments begin June 22 with the HUB Insurance Senior Open, followed by the Hildebrand Motors Open July 9-10, the Expedia Cruises Ladies Open July 16 and the Sims Furniture in Olds Mixed Open on Aug. 7.
The date for the McLennan Ross Junior Open had not been revealed by press time.
Member tournaments scheduled are the Olds Concrete Club Championship Aug. 13-14 and the Soldsheim Cup on Aug. 20.
Men’s single knockout match play is scheduled to occur throughout the season.