It is 31 degrees outside, the sun is rising and Charlie Roberts is getting calls from anxious golfers who can't wait to tee off.
This is a common occurrence during the colder months when the Mooresville Golf Course is closed in the early morning due to frost.
Roberts, 57, is the director of golf at the Mooresville Golf Course. Originally from Wilmington, Roberts spent 17 years working his way through golf courses in the Dallas and Fort Worth area in Texas.
Then, in 1993, he got a chance to move closer to Wilmington, where his mother still lives, when he took the job at the Mooresville Golf Course.
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A resident of downtown Mooresville, he currently oversees most operations of the golf course, including tournaments, driving range and crafting the long-term and short-term goals for the course.
If you've driven past the course recently, you'll notice that the fairways are brown, but Roberts isn't worried about that. The Bermuda grass on the fairways goes dormant during the winter and turns a light brown color. The browner the fairways are, the better the grass will look in the spring; the only thing that's green in the fairways at this time of year are weeds.
When in this dormant phase, the grass really can't be harmed by golfers.
However, the greens are another story. The grass on the greens, Penncross Creeping Bentgrass, can be easily damaged by golfing wear and tear while covered in frost. This means that Roberts keeps the course closed until things have a chance to warm up a bit and the greens are frost free.
During the weekdays, the course offers golf programs for different groups. The Golden Boys, a civic organization started at the Mooresville Golf Course, meets Mondays. Tuesdays bring out the Mooresville Ladies 9-Holers. On Wednesdays, the course is open to seniors. On Thursdays from March through October, the Mooresville Women Golf Association are at the course.
And on Fridays, the SOFA group gathers.
What's SOFA? It's a creation of the Mooresville Golf Course as a way to increase revenue and give senior men the chance to play an additional day of the week. It's the Seniors On Friday Association, a gathering that can reach upwards of 40 men, ages 55 and older, who gather for a game of golf every Friday.
Among those who are part of the SOFA group is John Thompson, 80, who lives in Davidson's Rocky River neighborhood with his wife.
Thompson has been golfing at Mooresville Golf Course since he came to the area from upstate New York about 10 years ago. Originally from Virginia, he learned to golf just after he graduated from Virginia Tech and continued his love for golf while stationed next to a golf course while in the Air Force during the Korean War.
His passion for golf is undisputed as he's been playing it for almost 60 years. For Thompson, golf has become his favorite form of exercise.
Because he has diabetes, he looks for ways to exercise that don't feel like work. So, when he's golfing, he hunts for lost golf balls to get in some extra walking.
"(I'm) a nut for hunting golf balls; it's like an Easter egg hunt," said Thompson.
But for him, and most of these die-hard golfers, the reason to show up on cold winter day is the camaraderie of being with good people who share a similar interest.
"They're just a great group," said Thompson.
And this is just the type of experience that Roberts wants all golfers to have when at the Mooresville Golf Course.
Along with working for the golf course, Roberts is a member of the Professional Golfers Association of America and has been playing golf for 44 years.
He picked up his first club when he was 13 and realized that he didn't have the physical stature to play football or basketball competitively.
So, he decided to try golf. "It's a sport anybody can play."
And he was hooked. Soon, he realized that golf would become a part of his life forever.
Roberts considers the course to be a recreational amenity for the people of Mooresville and the Lake Norman area as a whole. The course offers programs for novice and experienced golfer, young and old, and men and women. All in all, this course offers something for everyone who likes golf.