Early tee-off could mean greener golf season - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Early tee-off could mean greener golf season

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- Friday is the first day of spring but certainly not the first sign of it.

One sign of spring: golf season. On Tuesday, the City of Waterloo opened its courses for the season, two weeks earlier than last year. Friday, Ellis Golf Course in Cedar Rapids opened up. The seasonably warm weather allowing golfers to hit the links sooner. That's good news for courses and golfers.

Nothing says the first day of spring like the first round of golf. That brings a little rust.

Kevin Hinz and Tom Lehmkuhl were two of many golfers to shake off the rust of the offseason at opening day at Ellis Golf Course in Cedar Rapids Friday.

"We couldn't wait to get out, you just feel a little bottled up after a long Iowa winter," said Tom Lehmkuhl. "It was real rainy last year, so it slowed us down a little."

This year the two friends hope to get out and play hundreds of rounds. And they're already off to a quicker start than the year before."

"I think it may have been around the second week of April when we opened last year, so we're a little ahead of the game this year," said dustin Miller with Ellis Golf Course.

For golf courses across the Eastern Iowa area, a warmer spring means more business. Courses like Ellis Golf Course have already seen early signs of a strong year, in spite of tough economic times.

"So far numbers over the winter for corporate outings and group outings has done very well," said Miller. ?We hope and anticipate that we still will have good numbers this year."

"Getting out in the fresh air and getting some exercise that's big. It really helps," said Kevin Hinz. It takes your mind off the day. It takes your mind off the economy, everything else. You can just get out here and swing."

As for Hinz and Lehmkuhl, they hope this week is the beginning of an extended golf season.

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