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Winter-weary golfers finally get tee times

Sun., April 13, 2008

Grounds crews at Indian Canyon Golf Course were raking snow last week, hoping to make it melt.

But the drifts that remained Saturday didn’t seem to bother golfers, who have been forced to be patient this year. The Spokane-owned golf course opened Wednesday – the latest date in recent memory, and maybe the latest ever for the course that’s operated since 1935.

“I’ve been here 25 years and it’s the latest in my tenure,” course pro Gary Lindeblad said last week. “Until I came, they had no records to speak of.”

Other courses opened earlier than shady Indian Canyon. The Creek at Qualchan beat out Indian Canyon by only a few days.

“There are some little places (at Indian Canyon) where it’s still a foot, foot and a half of snow,” Lindeblad said. “There are a lot of pockets that don’t get any sunlight until June.”

Golfers have been eager to hit the greens, trying to set up tee times even when the ground was covered. “We were getting calls last weekend when we got 3 inches of snow and the whole course was white,” he said. “We’ve been getting them for about a month.”

Among those who were basking in the sunshine Saturday was Peter Moye, who spent part of the day at Indian Canyon’s driving range with his 12-year-old daughter Alexandra. She’s been taking lessons for two years.

“This is my first time out this year,” Peter Moye said. “It’s nice to have some nice weather to play in.”

Golf is a way for the pair to hang out, he said. And Moye said he would have turned out Saturday even if the weather hadn’t been stellar.

“As long as it’s not raining and the course is open,” he said.

The weather that drew folks like Moye on Saturday is expected to last only through today. A cold front is expected to move in overnight, bringing a return of the damp and dreary days that have been part of a season that ranks second for snowfall in Spokane. Monday’s predicted high is 50 degrees, compared with 70 degrees today.

“We’re going to be going downhill,” said National Weather Service forecaster Paul Bos.


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