A date hasn’t been set yet, but owner Brad Dutton looks forward to the start of the 2021 golf season at the Hideout Golf Course, located at the Hidden Valley Golf and RV Resort.
Dutton is optimistic the driving range can be open soon, and he looks forward to the staff coming in and getting to work.
As for the golf course, it wasn’t ready for any traffic when the rain and snow hit the Estevan area from April 11-13, and it won’t be open until there’s some heat. Some snowbanks were still lingering on the course late last week.
While the snow pushed back the start of the season, they needed the moisture.
“We were still very early in nature’s timetable of spring. Yes, it was warm, but it’s still frozen. The ground is still frozen in places.”
He doesn’t believe any of the snow turned to runoff, so it soaked into the ground.
The course wintered well, but it wasn’t overly cold during the winter, other than a two-week stretch in February.
The wind storm in January knocked down a few branches.
Dutton has been receiving lots of calls about when the course would be opening, with people burning up the phone lines.
“It’s a wonderful piece of nature down here. Golf is more than just a number of the card. It’s the company you keep and the nature you see throughout your game,” said Dutton.
Golf is a sport that people can continue to play during the pandemic, since social distancing isn’t an issue.
The provincial government’s pandemic regulations for golf haven’t changed much, either. If anything, they’re a little more relaxed with golf courses, because tee times are now allowed every eight minutes.
“That doesn’t affect me, because I’m always every 10 minutes,” he said.
The resumption of tournaments is good news, he said, especially for the small, corporate tournaments that attract 10-30 people that have been played at Hidden Valley.
The course was scheduled to get new golf carts for this year, but they have not arrived yet, and Dutton said he hasn’t heard when they might be arriving. But his cart dealer has come through and saved the day, and is bringing Dutton a rental fleet to use, so carts will be available until the shipment arrives.
Hidden Valley has hired its maintenance staff for the upcoming year. All of the pro shop and clubhouse staff members are eager to get back to work, and they’re set up for another year.
He hopes The Hideout will be as busy this year as it was in 2019.
“Every tee time was booked from May 15 to September 30,” Dutton said.