ESSEX – It’s no secret how beautiful it has been outside over recent days. Many took advantage of the sunshine by hitting the golf course for the first time this spring.

“I’ve been itching to get out since last September and then the Masters Sunday was last week so it was a good excuse to come out here,” said longtime golfer Brett Schmieder. “Then the 80 degree weather is inviting in itself.”

You never know when these Vermont courses will open each Spring, but these past few days in the Champlain Valley have been a New England golfers paradise.

“It’s very exciting, this is great. This is a perfect first day out in Vermont,” said Lynn Braceras, before a round with two friends.

It’s an excitement that’s been building for months. “Everyone here in Vermont towards the end of the winter starts to get a little ‘ancy’ so it’s nice to see everybody out here and it’s fun to see a lot of familiar faces again,” said Kellen Peery, Director of Golf for the Links at Lang Farm.

So why does it take so long for these courses to get up and running?

“We like to open up as soon as we can,” said Peery. “The course needs to be dry enough and the ground needs to be warm enough for the grass to grow.”

This week certainly did that…

Most of us my not be pros, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream about what’s to come this season. One golfer showed off some new golf clubs he acquired during the offseason.

“I got a new Callaway set that was definitely needing an upgrade from my old one that I’ve had for five or six years so very excited to just hit them,” said local golfer, David Irish. He said he’s hoping the upgrade gives his game a little bit of magic.

Many golfers try to be realistic to at least start the year though. “Expectations just mean it’s harder to play so I just try to have fun with it and go from there,” said Braceras.

So maybe no expectations for on the golf course, but there are definitely some for after the round.

“[What’s] The best part of recreational golf?… I was going to say the beer afterwards,” said Braceras, with a laugh. “[But] absolutely the social aspect.”

All courses should be open by the first week of May.