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Doug Wolter/Daily Globe A group of golfers line up their fairway shots at the Worthington Country Club Tuesday. The course has largely recovered from extensive tree damage due to an April storm, giving golfers the summer they've been craving.

Area Golf: Golf is in full swing

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Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

WORTHINGTON -- You'd have to give the trees at the Worthington Country Club more than a casual scan these days to notice that not everything is normal. And that's a good thing.

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On April 9, a late-winter storm caused extensive tree damage throughout Worthington and surrounding areas, and the devastation at the tree-lined Country Club was severe. Today, if you look for it, you can see a few Country Club tree limbs that are sagging, and other trees with limbs chopped off. There are pieces of limbs still to be taken down from a few of the damaged trees.

But for the most part, all looks well. The trees look a healthy green, just like the grass underneath. And it is business as usual for the golfers as the warm days of summer arrive.

"With huge volunteer help, all the trees have been cleaned. All we have to do now are a few hangers that are higher up. ... They work on a few every day. There's not many still left out there," said Country Club manager Deb Jaycox Tuesday.

"They came out in droves for the cleanup," she said.

Jaycox said membership at the Country Club is a little bit ahead of last year.

Count Zeke Zahorsky as a satisfied customer. He was out on the course with friends Tuesday afternoon and he remains impressed with the course. "It's really come back. People were out here raking with chain saws," he said.

Jaycox said there have been relatively few changes made at the Country Club this year, other than having a new tee box installed on hole No. 15.

"Our food operations have been slimmed down to our league nights and Friday nights during the season, and any special events that are going on," said Jaycox, who has been in the restaurant business for more than 30 years.

Jaycox said that after the storm, the main question golfers had was how soon they would be able to play golf. Grounds superintendent Bob Wethor said many linksters figured they would have to wait up to two months. But nine holes opened in four or five weeks, and only some unseasonable snowfalls and hard rains made them unplayable on certain days.

"Insult to injury," he said.

On Tuesday, however, skies were clear and summer was in full bloom -- a far cry from April 10 when the trees lining the Country Club looked like they had been stripped by falling bombs.

"You're just flabbergasted," Wethor recalled. "You could just see how bad it was from the road, but it just got worse as you got out and started looking around."

Today, said Wethor, things are looking, if not normal, almost normal.

"There's obviously quite a bit of tree work left to do. But we've got the majority of stuff touching the ground taken care of," he said.

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