Jim Dunbar sat in the clubhouse at Natanis Golf Course,and smiled when asked about the round of golf he had just completed.

“Spring conditions are typically wet and sloppy. The greens are drying up nicely. It’s going to be a real good year,” Dunbar, of Winslow, said. “Best conditions at this time of the season in a while.”

The mild winter was kind to golf courses around the region. Waterville Country Club opened for the season on Thursday, while Cobbossee Colony in Monmouth opens Friday. Some courses, like Meadows Golf Course in Litchfield, have been open for weeks, or in the case of Natanis, a month and a half.

Natanis opened for the season on Feb. 25. Dickie Browne manned the clubhouse on Thursday and said that early opening was successful.

“Maybe it was novelty of playing in Maine in February, or people didn’t go to Florida this year and wanted to play,” Browne said.

On Thursday, 27 of Natanis’ 36 holes were playable. Course superintendent Al Browne said all 36 holes will be open this weekend in time for the school vacation week. The plan is to cut the greens and speed them up, he said.

Meadows Golf Course opened on March 13, one of the earliest openings in the course’s 19-year history, manager Mary O’Mara said.

“(The greens) came through the winter in good shape,” O’Mara said. “Players are saying this is the best shape they’ve seen for this time of year.”

At Natanis, the early opening came after the 2015 season almost made it to the new year.

“I played the day before Christmas, which has never happened,” Dunbar said. “There’s no winter kill on any greens here. We’re all pretty happy and pretty excited.”

Waterville Country Club opened for the season at 10 a.m. Thursday. In the pro shop shortly after 11 a.m., club pro Don Roberts pointed out the window at a group that had just teed off at hole one.

“Those guys right there were the last ones playing here last season, and here they are today,” Roberts said.

With no ice on the course, Waterville was ready to go with all 18 holes open.

“The greens came through good this winter. No temporaries, no complaining. I think everyone’s in the same boat. It’s a good year for everyone,” Roberts said. “I think without the rain, maybe we would’ve been open a week earlier. This is about average.”

Western View in Augusta unofficially opened on Wednesday. The recent rain and cold weather delayed things, said Manny Plasentilla, who worked in the clubhouse on Thursday afternoon.

“With all the rain, it was too soggy to take a chance,” Plasentilla said. “As of (Friday) we are fully operational.”

According to its web page, Belgrade Lakes Golf Club is scheduled to open May 1.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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