ST. MARYS -- A warm blast of early spring weather has given some golf courses in the area a chance at an early swing to their season.

Golfers were hitting the links on Saturday and Sunday as the official start of the spring season brought with it sunny skies and comfortable temperatures.

"This is the earliest that I can recall really playing," said Ben Vandercammen at St. Mary's Golf and Country Club. "Especially with the temperature the way it is and the amount of people that are out.

"I've been itching to get out more than anything to do something, just with the pandemic and what it kind of caused for everybody."

There were 100 golfers on St. Marys tee sheet Saturday and 230 on Sunday. The two days also marked the earliest opening for the club in its 90-year history.

"People are excited to get outside, and why wouldn't you be on a bluebird day like today?" said club president Matt Staffen. ""Being outside and getting sunshine is a health thing to do, and you can golf in a socially distanced way too."

Golfer Kevin McCotter notes that the club has put Plexi glass in between their cars, sanitizes everything, and everybody wears masks indoors.

Staffen adds that membership sales are up 60 per cent compared to last year and that they've already sold out of their seven-day memberships due to a spike in demand.

At Rebel Creek Golf Club in Petersburg, manager Frank Bester says he's anticipating a successful year ahead after 200 golfers teed up at the course over the weekend.

"We've never opened the golf course this early, and it was fantastic to see some friendly faces," he said. "We sold out within a couple hours of when we launched it."

Golfer Cathy Ferguson says that being back on the links can give many a boost to their mental health.

"It's not too windy, sun's out, and it's March," she said. "It's taken a toll on people mentally, and getting out and being social is important."