Golf season opens

Golfers are back on the greens as the two Summerland courses have opened for the year.

At Summerland Golf and Country Club, league play is held Monday to Thursday while at Sumac Ridge Golf Club, a women’s league plays on Tuesdays while a men’s league plays on Wednesdays.

Ken Oleschuk, general manager of the Summerland Golf and Country Club, said the leagues, which begin in early April, will be busy, with more than 100 people in the Wednesday men’s league and more than 100 in the Thursday senior men’s and women’s league.

During the peak of the golf season, at least 250 players a day are on the course.

Part of the appeal comes from the nature of the game, which can be as competitive or casual as a player chooses.

“You can play your own game and you can play with other people,” he said. “It’s just me against the course.”

Kim Lam, owner of Sumac Ridge Golf Course, said golfing is also effective at relieving stress.

“I love the game,” she said. “I enjoy it when I’m playing. I’m relaxed. I don’t have to think about work.”

Oleschuk said he has seen studies which suggest golfers live an average of five years longer than those who do not golf.

“It’s not just the exercise,” he said. “It’s also about being in the outdoors and the camaraderie. It contributes to a healthy lifestyle.”

While there are many retirees in some of the golf leagues at both courses, Oleschuk said there is also an initiative to introduce students to the game.