SNOWMASS VILLAGE -While a light snowpack and warm temperatures are allowing the Snowmass Club to open nine holes on schedule May 5, odd early season weather patterns last winter caused enough damage that it will be a while before the full course is open."Because of the lack of snow cover and the freeze and thaw cycle we had in December, parts of our greens were damaged, so we're trying to keep people off and let them recover," Director of Golf Ken Everett said. Everett said patrons shouldn't get the impression that the damage is very significant. Delays are common in the mountains, where most grasses do not grow naturally, and this delay was more about the long-term health of the course, Everett said.The driving range opened April 23, the earliest it's opened since the redesign of the course in 2005. The Aspen Golf Course opened this year on April 4. Everett said the Snowmass Club opens later every year because it is at higher elevation and gets less sun in its Brush Creek valley location. The Aspen course is also flatter, he said.Everett said the early arrival of warm weather and on-schedule opening don't increase business revenue significantly because most visitors don't start arriving until later in the summer."We like to say summer kicks off the week of Food & Wine," Everett said. However, he added, the weather the past two years has allowed the course to stay open until almost November, which does allow for more play by out-of-town guests. The club offers several programs and events throughout the summer. In a partnership with the Professional Golfers' Association of America, the club will offer "Get Golf Ready," a series of five lessons geared toward novice golfers, according to Everett. "It's something I'm excited about," Everett said. "We don't have enough new people entering the game of golf, so we're trying to do something about that."Get Golf Ready is $100 for members and $150 for nonmembers. In addition to member play, tee times at the Snowmass Club Golf Course are open to the public after 1 p.m. For a full schedule of programs and a calendar of events, visit www.snowmassclub.com.
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