The Telluride Golf Club was slated to open Saturday May 24, but uncooperative weather, in the form of opening week snowfall and a string of cold, windy spring days, caused a slight delay in the course’s opening. Telluride Ski and Golf Company workers had the course in shape by Memorial Day, however, and all 18 holes opened for the summer season that day.
“We’re two weeks behind where we were last year ” said Tim Fuhrer, director of golf for Telluride Ski and Golf Company, of the course’s opening conditions. “But the spring is also two weeks behind where it was last year, so really we’re on schedule considering the temperatures we’ve had to work with.”
Cold soil temperatures make it difficult to create favorable conditions for growing turf; Telluride’s grounds crew are, luckily, well versed in the art of persuading grass to grow under less than ideal circumstances. Head groundskeeper Kevin Cahalane and his staff have been working overtime the past few weeks, taking this spring’s few breaks in the stormy weather as their opportunities to get the course in playing condition for its late May opening. Fuhrer reports that while some greens suffered frost damage over the exceptionally long winter, and others are still being covered with tarps at night to help keep soil temperatures from dipping too low and impeding turf growth, the course is in fine condition for opening week.
“Kevin and his staff had a lot of weather to deal with this season, and it’s been tough getting the playing surfaces to their standards… We were thrilled to get the course open by Monday,” he said.
While heavy winter snowfalls made opening on time an even bigger challenge than usual at Telluride’s high altitude, the season’s deluge has allayed a few of the usual concerns about irrigating the course throughout the summer. “Drought conditions are less of a concern this season, so it was a great winter for us in that sense,” Fuhrer said.
While golfers at Telluride may be tiptoeing across patches of still-fragile turf for a few more weeks yet, they will at least be cruising the course in brand new carts. The Club introduced a brand new fleet of 2008 Club Car Precedent carts this season, outfitted with upgraded GPS systems that boast better graphics and a sleeker monitor. Also a boon to the 2008 golf season is the Club’s large number of returning staff, including head golf professional Chris Neylan and Pro Shop manager Carly Jepson.
The Golf Club’s summer calendar highlights the usual tournaments for its growing number of members, as well as the second annual Play for P.I.N.K. Tournament in July, a fundraiser for breast cancer which is open to the public.
Playing at Telluride has become easier for non-members this season, as the public is now welcome to make advanced tee-times (for play after 10:30 a.m.) and can take advantage of the Club’s wallet-friendly twilight and sunset rates. Value season rates will be in effect until June 15.
To make tee times or receive information about golf instruction, call the Pro Shop at 970/728-2606. To see the summer calendar and this season’s rates visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.
“For those who’ve been traveling for golf for the last two months – we finally have golf in our home zip code! We look forward to seeing our members and the community sooner rather than later,” Fuhrer says.