London golf courses open on St. Patrick’s Day

The Irish may be lucky on St. Patrick’s Day, but some local golfers think they’re lucky today.

At least one area golf course, Pine Knot, located east of Dorchester is open.

Course manager Dean Gocan made the decision even though you can still find snow on the course and ice in some ponds.

“We have some of the hard water hazards in Canada, as I like to call them,” he concedes humorously.

Gocan says that beyond the remnants of winter, conditions are ideal for the start of the season. The greens have even been rolled thanks to the extensive Pine Knot drainage system.

Golfers at Pine Knot in Dorchester, Ont. on March 17, 2022. (Sean Irvine/CTV London)

Many of those lucky enough to get one of the 270 tees available on Thursday credited St. Patrick’s Day luck for their good fortune.

Brian Smith, who came over from Stratford to play, is one of them. “It’s a great day to be on the green,” he says, adding his partial Irish blood and another tradition doesn’t hurt, “I gotta mix in some Baileys”

Even though it’s the start of the season, CTV London cameras captured plenty of decent shots and reactions from happy golfers.

Some credited a leprechaun on the course for their good fortune or simply Sav Neth, who admitted he looked like one. Dressed in green from head to toe, he was ready to celebrate golf and Irish traditions. “Always, a little drink after, friends and good times, that’s what it’s all about.”

Sav Neth at Pine Knot in Dorchester, Ontario. on March 17, 2022. (Sean Irvine/CTV London)

But while, for many, St. Patrick’s Day includes green beer and green clothes, for golf courses, the day marks the start of going green, more than ever.

Gocan acknowledges that two years of COVID restrictions and other economic challenges have hurt the bottom line.

“Hopefully the worst is behind us and we can continue. You know, with the cost of everything going up, the minimum wage goes up. We try to minimize costs. »

But Gocan is among those who think the tide may have turned while pointing out that St. Patrick’s Day definitely presented a good omen. ” We were lucky ! An Irishman made a hole-in-one on number eight.

And for those whose game might not be perfect, the date on the calendar and the weather always put a smile on their face.

“I’m super lucky to be here, and you can’t ask for a better time,” says Linda Pocztanski

Wayne Stewart, who traveled from Cambridge to play, agrees. “These stains are like gold. Everyone wants one now that the time is here.

Michael C. Ford