HOUGHTON — For the first time in three years golf courses in the Upper Peninsula are getting an early start to spring.

One sure sign of Spring—when golfers hit the greens. The Portage Lake Golf Course opened this week and joins other U.P. golf courses that are starting the season earlier than the previous two years.

Portage Lake Golf Course General Manager Mark Maroste said, “Typically we, on average, open between 10th and the 20th or April and the last two years we’ve opened May 18th so we are three weeks ahead of last year and some things are just getting back to normal so it feels great.”

Despite the heavy snow, golfers will find the course ready for play.

Maroste continued, “We prepare the course real well in the fall and with our heavy snow cover, the course really doesn’t get a lot of damage. We just, basically, have to clean things up, pick up all the branches and all the tree damage done throughout the winter, get rid of some of the worms and debris on the greens and on the tees and open her up.”

Right now the course is open for walkers only with carts expected to be available later this week. Better hit the course soon though; October will be here before you know it.