Winter golf draws tourists to the Tri-Cities - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Winter golf draws tourists to the Tri-Cities

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Richland, Wash. -- Jonathan Huls says his favorite thing about living in the Tri-Cities is the sunshine.  The Western Montana native hits the links three to four times a  month almost year round. 

he says, it's much different than where he's from, "You can ski or snowmobile or that kind of thing, hunting in the fall but golf courses shut down from about early November through March," says Huls

The man who runs Columbia Point in Richland, Joe Creager says last season they only closed for a month and a half all year.  This year, they closed a couple of times because of snow.  He says many of the golfers come from all over the state, especially Yakima and Spokane.

"It's a short drive for them. They can come down and take in a hockey game, do other things in the tri cities, taste some wine.  So it gives them a great opportunity," says Creager.

He says the visitors usually come down in groups and stay near the golf course.  "Anywhere from a group of four to about 30 or 40 that will come this time of year. Usually, we see some of the larger groups come after the first of the year,  especially from Spokane when they've been closed for a while. We also have some Canadian groups that come down, late February, early March.

Kris Watkins, the CEO and President of the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau says she's been trying to promote our winter golf possibilities and it continues to grow, just like our economy.  "Those people are staying in our hotels, obviously they're going to the golf courses, they are going to our restaurants and our gas stations," says Watkins.