ROCHESTER, Minn. - For the past few months, Southeastern Minnesotans have been eager to get back out on the golf course. Starting Saturday, you can take your putter to a real green.
The weather may not have cooperated, but that didn't stop avid golfers from hitting the back nine at Soldiers Memorial Field Golf Course.
"We have an enthusiastic start to the year today despite the weather," Soldiers Memorial Field PGA Golf Professional David Richardson said. "We have about 40 to 50 golfers out today and they're all excited to be here."
Richardson said despite the poor conditions Saturday, he wasn't suprised to see golfers brave the elements.
"Rochester and Southeast Minnesota is kind of a golf mad area so we get golfers out regardless of the weather sometimes," he said.
That enthusiasm showed last year when the courses first opened during the beginning of the pandemic. A spot on the green was hard to come by.
"Last year there was a real surge with the lockdown, we did not have enough room for everyone that wanted to play," Richardson said. "Often times we turned away 50 to 75 golfers in a day. This year we do expect plenty of room throughout the golf community for all the golfers that want to come out golfing. It should be a lot easier to get on the golf course"
Many of the health and safety features from last year are still in tact, like reserving a tee time online. When you're in the golf shop, a mask is required and spots are marked on the carpet to ensure social distancing.
Pandemic aside, Richardson is excited to get the golf season going once again.
"It's wonderful to have the golfers out again," he said. "They're all excited and happy to be here."
Hadley Creek golf course and the driving range at Eastwood will open on Monday. Northern Hills is expected to be open in April.