(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The snow is gone (mostly). The sun stays up later (gradually). And Sunday, March 20, marked the first day of spring. That’s all bad news for ski hills, but good news for golf courses.

One local golf course in Fairview is looking forward to spring as it ushers in a family’s 10th year of owning the club.

The Arrigo family owns Beechwood Golf Club in Fairview. They came to collectively own the club when the father, Matt Arrigo, saw it listed for sale.

“My brothers had just gotten out of college. My dad saw it for sale and said let’s go for it,” general manager and co-owner Tony Arrigo remembers. “We have a lot of experience managing restaurants, so from the restaurant side and the banquet hall, we knew we could do it. It was the golf course that was the unknown.”

It’s not that golf is foreign to them. The family is big on golf. Brothers Pat and Jon Arrigo both played golf in college. They played together as a family while growing up.

“I’m the worst Arrigo,” Tony Arrigo said of his golf game. “I’m OK, but they’re better than me. I have no problems saying that, and they have no problem saying it.”

Readying for the season involves a lot of a mechanical maintenance, Tony said, including preparing golf carts and ensuring the mowers are in good working order. Beyond that, much of the landscape preparations were done in the fall — the greens and the tee boxes were protected at the end of the last season. “Snow mold” — a fungus and turf disease — is a real issue, however, the course is protected with chemicals in the fall, and any problem areas will be treated further as the course dries out later in spring.

And drying out the course is the number-one issue, and unfortunately, it’s out of the Arrigo family’s control.

“In the winter, there’s nothing you can do beside protect the greens and tee boxes. Right now, we’re at Mother Nature’s mercy,” Tony said. “It all comes down to dryness. It could be one more week, or three weeks. Or more.”

Typically, the course opens for play in the middle of April.

“People come in and they’re asking when they can get out golfing, and I keep saying, ‘We want you out golfing today, but Mother Nature won’t let me,'” Tony said.

Inside, preparations continue, unabated by Mother Nature.

“What excites me most about this time of year is all the speculation of what’s to come this summer,” Pat Arrigo said. “I’m excited to get everyone out on the course and see everyone.”

The excitement has only been in the past couple of years. In the first couple of years, Tony says they were “a little more nervous” when the season started.

“Now we’re ready to get back to the season and see people,” Tony said.

But it’s not that the winter season sees the business completely shuttered — the indoor activities of the club boasts a restaurant and golf simulators. Currently, Beechwood Golf Club has three golf simulators. Golfers shoot golf balls at a screen, and real-time sensors track the club and the ball to predict and simulate each shot’s path.

“They’ve been booked since January, and every day we’re open, people come in and play courses from all over the world,” Tony said. “You can see them and play them. It’s a fun way to learn without having to chase the ball around or feel bad outside on the course.”

One of three golf simulators inside Beechwood Golf Club in Fairview.

When the family first took over the restaurant, a typical winter crowd was two tables. That’s no longer the case.

“We said when we bought the place that if we could have a good golf course, good food and great service, then we’d have the best golf course around — we’re there,” Tony said. “Now we’re aiming to have a great course, great food and great service. We’ll just keep trying to improve to be the best we can.”

This year, Pat said Beechwood Golf Club plans to redo its brunch menu and have those items available on Sundays throughout summer.

That said, there’s one item on the menu that allegedly can’t be outdone.

“I’m biased, but we have the best burgers in town,” Pat said.

It’s a staple at the club. But don’t forget to save room for dessert. The peanut butter pies are baked fresh by Elaine Arrigo, wife of Matt and mother to the brothers.

“People love them,” Tony said of the pies.

Golf league play begins at the end of April.

“Year 10 has been pretty good so far,” Tony said.

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Beechwood Golf Club is located at 6401 Gorski Road in Fairview.