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The wait is over

Yampa Valley Golf Course opens with warm weather

Kevin Rusk, left, pounds fists with Danny Thompson after both hit agreeable tee shots on the 11th hole Wednesday at Yampa Valley Golf Course. The course opened Saturday and has had a steady flow of golfers hitting the links.

The quest for golf has kept Craig resident Travis Brown on the move in recent weeks.

Brown has been traveling up and down the Western Slope in search of open greens and warm weather.

"It's been horrible," he said. "I've driven 250 miles to New Castle, and wherever it's open.

"It's been a long time waiting for the golf course to open."

With warm weather back, the wait is over.

Yampa Valley Golf Course opened for golf Saturday and Brown was quick to capitalize.

He has been able to golf at Yampa Valley four times.

"I've just been looking forward to the season for a while," he said. "I've been wanting to get out since January."

Brown, who plays at Yampa Valley three or four times a week, said he had been patiently waiting for the course to open.

"I snowmobile in the winter, so it's not that bad," he said. "But we have been in that in-between period where there isn't enough snow to snowmobile and too much to golf."

The course was slated to open April 2, but an April 1 snowstorm postponed opening day.

Although all 18 holes are open, the driving range will need more time to dry out from the snow, course officials said.

Craig Madsen was golfing alongside Brown on Wednesday, and even though the course saw snow and wind Tuesday, Brown was out then, too.

"I was even out with the bad weather," he said. "I've been ready for the course to be open."

Like Brown, Madsen had to travel to play golf, so being able to golf in his hometown is a welcome change, he said.

"It's been a long wait," he said. "Especially because this course is so nice."

Sean McCarthy, of Steam

boat Springs, was at the golf course Wednesday for his 19th opening day in Craig.

"It's been a long time building up," he said. "We have remarkable conditions today.

"The wind didn't pick up too much. We love it out here. We come in the spring and the fall."

Although McCarthy said he spends most of his summer golfing in Steamboat Springs, his season always starts at Yampa Valley, and Wednesday was a good day to start, he said.

"It's just a great day," he said. "A great day for golf, and a great opening day."