Area golfers ready for sun

The first outing of the season is important to any golfer, for a variety of reasons.

For Cary Long, Manager of the Riverby Hills Golf Club in Bowling Green, the reasons are very much weather related.

“It’s just being outside and having a break in the weather, and also seeing the end of winter,” Long said.

For Scott Choura, general manager of the Stone Ridge Golf Club, a semi-private golf course also located in Bowling Green, the reasons are more people related.

“My favorite part is seeing all the faces you only see in golf season,” Choura said. “Some people go to Florida for the winter or take up bowling, and you only get to see them during golf season.”

March is the major month for most golf courses in which paying customers start coming out to play. The winter snow is hopefully melted away by this time, and temperatures start to become more tolerable for being outside. Unfortunately for the courses, the start of the 2006 season has been a chilly one.

The cold weather hasn’t been doing any favors as far as bringing people out to hit the links. According to Long, who has been managing at Riverby Hills for two and a half years, some people have come out, but there hasn’t been any really significant business since the course opened for the season earlier this month.

For Choura, who has been Stone Ridge’s manager for six months, it’s much of the same.

“Some of the members have come out and played,” Choura said. “But we still get a lot of traffic with our dining services.”

While March can be a tough month to get out and golf, there is definitely a peak season for the outdoor activity.

According to Long, July is the month when the most people get out to play his course.

For Choura, there is a steady stream of business between a series of months.

“Most people come out between Memorial Day and Labor Day,” Choura said. “Then you have our shoulder season, which is 45 days before Memorial Day and 45 days after Labor Day. These are more weather dependent.”

But with the first day of spring come and gone, and the wintery weather hopefully drawing to a close in the very near future, excitement to get out on the course for the first time in 2006 is building amongst golfers.

“The weather hasn’t lended itself too well to golf,” Choura said. “It’s holding people back from playing, and it’s definitely giving them the itch to play.”