Posted By: Jason Iacovino

I keep getting emails from the Owatonna Dept. of Parks and Recreation about the upcoming golf season at Brooktree.  My feeling when I get these emails has to be similar to a marathon runner who sees a billboard promoting the finish line at the 2-mile mark.

Of course, I've never run a marathon, so I guess I wouldn't know.

Minnesotans have certainly endured a metaphorical marathon the last 5 months and it's name is winter.  The question we're all wondering now is are we even in the same area code as the finish line?

The high temperature on Sunday for our area is 61 degrees.  Then it drops to 37 by Tuesday and anything above 42 becomes a distant memory for the next several days.  My endgame here is very simple--I want to golf.

You hear people comment about how nice it is when we get one of these mid-to-upper 40s days when the sun is shining.  I shrug.  Sure, if by "nice" you mean it no longer hurts to be outside.

But most of us don't drink refreshing beverages on the porch in these conditions and they definitely do not open golf courses.  It's likely that 99 percent of the snow will be gone after Sunday's warmup, but for golfers, that's just the beginning.  Our ground is still frozen solid from dozens of days where the temperature was below zero this winter and it's going to take a while for that to change.

And once it does, then the ground needs to dry.  A solitary 60-degree day won't go very far to make these things happen.  If Park and Rec was allowed to take bets on whether or not leagues at Brooktree will start the week of April 21-24 as scheduled, I would surely wager the negative. 

That's too bad, too, because this year's Masters tournament is later than usual (April 10-13) and the spectacle of that event is enough to get even the most causal golfer to dust off the clubs if there's a course that's open.  If golf courses are open that weekend--and I'd be very surprised if they are--they won't be very playable.  You can buy your membership, some new balls, and maybe a new pair of golf shoes, but you'll be playing on a surface that rivals Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty's beard. 

The reality is because we never experienced a true thaw in March, it will be several weeks before golf courses are legitimately playable.  And that's assuming, of course, we don't have a 10-incher like we did on May 1 last year. 

This has been a long, painful winter.  It will be nice to see kids playing outside in the near future, but to me, winter doesn't truly get put to bed until I get to play on freshly cut greens. 

So in other words, Happy Groundhog's Day!

Jason Iacovino can be heard Tuesdays and Fridays on KRFO-AM 1390 at 3:50 p.m. Email him at Follow him on Twitter @JasonIacovino.