Regina Ladies Open prepares for centennial event

It’s now been 103 years in the waiting but after two announcements of cancellations the Regina Ladies Open will take place for the 100th time this summer.

The 36-hole tournament will take place at the Wascana Country Club and Royal Regina Golf Club on July 18 and 19 with an estimated 100 players of all calibers in the field.

In 2019 a small fire at the Royal Regina Golf Club after the event was washed out by rain was the last time the event was held. After two years of cancellations the organizing committee and competitors are excited to have the event back.

To learn more and register for the event prior to the early bird deadline of Friday evening click here.

Golf Saskatchewan chatted with committee member Aggie Potapinski and longtime RLO competitor, past champion, and Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame member Lorie Boyle to hear more about the upcoming tournament.

Henry holds serve on home course, Grieve takes ladies lead at amateur championships

Saskatoon's Sarah Grieve is the first round leader at the 2022 Saskatchewan Amateur Women's Championship at Cooke Municipal Golf Course.

Prince Albert’s Brett Henry is on top of the leaderboards at the Saskatchewan Amateur Men’s and Mid-Amateur (25+) Championships after one day of the events.

The Cooke Municipal Golf Course member used his home-course advantage to shoot a stellar 3-under par, 68 in the first round of the 54-hole mid-amateur and 72-hole amateur tournament.

Henry leads the field by a shot, both Prince Albert’s Cole Jenkins and reigning-amateur champion Roman Timmerman of Saskatoon are a stroke back at 2-under par, 69. Three-time defending mid-amateur champion Danny Klughart, also of Prince Albert is tied for fourth at even par along with Madison’s Kyle Wiebe.

On the mid-amateur championship leaderboard, Moose Jaw’s Chris Knoop is in second place at 2-under par 68. Klughart and Wiebe each jump a spot on the leaderboard with Jenkins not being old enough to qualify for the mid-amateur event.

Highlighting day one was Saskatoon’s Max Regier getting a hole-in-one on the 17th at Cooke Municipal Golf Course. The 16-year-old is at 3-over par, he’s tied for 17th.

The Saskatchewan Amateur Women’s Championship is led by Saskatoon’s Sarah Grieve.

Grieve, 19, opened the three round tournament with an 9-over par, 80 in Prince Albert on Tuesday.

She leads Regina’s Autumn Neiszner and Calgary’s Emily Cornwall by one shot a third of the way through the championship. Chelsea Kinoshita is in fourth place at 11-over par.

The complete results from round one of the women’s event can be found here, the amateur men’s and mid-amateur championship leaderboards can be seen here.

The championships resume Wednesday with tee times beginning at 7 a.m.

Regina Beach Golf Course bouncing back

It’s been approximately four years since the Jon Barber family took over the lease at the Regina Beach Golf Club and the group’s hard work is starting to pay off.

The land the nine-hole course is on just outside the resort town is federal reserve land managed by the Kinookimaw Beach Association. The Barbers operate the course and the reviews are coming back positive. The most glaring change at the course is remarkable upgrades to the late 1950’s-built clubhouse that were undertaken about a year and a half ago.

“There had been no improvements made since then,” said Debbie Giesenger, the clubhouse manger told Golf Saskatchewan during a recent course visit. “It was time to give it a facelift and have a place that people enjoy to come to. When they are done golf they can sit and enjoy a meal or have a couple drinks.”

The newly renovated building features a restaurant and lounge as well as a new deck overlooking the first fairway. The clubhouse is completely winterized as well and for the first-time last year was open all year round. Giesenger said word was slow getting around that they were open despite the golf season ending but overall the venture was a success.

“Our chef has a very good reputation,” she said. “I would say that since we were open through the winter and our social media promotion our restaurant revenues are up about least 30 percent from last year. Our restaurant is very highly rated.”

The town of Regina Beach is highly regarded as a resort community just a short drive from Regina on Highway 11. The year-round population including nearby Buena Vista is about 1,400, in the summer months that swells to 5,000 along the shores of Last Mountain Lake. Giesenger said even with plenty of other family activities in the community the golf course is a huge benefactor.

“Most businesses make or break in the summer, most of them close in the winter but a few of us stay open. For the golf especially, we have a lot of people spend their summers here. We also have a lot of people that camp all summer, I think they do that because of the golf. It’s convenient, they are adjacent to us in the campground,” Giesenger added.

With the clubhouse upgraded and flourishing lots have work has now focused on the course itself which like the building has been neglected. The maintenance crew has been diligent working for nearly a half of a decade to get the course to a passable grade. Giesenger said they have done much better than that.

“I am not sure what they’ve done or how they’ve done it but right from the very start of the season people marvelled what excellent condition the greens are in,” she beamed. “According to golfers they have been excellent, and they’ve stayed that way all year. I’ve had numerous golfers say the greens have never looked so nice.”

Assistant greenskeeper Harry Watts has been alongside Jon on the maintenance staff since the lease signing. He took one summer off but considers the course his second home. He said even the crew is shocked by the condition of the putting surfaces this season.

“We were surprised because our sprayer blew half of our chemical out at the end of the year last year and we had to do some calculations and use our heads,’ he explained. “We managed to get the right amount of chemical on all the greens still. We took the sand off and it was like we didn’t even have a winter.”

Watts said getting ahead on the course hasn’t been easy but everyday the crew seems to become more efficient thanks to lots of underground work that is allowing for the course to become more attractive for players of all levels.

“Last year we started getting our fairways on automatic sprinklers with timers, two years ago we got all the greens and tee boxes on timed, pop up sprinklers so we don’t have to hand water those,” Watts explained. “We have three fairways that are all on automatic sprinklers now too. We don’t have to worry about them getting enough or too much water. We come in the morning, the greens and boxes are nice and damp, we don’t have to worry about it.”

Even with the headway the family has made at the club Watts said there is more to do.

“I have been here four years and I don’t think I’ve gone a year without a water break. I’ve probably fixed 80 some years. Some are a foot break, some of them are 20, it just depends,” he added.

With the improved conditions and increased traffic both in the clubhouse and on the course the family has been able to focus on the future. They hired a proshop staff member that is also a coach. That allowed the course to focus on a junior program. They had spring lessons and any junior golfer that paid the lesson fee was able to put that towards a membership. The club hosted weekly lessons over the summer as well with much success. The year-end family fun event was packed. Every Monday the juniors played with the coach following along providing tips.

Regina Beach has a couple designated ladies’ time slots for both nine-hole players and 18. There is the customary busy men’s nights and couple’s have a league as well. The year-end couple’s tournament is one of their larger events. Overall they club has approximately 200 members.

The season is winding down across Saskatchewan, but the staff looks forward to the winter traffic whether it’s on their potentially groomed cross-country ski trails, snowmobilers, or ice fishers, the future is bright at the Regina Beach Golf Club.

“It’s just a nice easy day out, it doesn’t take five hours, you can come in normal nice clothes,” Watts promoted. “You don’t have to book two days in advance, it’s very affordable, family orientated, I recommend it to everyone.”

Ziglo captures Pharmasave Ladies’ Open

Kathy Ziglo has three OMT wins this season.

Saskatoon’s Kathy Ziglo has entered three events on the Women’s Order of Merit Tour (OMT) this season, she has wins in all of them.

The Saskatoon Golf and Country Club member followed her Saskatoon Ladies’ Open and Women’s Amateur Championship win with a victory in the Pharmasave Ladies’ Open at the Weyburn Golf Club on July 27.

Ziglo shot a two-over, 74 in the one-day event to hold off Regina’s Kim Walker by three shots. Denise Hersikorn, also of Regina placed third with a score of eight-over, 80. Moose Jaw’s Lorie Boyle was fourth at 81, Tara Busch used her home course advantage to finish in a top-five spot tied with Carolyn Kryba and Karen Mario, both from Regina at plus-15, 87.

The win netted Ziglo 250 OMT points, she jumps over Saskatoon’s Kim Brown for first place in the standings. Abra Thompson is in third.

All the results and the OMT leaderboard can be seen here.

Next up on the schedule is the TS&M Woodlawn FrameTech Ladies Classic in Estevan on Aug. 3 and 4.

Ziglo outduels wind and women at Saskatoon Ladies Open

Kathy Ziglo (right) is the 2019 Saskatoon Ladies Open champion.

Saskatoon’s Kathy Ziglo has gotten off on the right foot this golf season picking up a win in her debut Order of Merit Tour (OMT) event this past weekend.

The Saskatoon Golf and Country Club member battled the blustery elements over 36 holes at Dakota Dunes Golf Links holding off a trio of ladies in second place to win the Saskatoon Ladies Open. Ziglo was the lone golfer in the 38-player field to break 80 during round one on Saturday. She shot a 77 on the opening day. Ziglo said her everyday game is suited for windy Saskatchewan days.

“It was consistently three clubs, sometimes even four,” she said. “I am blessed sometimes; I have a low ball flight so I generally play the wind well. Everything I did wrong was with my short, my mistakes were not element based.”

With a six-stroke lead over Autumn Neiszner going into the second round Ziglo knew she needed to be consistent to potentially win the championship.

“I was struggling to find some intensity to hold onto, Sunday was a battle of attrition,” she said of her second round 82. “I knew from playing behind Kim (Brown) and them that no one was making a move up the leaderboard, so I knew if I got in without major mistakes I was good. I limited my mistakes. I didn’t have any bad holes, I just had blah holes. I bogeyed myself to death.”

Ziglo, a long-time golfer who got her start at Deer Park in Yorkton earned 500 points on the women’s OMT with the win. Neiszner, Carrie Lambden, and Brown all tied for second at plus-25, ten strokes back of Ziglo. The trio each earned 350 OMT points. Regina’s Kim Walker placed fifth at plus-28. Despite competing in the amateur women’s division, Neiszner was was awarded the junior women’s plaque.

Brown leads the early season OMT race with 850 points, Ziglo is next thanks to the win. She said getting off to a good start feels good ahead of the women’s amateur in a couple weeks.

“It’s always nice to get one early because you never know when you get older to see if you still have it or not,” Ziglo chuckled. “It’s good when you can come out and shoot a good score, it was good.”

Ziglo will be back in the women’s amateur field this year after taking a year off. The event runs from July 3 to 5 at the Moon Lake Golf and Country Club.

Click here to register or find all the results and current standings from the women’s OMT.

Brown celebrates Ladies Northern championship

Kim Brown (middle) is the 2019 Ladies Northern champion.

Saskatchewan’s reigning Women’s Order of Merit Tour (OMT) champion has kicked off her 2019 with a victory.

Saskatoon’s Kim Brown cruised to a seven-stroke victory on Sunday in the Ladies Northern at the Cooke Municipal Golf Course. Brown fired two consistent rounds of 76 and 78 to outlast Pauline McDougall and Sherry Anderson. Brown said opening the campaign with a victory is a great way to start the season.

“The Northern is always my first tournament of the year so you never know how it’s going to go when you haven’t been playing a lot, but everybody is in the same boat, shaking off the rust,” Brown told Golf Saskatchewan. “It felt good, it was good to have good weather on a great golf course, it was really nice.”

Brown admitted she got off to a rough start on day one but fired one under par on the back nine during round one to set herself up for a chance to win her first Ladies Northern. A solid start to round two opened a wide lead before she stumbled with a triple-bogey on hole 14 set her back. She said she rebounded nicely and finished strong on route to the win.

“I faltered a little bit coming in,” she laughed. “I had enough of a lead, and I hung in for the next few holes and I ended up birdying 18, so I finished strong. That happens, you have your ups and downs and I guess at the end of the day it was enough to get it done.”

McDougall, a ten-time Cooke women’s champion shot 77 on day one and 84 during round two. Anderson (right) ended up as the senior champion carding rounds of 79 and 83. Abra Thompson and Ann Kirkland tied for fourth at plus-18.

Women’s Golf Day

Every June 4, Women’s Golf Day is celebrated by players, courses, and facilities around the world. Saskatchewan and Canada are true to form working tirelessly to promote the game across all genders.

Brown has been involved with golf almost her entire life going back to being on the course with a best friend. As she grew and continued to play and become an excellent athlete, so did her list of friends and colleagues. Brown said that’s what makes the game special to her.

“You have so many good friends that come back year after year. The course and tournaments are a place you get to see your friends,” she said. “Obviously you enjoy spending time with them, the bonus is we’re doing something we love to do. We get to be outside, play golf, and do our best.”

A prime example of the comradery and supportive mentality of the women’s game was on full display in Prince Albert this past weekend. Both McDougall and Anderson shaved their heads in support of Carole Rucks, who is a cancer warrior. Rucks was in the field of the Ladies Northern. A fundraising event involving the head shaving was held at the Rock and Iron Sports Bar at the PA Golf and Curling Centre. Brown was among the attendees and said the event spoke volumes for women’s golf and sports in general.

“I think that really summed it up,” she said. “I said at the course on Sunday when I addressed the players that were there, I said this is why we’re here. We’re here to support each other, remember each other, and have each other’s backs. What Sherry and Pauline did is a real testament for what we can do for events and supporting each other.”

The “Cuts for Carole” campaign resulted in approximately $13,000 in funds raised that will be directed to the Victoria Hospital Foundation and the chemotherapy room.

Junior girl’s golf is also something near and dear to Brown’s heart. She mentioned how a good friend of hers was a young golfer, so she got into the game to spend time with her. Eventually the skill set developed and Brown found ways to play along boys in events or other supportive avenues at her golf club. She said now the leaders of courses and coaches need to branch out, think outside the box and find creative ways to not only elevate competitive female junior golfers but positive recreational opportunities as well.

“There is going to be very competitive girls and it’s going to be about that, but there is going to other girls where it’s about having their friends and having a social circle around them. We have to find ways to offer those things that are going to keep that one girl,” Brown said.

Women’s Programming

Golf Saskatchewan has several programs in place for women’s programming. Ada Mackenzie Day is a 10-day long event that raises funds for junior golf development. You can fill out a form prior to playing a round at a member club, contribute two dollars and be entered to win prizes.

Upwards of a dozen courses offer Canada Day events over a stretch of days at the end of June and into early July. Again, two dollars can get players involved in across any handicap bracket.

Golf Fore the Cure events have also teed off in Saskatchewan with many more to come. Money raised during these one-day events goes back into battling cancer and raising awareness against the disease. Last year Elk Ridge’s event brought in well over $20,000. Their tournament will be held on July 11.

 Celebrating Saskatchewan’s Best

The province has had several women golfers accomplish amazing feats on the course, and off it.

The Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame has 11 women inductees led by the late, great Joanne Goulet. You can see all their accomplishments here.

Currently the Saskatchewan woman making the most noise on the course is Saskatoon’s Anna Young. The five-time women’s amateur champion is playing Mini Tour events and chasing her LPGA Tour card. She recently competed in the CP Women’s Open last year in Regina at the Wascana Country Club, making her LPGA debut. She has two professional tournament victories.

Saskatchewan golf season opens Monday

Registration for Golf Saskatchewan's championships open Monday afternoon.

Although golf courses across Saskatchewan have began opening for the season earlier this month, Monday, April 15 is the official opening day of the season.

Handicapping and score tracking through either your Golf Saskatchewan or Golf Canada public player membership will begin today for rounds played in the province. A list of member clubs can be seen here, for membership information click here.

Today also marks the opening of registration for the provincial golf championships. Participants can begin registering for Golf Saskatchewan’s eight tournaments at 1 p.m. The first event of the year is the 101st Saskatchewan Women’s Amateur Championship in early July at Moon Lake Golf and Country Club. To find the list of all the championships click here.

The Order of Merit Tours (OMT) across five different categories (junior women, junior men, men, senior men, and women) are also starting to inch closer. The juniors kick off in Estevan at the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club on May 4 and 5 for a Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour stop.

The first women’s event is the Prince Albert Northern Ladies Championship at Cooke Municipal on June 1 and 2. Kim Brown is the reigning tour champion.

The men’s OMT schedule begins in the Queen City on May 25 and 26 with the Regina Dental Group Men’s City Amateur. David Stewart is the 2018 champion of the tour.

Waskesiu Golf Course will host the first event on the senior men’s OMT schedule from June 4 to 6 with the Senior Men’s Lobstick. Rick Hallberg will look to defend his OMT title in 2019.

For more details and registration information for all the OMT events click the “COMPETE” tab on the main page of the Golf Saskatchewan website.

Virden family claims CP Women’s Open 50/50 jackpot

Doug Wright is the winner of the 50/50 at the CP Women's Open.

A man from Virden, Manitoba who attended the CP Women’s Open in Regina along with his wife and his employer is receiving an extra special Christmas gift this year.

Doug and Michele Wright have won the 50/50 daw worth $28,117.50 after their winning ticket was drawn on Aug. 26, the final day of the championship at the Wascana Golf and Country Club. Tracking down the winner took some time but Golf Saskatchewan, who will benefit from the other half of the jackpot has finalized all the details to get the funds to the Wright family. Doug said he’s still in shock from receiving the phone call.

“It’s amazing, of course I mentioned it to my kids and they pretty much have it spent,” he laughed. “I said you aren’t spending any of it until I actually see it and know it’s for sure.”

The Wright’s attended the event from Manitoba with Doug’s company who had a VIP section next to the 18th green. He said attending a professional golf event was something him and his wife of 32 years had always wanted to do. The couple, both avid golfers in Virden were both impressed with the event even without the win fall.

“We didn’t realize how much we’d enjoy it,” he said. “We’ve never been to anything like this, but it was very well organized. It was nice to see Brooke Henderson win it all too.”

Wright purchased his 50/50 ticket while walking the course and venturing away from the corporate tents along the final hole. The long-time golfer said he was impressed by the talent of the field in Saskatchewan’s capital.

“I’ve been golfing for a long time and I’m a bogey golfer at best but, it’s so routine for the LPGA players. They hit their drives, never in trouble, then they hit their second shot and I’m doing a cart wheel if I hit the green, but these ladies expect to be within 10 to 15 feet of the pin,” Wright said.

The 50/50 jackpot was a cherry on top of the experience the Wright’s took in. The tricky part now is deciding what to with the winnings. Doug said their three kids and four grandchildren have a few ideas.

“The kids were thinking we could go on a family vacation, so it might go to that or it might just be me and Michele going south and doing some golfing. I’m sure they will accept anything we graciously hand out so we will see what happens,” he said.

Golf Saskatchewan is benefitting, more importantly, junior golf in the province will see half the funds directed their way. Wright said that makes the ticket purchase a win-win proposition.

“I am so glad I bought it, I’m a golfer and I’m glad this will help with the junior programs. Keep up the good work because this was a great event,” he said.

Royal Regina GC honoured to host 100th Senior Men’s Championship

Golf Saskatchewan will return to the Royal Regina Golf Club next year.

This season was a “challenging” year for the Royal Regina Golf Club (RRGC) but there was some highlights and a historic tournament will write another chapter for the province’s oldest course next summer.

RRGC General Manager Dean Brown said, like most courses in the southern half of the province the past season was plagued with poor weather and tough conditions. Brown said with the Royal Regina being a private member club the green fees were there, but other departments of the club were hit hard.

“We aren’t quite at risk like a daily fee club because there are prepaid memberships so from that standpoint that revenue is fixed, and you are okay that way. The daily sales, the food and beverage sales, all that stuff you count on, that takes a hit when you drop 4,000 to 5,000 rounds because of weather. It’s such a short season, you don’t get it back in the fall,” Brown said.

In late September the RRGC hosted the eighth Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame induction gala. Brown and Royal Regina member Kirk McGregor were members of the induction class. Brown said the induction was a memorable night for them and the club.

“For me it was, I know Kirk had his hip replaced and didn’t play much golf this year but for both of us that was a great honour and a lot of fun. I think for both of us it was the highlight of the year for sure,” he said.

The club is turning their focus to 2019 and has locked down hosting a monumental event for Golf Saskatchewan. The 100th Senior Men’s and Mid-Master’s Championship will be played at the course along with the 56 Saskatchewan Senior Women’s Championship. The course hosted the 100th Amateur Men’s Championship as well. Brown said the RRGC is honoured to welcome the province’s top senior players.

“Our golf course is a good fit for that with our demographic,” he said. “Getting it in it’s 100th anniversary and being the oldest club in the province is a cool thing, it seemed like a good match so we’re excited to get it.”

The announcement that the Royal Regina was hosting the event was made during this past season’s senior tournament at Golf Kenosee. The participants playing that event were buzzing following the news. Brown said that’s great to hear players are excited for the historic championship.

“We’ve heard it from a lot of our members too that say they are going to play that haven’t in the past. I’m excited for it, it should be a fun week,” he said.

The course layout will play well for both the men and women according to Brown. He said the RRGC amenities will be well received by the players as well.

“We have one of the best chefs in the city here, they will get treated to a dinner or two and some breakfasts, it will be a good event. The golf course will be a challenge for the players. The women will get the shorter tee, but they still have the same amount of trouble. The weather will dictate how thick the rough and that can be a little more of a challenge for the ladies,” he said.

The provincial championships will run from Aug. 6 – 8. Registration will be open in April.

National spots will be on the line in both championships, the Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur and Senior Championship will take place in Osoyoos, British Columbia. The Canadian Men’s Senior Championship will be held at Cedar Brae Golf Club in Scarborough. Ontario.

CP Women’s Open exceeds expectations for Wascana Country Club CEO

Brooke Henderson became the first Canadian to win the CP Women’s Open since 1973. Photo-Bernard Brault

Prior to golf history being made Aug. 26 at Regina’s Wascana Country Club, the course’s chief executive officer was overjoyed with last week’s CP Women’s Open.

Greg Dukart said Sunday afternoon, before Brooke Henderson became the first Canadian to win the tournament since 1973, that the event exceeded the expected wow factor.

“I think it has,” Dukart quipped. “The support of the spectators has been overwhelming. Over 1,100 volunteers put this together, it’s quite a week.”

A few short months ago, the Wascana C.C. was concerned with the shape of the course. Dukart said earlier this season thousands of yards of dead grass peppered fairways and greens in large part due to a rain storm in January. Crews worked long days throughout the summer in preparation of the six-day event. Dukart said the feedback was spectacular from the players and public.

“The stunning views of the golf course and how good the greens are is what people said. Our superintendent Chad Fawcett worked tirelessly to get the greens, fairways, and collars back from the ice devastation. They brought them around to very high standards,” he said.

The 2018 CP Women’s Open was the first LPGA event ever held in Saskatchewan. Last year the Wascana C.C. hosted the Canadian Mid-Amateur Championships. Dukart said the legacy of hosting the professional ladies’ tournament will be remembered for a long time.

“I think people that were part of this are going to be part of history for a long time, they should be very proud of themselves,” Dukart said.

The event is moving back to Ontario next year. There has been no public discussion regarding a future professional tournament returning to Saskatchewan or Regina. Dukart said the Wascana C.C. board of directors and shareholders will make any decision regarding future events.