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Michigan golfers 'tee-it-high' during mid-December unseasonable warmth

With temperatures in the high 50s and low 60s ten days before Christmas, Michigan golfers decided to trade their cabin fever for a rare December day on the links.

GRANDVILLE, Mich. — Usually during this time of the year many are shoveling sidewalks, scraping ice off windshields while dreaming about getting back on the gold course in 5 months.

This year, no need to dream thanks to temperatures soaring into the 60s, affording golfers the opportunity to trade their cabin fever for a mid-December day on the links.

The management at Maple Hill Golf Course in Grandville saw the extended weather forecast over the weekend and decided to open for business on Wednesday.

"Between noon and 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, we estimate having 50 to 60 golfers out on the course," said Andy Kitchen, who owns Maple Hill GC. "Ten days before Christmas and it seemed like we were as busy as a random Wednesday in July."

Evan Hovingh, 19, from Rockford, pulled together a foursome and teed-off around 1:30 p.m.

"My brother and two of our buddies saw the weather forecast and decided it was perfect golfing weather," Hovingh said. "We're supposed to be sledding and ice skating right now but instead we are continuing summer traditions."

It wasn't just clientele in their late teens and early 20s taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, there were several golfers in their 70s and 80s on the course, too.

"Oh, this is so fantastic," said Dave Ritsema. "I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world today."

Collin VerVaras says the first thing on his mind when he woke up this morning was golf.

"It's crazy that it's 60 degrees in the middle of December," VerVaras said. "It's going to be a good day."


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