By George Ferguson
The annual rite of passage across the nation known as the amateur golf season has begun. As the weather begins to finally lighten up in Havre, folks are steadily returning to Beaver Creek Golf Course for another season in the sun, wind, and any other element that Mother Nature can throw at Havreites in a given summer.
While residents have been able to golf sporadically for several weeks now, the official beginning of golf season at BCGC will get under way on Tuesday when the Beaver Creek Golf Course men's golf league opens its season. There are 38 total teams in the league this season with 18 playing on Tuesday night and 20 playing on Wednesdays. The first four weeks of the season will tee off at 5:30 p.m. and the last four weeks of will also begin at 5:30. All weeks in between will begin at 5:45 p.m.
The regular season will run to the end of August with Tuesday night's teams concluding on Aug. 26 and Wednesday's on Aug. 27. The playoffs will begin on Sept. 2 and run through championship night on Sept. 10. No major changes will take place in scoring format or playoff format. During the first half of the season there will be two weeks where the format will change from match play to chapman or scramble format.
The Beaver Creek Golf Course women's golf league has not decided as of yet when it will begin its season. The women's league meeting is scheduled for Monday.
Aside from the two leagues, Beaver Creek will also host a bevy of tournaments for golfers of all skill levels during the summer.
The tournament season will begin on April 27 with the annual Men's League Kickoff Scramble. The only tournament scheduled for May is the Mulligans For Mentors tournament sponsored by District IV Human Resources Development Council on May 31. Five tournaments are scheduled for June, including the Heda and the ever popular Men's League Calcutta. July will feature three tournaments, including the prestigious Blast Tournament. The annual Hospital Tournament will kick off the month of August.
While there are no significant structural changes to BCGC this season, golfers will once again be able to take advantage of the course's extra amenities like the 19th Hole indoor practice facility, which features an expansive indoor putting and chipping facility as well as a golf simulator. The driving range will also be updated with a new net that will make the range able to accommodate the use of metal woods for the first time in several years.
The course itself is also looking to be in good shape. Despite another dry winter, course superintendent Brett Gilman is optimistic about course conditions this season.
"It looks like the course has come out of winter really well," Gilman said. "The greens are in really good shape and the early moisture that we have had can only help."
Gilman also suspects conditions will be right as the summer progresses, even though predictions are hard to make.
"It is really tough to predict what the weather is going to be like," Gilman said. "A wet summer would be nice, as long as it all doesn't come at once. But I expect that the course will be in very nice shape this season."
Beaver Creek Golf Course Tournament Schedule
May 31 - Mulligans for Mentors
June 7 - Heda Tournament
June 8 - Crimestoppers
June 14 - Shanty Bar Tournament
June 21 - Swing For Life
June 29 - Men's League Calcutta
July 12-13 - Blast Tourney
July 26 - Pennington's Scramble
July 28 - IGA Scramble
Aug. 2 - Hospital Tournament
Aug. 23-24 - BCGC Men's & Women's Club Championship