Tee time

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Getting golf clubs or some new piece of equipment under the Christmas tree is a tease. Usually, in Maine, golfers have to wait until April – sometimes May – to take the new twigs out for a spin.

Not this year.

Gather up your stuff, dust off the few cobwebs that may have formed since you put them away, pack up the car and drive to Nonesuch River Golf Course in Scarborough.

No, really.

This isn’t one of those indoor facilities where you watch your ball travel all of 5 feet before it smacks into a screen and hundreds of pixels carry it 250 yards down an imaginary fairway.

Nonesuch, thanks to the lack of winter weather so far this year, is still open for business.

“It’s been just wild,” Nonesuch owner Dan Hourihan said Thursday. “It’s almost surreal to be out here. We have people on every tee.”

Nonesuch opened nine holes Thursday and hoped to have all 18 open by today. The course never closed for the winter and only stopped allowing golfers onto the course due to inclement weather on Dec. 30.

But the snow that fell through the night and into the new year has melted.

“We never have a set closing date,” Hourihan said.

Calls to several other courses explained in part why Nonesuch is having so much success, even in January: No one else is open right now.

“We have people coming in from everywhere, it’s packed,” Hourihan said.

Locally, Fairlawn Golf Course is contemplating opening up again, too. On Christmas Day, golfers wearing Santa hats spent part of the day there.

“If the snow goes away like I hear it’s supposed to, we may be open again,” owner Frank Bartasius said. “This is unheard of.”

Bartasius would know. He’s been in the business for 50 years.

“Forty or 50 years ago, we’d close on November 11, no questions, sometimes earlier,” Bartasius said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Bartasius and his son Dave are monitoring the snowmelt and expect to start fielding calls from eager golfers today and through the weekend, when the forecast calls for even warmer temperatures.

“If the course is free of snow, we’ll let people on,” Bartasius said.

Back at Nonesuch, Hourihan said it would be in golfers’ best interests to call ahead for a tee time.

“It’s been so busy,” he said. “Hopefully, this makes up for some bad weather days we had to start last year, when we had all that rain.”

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