Several golf courses in the state had their earliest openings ever this season. Golfers flocked to the courses. While it was great for them to get any early start, the courses were soon getting parched by drought.

That’s no longer the case, as rain last Sunday and Monday provided much-needed moisture. Maine got between 3 and 4 inches of precipitation. With rain again on Thursday, the courses have plenty of water. It’s often feast or famine when it comes to precipitation.

We had our lowest snowfall in years last winter, which was followed by an early spring drought. Hopefully, there will be ample sun so the courses can start drying out.

“We’re in pretty good shape,” said Lucerne Golf Club’s head professional, Gary Rees.

“We’re just pretty wet. We got 4 inches of rain. It was getting awfully dry before that. Now we have enough,” he said.

Rees said the East Holden course was hoping to have carts out on Friday. 

THE FIELD FOR the Hannaford Community Challenge is growing larger as the tournament nears. The Legends Tour event, bringing together some of the marquee names of the LPGA Tour from 20 and more years ago, will be played June 21-24 at Falmouth Country Club. Entered are Pat Bradley, Elaine Crosby, Rosie Jones, Sally Little, Nancy Lopez, Marilyn Lovander, Barb Moxness, Martha Nause, Liselotte Neumann, Michele Redman, Patty Sheehan, Sheri Steinhauer, Sheri Turner and Lori West.

Tickets for the tournament are available at www.thelegendstour.com.

ANOTHER TOURNAMENT coming up is the 48th Paul Bunyan on June 2-3. It will be played at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono and Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor. The field is filling up fast. To register, go to www.bunyangolf.com. Last year’s pace of play was extremely slow because groups played in foursomes. This year, it will be threesomes.

TEE TO GREEN: Brian Angis of Saco won the first official Maine State Golf Association weekly amateur with a 68 at Biddeford-Saco Country Club, his home course, on April 20-21. It was the first MSGA event in which players can accumulate points for Player of the Year.

The 115th Annual Pop Erswell Golf Tournament at Brunswick Golf Club is taking tee times for four-person teams to play on either Saturday, May 5, or Sunday, May 6. Tee times range from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Arguably the oldest running golf tournament in the United States, the Pop Erswell (formally called the Patriots’ Day Tournament) was known as the opening event for the Maine golf season. The format for the event is four-person best ball, with prizes for team and individual gross and net. The tournament is open to the public, with an entry fee of $40. To sign up, call 725-8224.

The Maine Golf Hall of Fame will hold its first Hickory Demo Day on Aug. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Poland Spring Golf Club driving range. For a small donation, golfers will be able to hit hickory shafted clubs from the early 1900s and persimmon woods from the 1960s.

Participants will be able to visit the Maine Golf Hall of Fame exhibit at the Maine State Building. For more information, call 368-4907.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH