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LOCAL GOLF: GGF courses near opening dates

What a difference a year has made. A year ago, King's Walk Golf Course in Grand Forks was open on March 21. Fast forward and Wednesday's King's Walk is opening for the 2013 season -- 40 days later than in 2012. "Between April 10 and 15 is usually...

What a difference a year has made.

A year ago, King's Walk Golf Course in Grand Forks was open on March 21. Fast forward and Wednesday's King's Walk is opening for the 2013 season -- 40 days later than in 2012.

"Between April 10 and 15 is usually about the average opening date," King's Walk head golf pro Dan Tannahill said. "Anything after that is late. The three or so weeks we gained last year, we lost this year."

The King's Walk range opened Sunday. Since the weather took a turn for the better last week, the phone lines have been heating up at the course.

"We're probably getting 20 calls an hour asking when we're opening," Tannahill said. "That's been going on since last Friday. That's good. People are anxious to start playing.

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"The course is looking real good. With the snow finally melting, it's in real good condition. I don't know that it is completely dry, but it isn't sloshy out there."

As for other courses in Greater Grand Forks:

n Ray Richards Golf Course: The range opened Monday. Assistant manager Jeff Nerby said the course should open soon.

"We don't have a specific date," Nerby said. "We're shooting for (today) or Thursday, maybe Friday at the latest. In the lower areas, it's still a bit of a bog. And we still have some cleaning to do."

n Grand Forks Country Club: The main road entering the facility is under water and approximately half the holes have water on them.

"We hope to have the driving range and the holes on the high side open sometime next week," head golf pro Todd Goetz said. "Hopefully, we'll have nine holes ready by the middle of next week."

n Lincoln Park Golf Course: The 9-hole course is at the mercy of the flooding Red River on its east side. Pro shop manager Austin Matz said the best-case scenario is to be open from May 6-10; the worst-case scenario is a mid-May opening.

"Right now, everything is dry," Matz said. "But we're not sure of an opening date. If the river doesn't flood, it will probably be a week or more. But (the river) is over the bike path by the walking bridge now."

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n Valley Golf Course: At least a partial opening could come this week. Clubhouse manager Jeff Kamedula said the driving range could be open as soon as Friday.

"We're looking at maybe Saturday opening with the back nine to start with," Kamedula said. "We're waiting for some puddles to subside. It's still pretty squishy out there. We have to see what the river does (for the front nine). It's a question mark; it could be a couple more weeks, depending on the river."

DeVillers reports on sports. Call him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1128; or send e-mail to gdevillers@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: GOLF
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