ST. PAUL – Bathed in a vibrant green, the St. Paul Golf Course saw an early and bustling start to the season this spring. Sean Hovelkamp, golf course manager, recently shared his thoughts on the current state of affairs.
“The course is in good shape,” Hovelkamp commented, noting that with the recent dry and hot weather, the course is watered whenever needed.
While "there could be issues of [the course] being too dry in the future,” so far, “it's been such warm weather that the grass has come in green earlier than expected [and] the leaves are out earlier than expected.”
Due to the idyllic conditions, the golf course has experienced an unexpected surge in activity. “We've been busier than expected,” Hovelkamp said, adding weekends have seen a particularly high volume of players, with unofficial men's and ladies' nights attracting participants the past three weeks.
The official start dates for men’s and ladies’ nights will be May 23 and 24. “But we've had people come out just to get things started, and we've had pretty good attendance. Our weekends have been really busy with the beautiful weather."
Despite the early rush of golfers, Hovelkamp and his team have managed to keep up with the increased demands of course upkeep. However, the dry weather and strong winds have posed some challenges.
Hovelkamp expressed empathy for the greens-keeper, who he said has found it frustrating at times.
While focusing on daily operations, the golf course is also preparing for a list of tournaments in the coming weeks, with the first scheduled to take place on Victoria Day, May 22, due to it being a holiday. Results from the two-person scramble were unavailable due to Lakeland This Week's press deadline.
“Usually, I prefer not to hold any tournaments until June because it's tough to predict what the course is going to look like and what kind of weather we're going to get. But it's coming in, filling in nicely, and the weather's been beautiful, so we decided to host it [at the] last minute,” said the golf course manager.
A series of events will then be held throughout June - The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a tournament on June 9, followed by the MS tournament in August, both attracting significant sponsorship from local businesses.
Additionally, June will see the qualifying event for the Seniors 55+ Alberta Games held in St. Paul on June 16.
The St. Paul Golf Course is operated by the Town of St. Paul.