There’s still plenty of golf to be played before putting a lid on the season. The Maine State Golf Association still has several weekly, midweek and senior tournaments remaining. Fall is a good time to play because courses are generally in their best shape of the year.

For the most part, courses rebounded from one of the slowest starts in recent years. A severe winter, followed by a colder than normal spring, caused extensive damage to courses in the state and throughout the Northeast. The noticeable effect of the winter kill was it forced courses to begin the year with temporary greens. In some cases golfers weren’t putting on all of their course’s regular 18 greens until June.

“I haven’t seen a winter and spring like this in 10 years,” said Toby Young, president of the Maine Golf Course Superintendents’ Association and the superintendent at Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland.

“The spring kind of lingered into summer. It took a while for the temperature to rise. Nothing could germinate. Most courses rebounded but it took longer than in past years. I think some courses had issues most of the season.”

Young and his fellow superintendents hope there’s a stretch of years before they have to deal with similar conditions. It would be great if they never have to again, but being in the climate we’re in, that’s highly unlikely.

Asked if there’s any preventive measures superintendents could use to avoid or lessen the damage of a similar winter-spring, Young said: “There’s a whole bunch of things you could try, but there’s no silver bullet. Conditions are going to vary from course to course and from region to region.”

Young said courses run into trouble during the winter and early spring when there’s a freeze, a thaw and another freeze. When ice forms on greens, the grass can’t breathe and suffocates. Early snow cover without the ice is generally OK, but a prolonged period isn’t. In February and early March, superintendents often will plow or snowblow their greens, then chip the ice off. Being proactive can make all the difference in April.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP season of the Maine State Golf Association ended last weekend with the Mid-Am Championship at York Golf and Tennis, and the Ledges Golf Club, also in York. Keith Patterson, a winner in past MSGA team events with Scott Dewitt in the two-man championship and Martha White in the mixed team championship, won his first MSGA individual title with the Mid-Am championship. He shot rounds of 70-71-141 to win by four shots.

Joining Patterson as first-time winners of MSGA championship events were Andrew Slattery, Maine Amateur; Andrew Mason of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, Maine Open; Dan and D.J. Honan, Father and Son (tied with Jim and Scott Stone); Ron Dery and Randy Sawyer, senior two-man; Ashley Fifield and Mike O’Brien, four-ball championship; Shawn Casey, ‘B’ championship; Mike Perreault, ‘C’ championship; Chris King and Sally Williams, and Malcolm Oliver and Bailey Plourde, tied mixed team championship; and the Martindale team of Brian Bilodeau, Andrew Stonehouse, Andrew Slattery and Will Kannegeiser) in the club team championship.

TEE TO GREEN: On Friday and Saturday, Northeast Harbor Golf Club and Kebo Valley Club will host an MSGA weekly amateur. There are still tee times available. You can call the MSGA office at 829-3549 or e-mail them at: [email protected] for a tee time. Friday and Saturday MSGA tournaments are scheduled through October to mid-November. The final tournament is Nov. 14-15 at The Links at Outlook in South Berwick.

Midweek tournament courses are Oct. 7 at Portland and Oct. 14 at Cape Arundel. Remaining senior tournaments are at Brunswick on Oct. 1, Webhannet on Oct. 16 and Biddeford-Saco on Oct. 21.

Val Halla will celebrate its 50th year as a golf course in 2015. As part of the celebration, the course will host the mid-amateur championship. The Maine Junior Amateur, which has been a fixture at Val Halla, will be played at Brunswick. Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth will be the site of the New England junior championship Aug. 16-18.

The men’s Maine Amateur will be played at the Waterville Country Club.