As winter approaches, golf season’s end looms closer |

As winter approaches, golf season’s end looms closer

Summit Daily/Reid Williams Lee Metzger tees off on the third hole at Breckenridge Golf Course Friday as, from left, Rick Ascher, Rick Rixon and Jim O'Hea look on. The foursome didn't let snow or chilly temperatures keep them from their eighth annual "Cretin Open," a friendly game among the concrete industry workers.

SUMMIT COUNTY – By Oct. 18, the day after the Raven closes, all five of the local golf courses will be quiet and getting ready for the long hibernation under a blanket of Summit County powder. As such, they have lowered their prices at what may be the best time of year to get a round of 18 in.”It’s a great time to play golf,” said Dan Guinle, spokesperson for The Raven at Three Peaks Golf Club in Silverthorne. “The crowds have gone home. The leaves are still on the trees, so it’s really beautiful. Usually you have crisp, cool days, and the kids are in school so it’s an easy time to get out and enjoy it.” If things go as planned, Copper Creek Golf Club and the Keystone Ranch Golf Course will be the first of the local courses to fall under winter’s spell; both are scheduled to close on Oct. 3. The Keystone River Golf Course and Breckenridge Golf Club will follow a week later, on Oct. 10, and The Raven wraps everything up on Oct. 17. All of the closing dates are dependent on weather and subject to change. According to Guinle, local courses must close before the snow begins to form a permanent coat on the ground because the grass must be treated to protect it from the cold temperatures which could kill the grass. “It takes (The Raven) a full crew 10 days to get the course shut down,” Guinle said. “With all the things they need to do to protect the course for the winter, if we miss one of those treatments, we’ve lost the course for a month in the spring.” For several days this week, it appeared the end of the season had already arrived as an early season snowstorm dumped up to four inches of snow on all five of the county’s courses, shutting them down. “We weren’t expecting this for at least another month,” Guinle said. Most of the local courses reopened Friday, and Copper Creek Golf Club at Copper Mountain anticipated opening today. “Our tee boxes and our greens are clear, so as long as we don’t get more snow tonight, we will be open Saturday,” Copper Creek spokesperson Ruth Adams said Friday afternoon.To go with the anticipated mild weather that usually dominates Summit County Octobers, the courses are playing well.”The course is in real nice shape,” said Breckenridge Golf Club spokesperson Bob Watson. “We had a lot of rain early in the year so the condition of the course has been real good going into the fall season.”

Added Guinle, “The grass is vibrant and the greens are rolling the best they will all year.” Guinle also noted that Summit County’s wildlife is on showcase right now as well.”This morning it was a lot of fun to watch this huge elk move his harem across the ninth fairway,” he said on Thursday. “I’ve seen them out there every other day, sometimes every day.” Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at Golf Club(970) 453-9104Closing date: Oct. 10*Fall greens fees: $70$50 after 2:30 p.m.$25 after 5 p.m.Copper Creek

(970) 968-3333Closing date: Oct. 3*Fall greens fees: $59Monday and Tuesday only: $49 includes a coupon for two beers at J.J.’s Rocky Mountain Tavern$39 after 1 p.m.$19 after 4 p.m.Keystone Ranch Golf Course(970) 496-4250Closing date: Oct. 3*Fall greens fees: $50$35 after 3 p.m.Keystone River Golf Course

(970) 496-4444Closing date: Oct. 10*Fall greens fees: $50$35 after 3 p.m.The Raven at Three Peaks Golf Club(970) 262-3636Closing date: Oct. 17*Fall greens fees: $69 weekday, $84 weekendOct. 11- Oct. 17: $50$44 after 2:30 p.m.$30 after 4 p.m.* Greens fees on regular fall price include golf cart rental. All closing dates are weather dependent and subject to change.

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