Golf courses across the state are opening for the season.
Then you have the Bucksport Golf Club.
The course has been open year-round for several years and, beginning in April of 2020, a hearty group of golfers including longtime Bucksport Golf Club members Bob Losurdo and Tim Savasuk have played at least once a month — even in the dead of winter.
Losurdo and Savasuk have already played at least a dozen times this month. They are retirees and are among a group of four to eight who play when the weather permits and the green is clear of snow.
“It’s great being out there. It beats sitting on the couch,” said Savasuk, who along with Losurdo played once in January and once in February during Maine’s coldest months.
The golfers dress appropriately for the winter weather and Losurdo said they usually play between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., during the warmest part of the day.
Carts are not allowed so they carry their own bags or use pull-carts.
They usually play just nine holes. It is a nine-hole, 3,397-yard course with a par 36.
Mikka Pelletier, the general manager of the Bucksport Golf Club, said there’s no reason to close the course if people want to play, though they do use the older pins in the holes during the winter months.
She added that the golfers play an important role as the “eyes and ears on the course,” informing course personnel if a tree is down or if anything else needs to be fixed on the course.
Most of the golfers are members but she said if others want to play, they are more than welcome.
“We don’t charge in the winter but we have started charging the past few weeks,” Pelletier said.
There are advantages to playing in winter, Losurdo and Savasuk said.
Drives landing on a frozen fairway will carry a lot further, they said. During the time when the ground starts thawing out and the course becomes wet, that’s when their balls will plug.
“But the course is a lot drier than it was a week ago,” Losurdo said.
Elsewhere in the area, the 18-hole Hermon Meadow Golf Club in Hermon is also open now and Rob Jarvis, the golf pro at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course, is hoping to open in a couple of weeks, too.
But he also knows the weather is fickle.
“It’s ready when it’s ready,” said Jarvis. “It would be nice if we could open in a couple of weeks. But the frost isn’t out of the ground yet, although it isn’t deep this year.”
Jarvis said they have already sold out their 400 memberships. The 27-hole layout, which offers an 18-hole course and a nine-hole course, is also open to non-members.
“We sold out on March 21. Last year we sold out on April 15 and it was the first time in 20 years we sold out,” he said.
Jarvis said during this COVID-19 era, a lot of golfers “reconnected” to the game after not playing for several years because they wanted a safe outdoor activity.
“This could be our biggest year in the last three years because of the fuel prices. Golfers will want to stay closer to home,” he speculated.
The eighth annual Downeast Metro Amateur Golf Tournament will be held on June 11-12 at the Bangor Muni and Kebo Valley Club in Bar Harbor.
Golfers play one 18-hole round on each course.
Last year, the winner was 19-year-old Caleb Manuel from Topsham, who was a freshman at the University of Connecticut and the Big East Rookie of the Year as well as an All-Big East First Team selection.