Many in the York County golf community are likely suffering from a severe case of depression right about now.
A few weeks ago, an unusually warm February had many local hackers packing the area courses for a few unexpected, but very enjoyable, winter rounds.
Having survived January, February and early March relatively unscathed, it appeared as if the 2017 golf season would get off to an early and successful start.
Then Old Man Winter reared his ugly head for one final roar.
Now the county's courses are sitting beneath a heavy layer of freshly-fallen snow. It could be April before they're ready for significant play again.
In the meantime, local players won't have any way to satisfy their golf fix — unless they head for warmer climates.
Most will have to simply wait out the storm.
Despite that sad, short-term situation, however, some recent news gave county golfers a couple of reasons to be optimistic about the local, long-term future of the sport.
The restaurant opened a clubhouse location at Grandview in August, and that played an instrumental role in the group taking over operations of the oldest public golf course in York County, which is located in Dover Township.
The Barton family had been looking to sell the club for a number of years and put the property up for auction in 2015, but there were no bidders. Rumors were rampant that the course would close.
Fortunately for area golfers, the BrewVino group stepped in to prevent that from happening.
BrewVinwo already has plans to improve the course, including fixing tee boxes, fairways and greens, while also adding trees to improve the competitiveness and appeal of the 18-hole track, which measures more than 6,600 yards from the tips. The club also plans to purchase new copper-colored golf carts.
Regents' Glen: Then, about a week ago, the ownership at Regents' Glen Country Club issued a news release to announce it has launched a major bunker renovation project. More than 60 bunkers are expected to be re-shaped, lined and filled with white sand.
According to the news release, that project follows other course improvements, including upgrades to the irrigation system, regrowth of under-nourished turf, new maintenance equipment and a new golf-cart fleet.
The private course in Spring Garden Township, which stretches more than 6,300 yards from the championship tees, suffered some serious financial issues in recent years and was closed in October of 2015. Like Grandview, there were lots of rumors it would be closed for good, but it re-opened a year ago after being bought for a reported $5 million by Glen Rock native Rodney Krebs, who owns Springfield Contractors Inc., which is a heavy construction outfit in Glen Rock.
“I’m all in for the long haul and have no plans to turn the golf course and club into housing,” Krebs said in the news release. “More than a million dollars in improvements and retaining Billy Casper Signature (to manage the course) show my deep commitment to preserve Regents’ Glen for community enjoyment for generations to come.”
Promising developments: Both pieces of news are promising developments for the local golf scene.
It's no big secret that the golf industry has been struggling for a decade or more, both locally and across the nation. Course closings are far outpacing openings.
Here in York County, Hawk Lake (formerly Yorktowne) and Copper Beech (formerly Red Lion Country Club) shut down in recent decades.
It wouldn't have surprised anyone if Grandview and Regents' Glen followed in their footsteps.
Now, however, it appears both courses not only will remain open, but will be improved facilities.
Even better, both courses will likely serve very different golf clienteles.
Grandview has long been viewed as a blue-collar course, serving the county's cost-conscious public golf community. It's greens fees are among the lowest in the area.
Regents' Glen, as a private course, was opened as an upscale facility for its surrounding retirement community. It appeals to a more high-end crowd.
For the York County scene, the recent news about both clubs is a win-win scenario.
It should also cheer up those depressed local golfers whose favorite pastime has been buried under a blanket of snow for weeks to come.
Steve Heiser is sports editor for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.