From poles to putters: Ski and golf centres hoping Mother Nature is kind
WARDSVILLE, ONT. -- On a pond out front of Wardsville Golf Club, melting ice water gushes into a grate. It is a sign of seasonal change and brings some hope along with it.
With temperatures on the rise this week, course owner Laura Van Dyk has been busy answering the clubhouse phone.
She says callers want to know when they can tee-off.
“We’re aiming for next weekend, which is the 20th. We’re expecting a little bit of rain and warm weather this week, which should take care of the snow. And, we are cutting the greens next week, so we should be open for next weekend.”
Wardsville's greens and fairways are set on sandy land favouring the early open.
While it will be among the first, another, Pine Knot Golf and Country Club in Dorchester has posted it hopes to be open this Friday.
All courses are hoping for a better season than 2020, when it was delayed by at least two months due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Van Dyk remains optimistic that even if cases surge this spring, golf courses will not be idled.
“We’re really hoping not. Golf proved last year to be an effective sport outdoors. People respected rules. I think everyone felt safe for golf.”
And with regulations already set, it appears only Mother Nature stands in the way of the first shot from the tee.
Just as only she will determine the length of the remaining season at Boler Mountain in London.
The ski, snowboard and tubing attraction finally opened just over three weeks ago. With the sun on the slopes, some, like 80-year old Ted Beernink, fear time is already running out.
“I think it might be quite short.”
But Marty Thody, the general manager of Boler is far more optimistic. He is confident Boler’s artificially created snow base will be around until Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the bunny trail.
“We may not have all trails open by the time we hit Easter. But, we’ll certainly have a number of them open.”
That’s good news for the non-profit operation. To date, it has only made-up only one-eighth of its usual lift ticket sales.
Still, young skier Lucy Nash is just about ready to welcome spring.
“I want to go on my bouncy castle,” she told CTV News through giggling and smiles.