Not only are some area courses still open, they are packed with golfers still enjoying one of the longest seasons they can remember
It was hard to find a place in Ozaukee County to golf last weekend, but not because all the courses were closed as you’d expect on the first weekend in December. They were booked with golfers still enjoying one of the longest seasons they can remember.
More than 250 people played at the Ozaukee County-owned Mee-Kwon Park Golf Course in Mequon Saturday and Sunday, when temperatures were in the low 60s, according to pro shop manager Dan Mcelroy said.
“Every time we say, ‘This may be the last day,’ players keep coming out. They want to be able to say they golfed in Wisconsin in December,” Mcelroy said.
Tee times at Mee-Kwon are booked again this weekend, and the course will remain open as long as weather allows, he said.
Hawthorne Hills, the other county operated golf course, closed for the season in November.
Andrew Struck, director of planning and parks for Ozaukee County, said it’s not unheard of to have a golf course open in December but it’s certainly not typical. He pointed out that the unseasonably warm fall has lengthened an already long golf season that began with an early spring and benefited from a dry summer.
“It will probably be one of the best, if not the best year of revenue, and a lot of it has to do with the weather and the extended season,” Struck said.
Golfers who called or stopped at Fire Ridge Golf Club in the Town of Grafton after Thanksgiving were pleasantly surprised to find the course still open, said Andy Podolak, head golf professional.
“I think they would just assume we were closed,” Podolak said.
Nearly 160 people golfed there last weekend, he said.
Fire Ridge closed for the season on Tuesday so grounds crews can get ready before the snow falls.
The additional revenue that comes with the extended season is important for golf courses, including public ones like Mee-Kwon, Struck said.
“We recently paid off our clubhouse facility (at Mee-Kwon) and are looking forward to future improvements to the maintenance facility. We’ve also done some drainage projects that were recently completed,” Struck said.
Image Information: ENJOYING THE MILD weather, Greg Jones of Cedarburg hit a shot at Fire Ridge Golf Club in the Town of Grafton Tuesday. Photo by Sam Arendt