Greens to open come spring

The sun is shining, the snow is melting and the sounds of birds chirping return as golf season inches closer.

For Oakland University, this means preparing its two courses – R & S Sharf and Katke-Cousins – for recreational and golf team uses.

However, Mother Nature has had other ideas as a harsh winter and record-setting temperatures has stalled the process.

“It’s all depending on the weather,” said Tom Schall, head golf courses superintendent. “As it looks right now, I’d guess the beginning of April. There’s a lot of snow out there and a lot of water.”

Most of the work cannot be started until a majority of the snow has melted away, which leaves many at the golf course anxious.

“We have to assess what the winter has done to the greens. That makes a difference on how soon we can play,” Kelly Carter, business manager at the Golf and Learning Center said.

Up-keeping the course involves long days for the 20-25 person crew, working at least 40 hours a week. The initial process is maintaining the grass length, but also having to put out all the accessories – such as pins and ball washers.

Once open, the golf courses will be the location of many golf outings – some are university related, such as the alumni outings, but many are outside of the university. During the summer time, there is an outing almost every Monday, according to Carter.

Oakland University, for the past three years, has hosted the Michigan PGA championship. However, it was only a three-year contract.

According to Schall, Oakland Athletics has been contacted to replace that event with an NCAA championship.

Although the courses host many events during the summer, students still have an opportunity to enjoy the courses at a discount.

To play the Katke-Cousins course, full-time students are charged $14 for 18 holes during the week and $20 for the weekends.

The Sharf course is more expensive at $70 and $75 dollars, but includes a cart for the long and open style course.

After a round of golf, golfers can find their way to Finnegan’s and enjoy the signature dish of fish and chips. Like the golf course, Finnegan’s is aiming to open early April, weather permitting.

For more information and to book a tee time, visit