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Warm weather brings some bonus early-season golf to Thunder Bay as driving ranges open up | CBC News

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Thunder Bay golfers looking to perfect their swing before the start of the 2024 golf season can now do so, as recent warm weather as prompted the opening of some driving ranges in and around the city.

However, it may still be some time before they can hit the links for a full round.

Two privately-owned courses — Northern Lights and Dragon Hills — have opened their driving ranges over the last few days.

And things have been fairly busy at the Dragon Hills range, owner and manager Michael Komar said. However, the main Dragon Hills course remains closed.

“The biggest problem is we don’t know what the weather is going to be like,” he said. “It could drop by 20 degrees in like five hours.”

Still, Komar is hopeful Dragon Hills could open later this week, if all goes well.

“There is no snow,” he said. “All the greens are clear, all the fairways are clear.”

“We’ll have to see how deep the frost is,” Komar said. “I think we’ve got about an inch where it’s not frozen, but we’ll have to see how frozen it is because the night temperatures are still going down, so the ground is still staying frozen.

“We have to wait for the ground to thaw a bit.”

Things are different at the City of Thunder Bay’s two golf courses, Strathcona and Chapples.

Pat Berezowski, the city’s supervisor of golf services, said while he’s happy that recent weather has people getting excited to hit the course, it’s still too early for the city courses to open.

“We know at this point in time living in Thunder Bay, that the weather can switch on us at any time,” he said. “Ultimately the courses are not ready for use.”

Berezowski said a slightly-earlier-than-usual opening is possible, and golfers could be playing rounds on city courses by the end of April or beginning of May.

“We can have those snowstorms in April,” he said. “It looks like we’re going to get some cold conditions coming up, and some snow, in the in the next week.”

“We want to keep the course in the best condition possible for the whole season, so we don’t push it too much.”

The driving range at Chapples remains closed, although Berezowski said it could open earlier than the course itself, depending on conditions.

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