When it gets above freezing in Minnesota in January, why not go golfing?
That's what a few golfers said Thursday as they hit balls on the outdoor range at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids.
Thursday marked the earliest opening date ever for Bunker Hills, and Tim Anderson, the golf director at the course, told GoMN he thinks they'll have the range open for eight to 10 days based on the forecast. It shows temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s through the weekend.
The range opened at 8 a.m. Thursday, and Anderson said the phone was ringing off the hook with people interested in hitting balls. Jim Murray, a Vietnam veteran, was the first one to show up, a little over an hour after it opened.
"I figured as long as they had it open ... I like to play golf. I get out when I can. So why not? I've got nothing else to do," Murray told GoMN.
Murray said it felt good to swing a club, and he was hitting them pretty well, although not as good as he'd want.
A few more golfers started to trickle onto the range before 10 a.m., including Mark Myhre, who was in a T-shirt. He said he heard the range was opening so he thought he'd swing by and see if anyone was hitting balls, and then thought he'd hit some too.
"It's better than watching golf on TV. I'd rather do this ... this is nice," Myhre said. "Minnesota is the way it is, you take advantage when you can."
By noon, Anderson said about 40 golfers had come to the range, saying it's "very exciting."