Unseasonably high temperatures this winter have brought unusually high player traffic to Four Oaks Golf Course, officials said Tuesday.

Unseasonably high temperatures this winter have brought unusually high player traffic to Four Oaks Golf Course, officials said Tuesday.

The course is open all year if the temperature is above 40 degrees. But aside from a core of between 10 and15 members who play nearly every day — even when the temperature is down into the 20s — the course goes virtually unused between December and the beginning of March.

“We’re usually closed up then, but those members come if we’re open or not,” said clubhouse manager Randy Dawson. “They’re out there with shells around their carts and heaters inside.”

But this year at the end of January, Dawson said, the amount of traffic is higher than he’s ever seen.

“It seems like we’ve been open almost every day,” he said. “I can’t remember it being like this in the five years I’ve been here.”

The approximately 126-acre course has three workers it keeps during the winter months. They take care of chores including tree removal, painting the tee markers and winterizing and performing minor repairs to the golf carts. They also maintain the trailer park and tennis courts, as well as leaf removal.

They’ve been extra busy this year, making sure the course is ready for the near-daily traffic.

“When it’s warm enough, people want to come out,” said Assistant Superintendent Kris Loy. “We do the best we can to make it playable.”

The course was certainly playable for Ed Martin, who is the former golf coach for St. Mary’s Colgan High School. Martin and three of his friends were out on the back nine Tuesday afternoon, soaking up the mild temperatures and slow breeze.

“My rule is that I play if the wind chill is above 40 degrees, but usually it’s 50 or above,” Martin sad. “I play every chance I can get.”

Pittsburg High School golf coach Dave Turnbull, who was among the group, said he’d love to be able to play more.

“I don’t get to play as much as I’d like,” he said. “It’s usually a couple times a month.”

“But if he finds out I’m playing, he’ll try to not play,” Martin cut in jokingly.

Larry Hill said he plays at least a couple times a week, depending on the weather.

“I like the course and the management really tries to improve it,” Hill said. “They really try to take care of you.”

But what keeps these four men and others out on the green, even in winter?

“It’s a challenge,” said the fourth member, Dan Prince. “It’s harder in winter.”

Martin had a reason of his own.

“It’s like fishing,” he said. “You can tell when you hit the ball just right. It’s like that rush you get when you hook a fish. You get that same rush when you hit a good ball.”