MANKATO — November snowfall could’ve meant the end of the season for golf courses if it stuck around, but Terrace View assistant manager Blaine Grunzke said he was an optimist.
“I always say we can golf up until Christmas Eve,” he said. “Whether that comes to fruition or not, I don’t know.”
At least up until Thanksgiving, Mother Nature appears to have come through with a stretch of 50-degree days this week giving way to temperatures in the 40s next week.
For many golf enthusiasts, Grunzke said, 40-degree days are enough to get out for a round.
“The phone’s been ringing off the hook today,” he said around 11:30 a.m. Thursday. “I think we only got a couple tee times left for the rest of the day.”
National Weather Service forecasts suggest the current warmer weather cell could continue through the end of the month in the Mankato area. In such a difficult year, even 40-degree days this late in November can count as encouragement.
It’s hasn’t just been a warm few days, either. Before this week’s mild weather and the colder days last week, Mankato enjoyed 70-degree weather in early November.
Combine it all and Mankato’s average temperature so far in November has been 4.4 degrees above normal, said Brent Hewett, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. It’s not a record, but it’ll do.
“Looks like we’ll probably finish 4 to 5 degrees above average,” he said. “I know a lot of us will take it.”
Daily average temperatures factor in both overnight lows and daily highs. Based on Weather Service data over a 30-year period, Mankato’s average for November usually tends to be in the 37-degree range.
Thursday exceeded that average with ease. The high was expected to be 54 degrees, Hewett said, while the Weather Service expected a low of 33 degrees in the evening.
Terrace View had been closed for about a week and a half or so because of snow and cooler weather until Wednesday, when 50-degree temperatures drew many golfers out to area courses.
While getting ready to tee off on hole one Thursday on the course south of Mankato, David Clause and Kevin Black said it was nice to be outside — little to no wind made for even more favorable golfing conditions.
They hoped to get in more rounds at courses before winter weather comes back around. At Terrace View, Grunzke said the plan is to stay open as long as weather allows.
“If we get bad weather and then it gets nice, we’re going to reopen again,” he said. “We’re going to go as long as we possibly can.”