ALBERT LEA, MN — It is finally here. The first day of summer has arrived and you are probably not alone if you thought we skipped right through spring. Less than two months ago we were shoveling snow.
Many businesses rely on the spring that never really was.
Those hitting the links are having a hard time believing this is the first day of summer.
“Well it started out kind of bad, we got some more rain, but I guess it’s good to be here, that’s about all I can say. Seemed like we never had a spring so to speak, it was pretty wet,” said Derby Olsen of Albert Lea.
Olsen and his friends try to get out and golf five to six times a week starting in April, but this year has not really allowed that.
“I believe I’ve golfed about 16 rounds this year and I would have probably done that in April last year,” Olsen said.
Those like Olsen are not the only ones dealing with a routine that has been thrown off. Those who run the courses are dealing with the same dilemma.
“It’s just such an extreme from last year where we had the longest season since I’ve been here in 29 years, and here now it feels like we’re just barely getting started,” said Jeff Elseth, owner of Green Lea Golf Course in Albert Lea.
Whether or not they want to get out and swing their clubs in what some may consider weird weather, golfers were being kept off the courses because the conditions just would not allow it.
“The wind, the cooler temps, just soggy conditions, so to date we’re probably down in the neighborhood of 20 percent, 20 to 25 on rounds played,” Elseth said.
The conditions may not be the best, but some golfers are still making their way out.
“They feel like it’s been raining so much and wet but, you know what, I want to play golf, so they go out and slosh through it,” Elseth said.
For those like Olsen, if sloshing through it means they get to play a round of golf, they will do it.
“We’ve been wet more than once this year. Let’s just hope it quits raining on us and the weather straightens out and the course gets dry and we’ll have a good rest of the year,” Olsen said.
Normally in golf you keep playing from where your ball lies, but Olsen and his friends say they have had to play a lot of what is called “lift and place” just so they can clean the mud off their equipment between shots.
Elseth said the wet spring has not been their only problem. He said last fall’s drought weakened the turf and January’s freezing rain killed a lot of it.