Granby Grand Elk Golf Course teed up to open this weekend |

Granby Grand Elk Golf Course teed up to open this weekend

Katie LoobySky-Hi Daily News

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

Despite cold temperatures and snow, Granbys Grand Elk Golf Course is determined to open Saturday. Everyone in Grand County has had enough winter. Its time for summer, said Mike Ritter, Grand Elks head professional.Grand Elk is the first golf course in Grand County to open. Ritter credits part of this to luck.Were lower elevation than Pole Creek and Grand Lake, he said. If the course clears by Saturday well go ahead and go if its playable.The courses back nine holes are open. Grand Elk is offering a $25 All You Can Play special through Friday, May 10. The special includes carts, range balls and a global positioning system. The system tells golfers the distance to the green and is useful for playing the different shots, Ritter said.Since its early in the season, golfers who come out this weekend should expect to see some snow along the sides of the course. The grass is still mainly dormant and these are early season conditions, but both carts and walking will be available, he said. The front nine still needs more melting, but will open ASAP.The 18-hole course is scheduled to open by May 10.This weekend will allow golfers to loosen up their muscles and remember how to hit a golf ball, Ritter said. He said last year they opened very early on April 21. Other years theyve opened closer to mid-May.Weve gotten more aggressive about trying to open as early as we can, Ritter said.To make this happen, they shovel and snow blow areas of the course to speed up the process. Workers also kept the greens covered with tarps.It protects it from the wind, Ritter said. It heats up the soil under the grass faster in the spring to help it start growing a little earlier.Crews have been preparing the course for the last couple weeks. Weve got some tee times made for the weekend, he added.This is the courses sixth season.Grand Elk is a Heathland-style golf course, Ritter said. Its designed to be reminiscent of the courses in Scotland. The front nine holes are on rolling terrain.The back nine works its way through ponds and lakes and native grasses, he said. The course is designed to fit into the natural setting.He said the style of play at Grand Elk is similar to the courses the British Open is played on. Its designed to be a fast and firm course, Ritter said.The challenging course allows golfers to use their imagination on shots, he said. Golfers of different abilities can choose from five sets of tee-boxes. People can bite-off as much as they care to chew, Ritter added.The course ranges in length anywhere from 5,095 to 7,144 yards, he said. Were all excited about golf, and the golf season arriving, he added. Were hoping Mother Nature will cooperate so we can get the golf season started.For more information, call (970) 887-9122.