March 16, 2011 in Sports

Golfers’ options should increase with more local courses opening

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The limited playing options for local golfers are expected to increase considerably this week with as many as eight additional public courses in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area planning to open for the season.

The city of Spokane will open three of its four courses – Esmeralda, Downriver and The Creek at Qualchan – on Friday, with heavily treed Indian Canyon still dealing with standing snow issues that need to be resolved before the city’s other course can open.

Two of Spokane County’s three courses – MeadowWood and Liberty Lake – are looking at Saturday openings, with their sister layout, Hangman Valley, tentatively shooting for a March 25 start.

Among the area’s privately owned public courses that have already opened for play are The Fairways at West Terrace in Cheney, which has been playable to walkers only on a weather-permitting basis since late January; Painted Hills, a nine-hole layout that opened in mid-January, and Post Falls-based Prairie Falls, which opened in February, and The Highlands, which opened Monday.

Prairie Falls and The Highlands are already allowing riding carts, and The Fairways, which is currently limited to walking only, hopes to do the same this weekend.

Wandermere is hoping to open today or Thursday, Coeur d’Alene Public is looking at a Saturday opening and Sun Dance plans to put nine of its 18 holes into play on Saturday, with the other nine opening “whenever Mother Nature decides to be nice to us,” according to head professional Chris Runyan.

Most of the professionals contacted said their courses wintered nicely and survived the heavy snowfall in late February that forced those courses already open to close for about a week.

Officials at The Links in Post Falls could not be reached for information concerning the opening of their course.


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