Golfing in winter: 'No crowds this time of year'

      Watch All in a Day's Drive Wednesdays on KMTR NewsSource 16 at 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

      EUGENE, Ore. Golf in the summer is both time-consuming and expensive.

      You often can't play without a tee time, and players can feel rushed as they try to putt through a round.

      Winter is a change of pace as those same golfers often put away the clubs and forget about them for months.

      But those golfers who continue playing during cold months won't be as rusty come spring and they can play cheaper and avoid the crowds.

      On a foggy morning, Laurelwood Golf Course appears quiet and gloomy, but these Eugene links are very much open.

      "No crowds this time of year," golfer Frank LaCosse from Drain joked.

      Frank LaCosse and a friend are getting in a quick nine, practicing their short game on the deserted course.

      "Keeps your stroke together for the season when it comes," LaCosse said. "And the opportunities are few and far between during the winter, so you grab it, even in this weather."

      "We also like to call it cardio golf because it has a very hilly terrain. So you get a workout, a very good workout while you're playing golf," Laurelwood Golf Course general manager Debby King said.

      You're not only staying sharp by warming up the clubs on a chilly day, but you can also take advantage of deals. Many golf courses offer discounts on things like green fees and memberships.

      "Winter rates are in effect, so it's only $10 to play," King said.

      Just a few miles south of Eugene, the appropriately named Highway 58 Golf Range is a roadside workshop where golfers can take lessons and work on their mechanics.

      "We do large buckets - about 100 balls - for $5. Small ones for $3, so you can spend hours out here for a couple bucks," Highway 58 Golf Range owner Rick Auriemma said.

      "It's hard. You lose it quick. I'm the same way. I've been doing this for 40 years and if I don't pick them up, I don't play good," Auriemma said.

      Just two places where you can hit the green and beat the winter blues.

      Laurelwood golf course also has a deal for juniors, ages 17 and under. They can play unlimited golf for $5 a day during the winter.