It is tough enough for Saskatchewan golf courses to make money, whether the club is a privately owned, top-level 27-hole facility or a nine-hole gem located in a small rural town the bottom line is watched with a keen eye.
What makes turning a profit more difficult is senseless acts of disrespect and vandalism of course property. The Carnduff Golf Club is dealing with a few “disappointing” incidents already this year according to President Kris Carley. He said the club is in the middle of a lengthy renovation plan as well trying to keep up with minimizing recent damage.
“A few years ago, we deepened one of our ponds and connected it with our dugout because when it was so dry, we needed more water storage,” he explained. “We have some dirt there for that work plus we have some root issues, so we have taken down some trees and moving dirt. We have a lot of seeding to do when the weather warms up, we’ve built a new tee box that needs seeding.”
Carley said they hate to lose trees on the course that have grown over decades, but the poplars’ root systems are overwhelming causing equipment damage plus the trees suck up too much moisture.
“It will change the look of the golf course, but it won’t change the way you play the golf course and that’s what we are trying to do,” he said.
The upsetting concern is golfers carelessly driving over unseeded areas or ramming golf carts into tree stumps causing damage among other occurrences.
“We don’t need the damage, we don’t need the screwing around or extra work,” he continued. “Some stuff might seem minor but it’s an absolute inconvenience. When our greenskeeper must go around and pick up 57 range balls that are laying all over the golf course, there is no reason for that.”
Carley said the golf course busy with newcomers last year and has had an excellent start to this season when the weather complied. He is the first to admit sometimes the etiquette on the course can slide with newer players, but clear disrespectfulness needs to stop.
“I went out Saturday morning and the greenskeeper handed me a great big divot that was taken out of hole nine right near the flagstick,” he fumed. “We want people to come, we want people to enjoy it, but they also have to be respectful. We are trying to put a nice product out there while doing renovations. We do not make much money if any at these courses and then you’re having to buy range balls every year or range buckets because they are getting smashed, fixing carts because they are running them over trees stumps. There is a serious last of respect.”
“There is a lot of people that put a lot of time into this place, not just now but in years past, this place is important to our community, our rink, or ball diamonds, it’s all built on volunteers, they are all important and we want everyone to enjoy them without the damage,” Carley concluded.