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Golfers take advantage of earliest opening ever at Ariss course

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The Ariss Valley Golf and Country Club opened to the public on Saturday, the earliest it’s ever opened for the season.

“[We’re] booked full [on Monday], 190 golfers. We had 168 out yesterday, 152 out on Saturday,” Ron Silver, the director of golf for the club, said.

Players were limited to walking only, with only 18 of its 27 holes available.

Before this year, the club’s earliest opening was March 15.

According to Silver, the course will close again if the winter weather returns. Right now, they’re just happy to be able to get golfers out on the course.

“If we get anything more than this it will just be a bonus,” he said. “We ended up opening April 10th last year.”

It has been an unusual winter for the golf club anyways. It closed on Nov. 15 and opened for a couple days later that month, and then again for four days around Christmas.

“I can't remember ever golfing this early,” said golfer Barry Williams.

“It's been a crazy year,” Silver agreed.

Barry Williams tees off at the Ariss Valley Golf and Country Club on March 4, 2024. (Colton Wiens/CTV Kitchener)

Golfers who were at the Ariss course on Monday said they jumped at the chance to get out and play.

Desmond Yuen constantly checks to see which clubs are open.

“We looked around Niagara Falls and all the other courses. As long as they are open, we are happy golfers.”

Yuen is from Mississauga and said it was worth the drive to Ariss in order to play Monday.

“We're looking at the days all the time and try to find something like mid-teens or even 10 degrees. We are really, really happy,” he explained. “We actually checked a couple of courses. They are fully booked, right? So we were lucky to get a tee time at a reasonable price. That's winter in Ontario. Happy, happy.”

Early season for motorcycles

Winter’s seemingly early end has also had a major impact on power sports dealers.

Apex Cycle Sports in Cambridge said it’s one their earliest switches from snowmobile to motorcycle sales.

“Usually it starts mid-April. So the fact that it's starting now, it's a blessing, especially with the lack of snow,” said sales manager Brian Shorney.

Motorcycles on display at Apex Cycle Sports in Cambridge on March 4, 2024. (Colton Wiens/CTV Kitchener)

Usually Apex is also busy selling snowmobiles at this time of year but Shorney said that has been lacking this season.

“On the upside, motorcycle sales have started much earlier than normal, which is good. We don't get the log jam all at one time,” he explained.

Winter activities ending

The public skating rink in Uptown Waterloo closed on Monday.

“Due to weather conditions and spring warm-up temperatures, the Uptown Public Square ice rink is closed for this season,” a city spokesperson said in an email.

MORE: Second warmest February in history of Waterloo Region, says UW weather station

According to the City of Waterloo, the mobile compressor system is being shut down and the ice, dasher boards and other items will be removed during the week.

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