Golfing can be winter sport when it's not snowing
COLUMBIA - The first significant snow of the year fell Thursday, but just five days earlier, Columbia had sunny skies and highs in the sixties.
The occasional bursts of warm weather has kept some golfers out on the course into December this year.
Country Club of Missouri's assistant golf pro Ryan Schultz said Wednesday winter temperatures make a difference.
"In the past few years, the winter has been pretty harsh and we haven't had much play at all with the foot of snow here and there," Schultz said. "When it's above freezing, people are getting out and playing."
When temperatures were in the upper fifties and low sixties in Columbia Sunday, Schultz said, golfers played about 100 rounds.
"One hundred rounds in the winter is a lot, yes," Schultz said. "We would get anywhere from probably 150 rounds in the summer on a Saturday or Sunday, (and that) would be a good day."
Kevin Stull, head golf pro at The Club at Old Hawthorne, said his course was also busy Sunday.
"We had close to a spring or summer day," Stull said. "We had about 120 people come out and play that day."
But, there are downsides to having golfers out on the course in the winter months.
"It's a little harder on the course, the course isn't healing over the winter," Schultz said. "It's not sitting there not being played on, it's getting some damage from the golf, and it's harder to heal when it's cold out."
Winter play brings in increased revenue, but Stull said it's not completely necessary The Club at Old Hawthorne, where funds from the fitness center and food and beverage sales keep their course going.
"We're a country club, we're not just a golf club, so we're always going to be open," Stull said. "In the winter time, if the weather is nice, it's just a bonus that the golf course is open."
When the weather isn't nice enough to play, Stull said he still keeps busy at the golf course.
"We do a lot of paperwork on days like this," he said Thursday.
Stull said the snowy days simply allow him to plan for the nicer ones.