El Nino's Mild Winter Has Golfers, Park Districts Seeing Early Green

Article excerpt

Byline: Shamus Toomey Daily Herald Staff Writer

If you haven't dusted off your putter or scraped the dried dirt off your irons yet this winter, you might want to start.

Thanks to the mild winter that has left the ground soft and free of snow, golfers in Wheeling and Buffalo Grove should be able to hit the links at the publicly owned courses earlier than ever before.

The village of Buffalo Grove typically doesn't open its Arboretum Golf Course until the beginning of April. And while the village-owned Buffalo Grove Golf Course and Wheeling Park District's Chevy Chase Country Club both stay open year-round, the regular greens and tees are off limits during the winter.

But with no snow and the ground thawed, Buffalo Grove Director of Golf Operations Carmen Molinaro says it's nearly time to tee it up.

"I'm not a big believer in this stuff, but I guess you do have to believe it's El Nino," Molinaro said.

Tentative opening dates are March 13 for Buffalo Grove Golf Course and March 20 for Arboretum - their earliest openings ever since being run by the village, said Molinaro, a 24-year veteran of the job. …