March 12, 2012 in City

As spring nears, golfers begin migration to public links

Never mind those wet courses
By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photoBuy this photo

Bob McClure follows the flight of his ball at the city of Spokane’s Downriver Golf Course driving range Friday. City and Spokane County golf courses are opening on a staggered schedule.
(Full-size photo)

Around Spokane

City and county golf courses

• Downriver: Open

• Esmeralda: Open

• Creek at Qualchan: Opens this week (pro shop, driving range open)

• Indian Canyon: Closed (pro shop, driving range open)

• Liberty Lake:  Open

• MeadowWood: Opens Thursday (driving range, pro shop open)

• Hangman Valley: Opens Friday (pro shop, driving range open)

A rain-soaked Sunday morning slowed what had been a busy opening weekend for some of the Spokane region’s golf courses as snow has given way to clear fairways and greens.

“The tee sheets were pretty full Friday and Saturday,” said Richard Souza, of the city of Spokane’s Esmeralda Golf Course, which opened Friday.

“Overall the course is in pretty good shape,” he said.

With the opening of city and county courses, golfers could renew their swings close to home, forgoing jaunts to the Tri-Cities or Lewiston, where warmer, drier weather often allows winter play.

About 160 rounds of golf were played Friday and again Saturday at Spokane County’s Liberty Lake Golf Course, assistant golf pro Dave Mallrie said.

Friday’s opening day came earlier and the course is in better shape than last year.

There are a few cart restrictions: Mallrie asks that carts stay on paths while the course is wet.

Fees at Liberty Lake for the 2012 season remain the same as last year.

But fees at all four city courses, which also include Downriver, Indian Canyon and the Creek at Qualchan, are going up by small amounts this year.

Along with Esmeralda, Downriver also opened Friday. The driving range is open at Indian Canyon; however, the course wending through the pines and basalt west of downtown needs another week to get into playing shape. The Creek at Qualchan could be open by midweek.

Besides Liberty Lake Golf Course, the county’s other courses should open soon. Hangman Valley is set to open Friday, and its driving range is open now.

MeadowWood in Liberty Lake will open Thursday. Its driving range is open.

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