Golf administrators meet with BRT

Golf administrators from across Saskatchewan had a chance to meet, and converse virtually with members of the government’s Business Response Team (BRT) on Friday morning.

The BRT is the group designated to outline Saskatchewan’s re-open plan since the COVID-19 pandemic started last March.

Course operators on the Zoom call asked for clarification on shotgun start formats, restaurant numbers and rules, the future plans for the loosening of restrictions this summer and more.

If you missed the session you can view it below.

Pollock named new Royal Regina Golf Club general manager

Ryan Pollock is the new general manager of the RRGC.

The Royal Regina Golf Club (RRGC) has a new general manager. Born-and-raised Reginan Ryan Pollock was announced as the replacement for Brian Dueck this week.

Pollock, 41, has been involved with all sports through out his life in the Queen City and has a Kinesiology degree from the University of Regina with specialization in sports and recreation administration. He started his working career in the Alberta Junior Hockey League where he learned all sides of the sports management platform.

“I ran our sales and marketing, prepped for game days, I did all our social media and website, you wear so many different hats at that level. It was my first opportunity to put those skills to use, learn some different methods and some different ways of going about a lot of things essentially learning to run an organization or a business,” he said to Golf Saskatchewan.

After a five-year stint in Alberta Pollock returned home to Regina taking on a position with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, a tenure he would have for nine years in several roles. He said the decision to chase the head job at the Royal was a strenuous choice.

“I was really motivated and excited to apply and investigate it a little bit,” Pollock explained. “I put my name forward and went through the process and through the process I got more enamored by the way things were operating. The process was so smooth and well communicated that it made me feel so comfortable and confident in being able to make the decision. It’s an opportunity for me to put a lot of things I’ve learned to use.”

Pollock was a member at the RRGC for five years, so he understands the mystique of the “home of golf” in the province. He said the correlation between the legendary status of the Riders in Saskatchewan and the century-plus history of the Royal there are similarities between the two iconic institutions.

“There are definitely some natural connections there,” he added. “I’m a big brand person, I believe in everything we do and conduct ourselves as leaders in the club is all about representing that Royal brand. It’s an exciting chance and I’m looking forward to being an integral part of it.”

Pollock will begin the job on June 1.

TS&M Woodlawn asking you to “do your part”

Golf courses across Saskatchewan are seeking some assistance from Mother Nature in the form of moisture to spruce up their facility during a busy start.

Down in Estevan at TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club the dry conditions are some of the worst superintendent Bob Currie has seen in his 15 years at the course. The club has produced a promotional video asking golfers to “do your part, take care of your cart” to help the grounds crew keep the course intact.

“We’ve talked about this for some years about the amount of cart traffic that happens,” Currie said. “Now that golf is so popular courses are very busy and we are very low on water. That takes away a lot of the tools away from me to manage some of the traffic that happens. We’re basically just trying to not go backwards in forms of establishing turf.”

Currie said a common mistake made by golfers, likely not by fault is spreading out the usage with carts.

“This probably sounds kind of funny to a lot of people but drive on the best-looking grass you can find,” he explained. “It’s the strongest, it can handle the traffic where the stuff that’s already tired can’t handle a lot more.”

Currie encouraged walkers on the course to have the same mindset, if an area looks troubled due to lack of moisture avoid the location if possible.

Golf Canada’s latest app update includes games and enhanced course lookup

Golf Canada has dropped an app update that is sure to get golfers pumping their fists!

Just in time for the 2021 golf season, the latest version of Golf Canada’s app now features the ability to set up Match Play, Skins of Stroke Play games against friends using Gross or Net scoring.

Put the pencil down and forget about dotting the scorecard. You no longer need to worry about who gets strokes on what hole. The Golf Canada app has you covered.

Plus, users can discover new places to play using a revamped course finder tool. The new look-up functionality allows golfers to search for courses using criteria like number of holes, type of facility (private, public, semi-private) and ease of walking, among many others.

The app is also helping golfers get better connected with their favourite facilities – users can look up clubs who are specifically offering promotions. 

Save time and the hassle of setting up matches with your buddies and get the newest version of the Golf Canada app, available starting April 5, 2021.

These new Golf Canada App features are in addition to those users already enjoy, like real-time course GPS data and game tracking.

Don’t play another round until you download the latest version of this app.

Johnson closes career, Timmerman back for one more

roman timmerman and kade johnson concluded their college season over the weekend.

The spring golf season is now complete for Kade Johnson and Roman Timmerman.

The pair competed in the 2021 Men’s NCAA Division II Midwest/Central Regionals from May 6 to 8 at the Shoal Creek Golf Club in Kansas City, Missouri.

Johnson, the Great American Conference Player of the Year finished his final college event in a tie for 63rd at 19-over par. The Yorkton product started with an 81 in round one followed by scores of 73 and 78.

Timmerman, a junior who will return to Southern Arkansas University for his senior season next year finished regionals in a tie for 17th place. The Saskatoon student-athlete carded back-to-back rounds of 71 before closing with a 75 to finish plus-4.

Timmerman also earned All-GAC Second Team honours this season.

The Saskatchewan duo became the first players in the Mulerider program since they entered the NCAA in 1996 to compete in multiple postseason tournaments.

Weyburn Golf Club announces irrigation upgrades

*The Weyburn Golf Club hopes this is the future scene with recent irrigation system upgrades being announced.

It is news the membership of Weyburn Golf Club (WGC) has been waiting to hear. The course announced last week on their Facebook page that they will install a Rainbird irrigation system on the front nine holes this year.

Club Vice-President Marshall Bakken has been playing the WGC for a couple decades and been on the board for four years. He said the news that the club will go ahead with the first phase of the renovations is very exciting.

“This has been talked about for probably 15 years,” he told Golf Saskatchewan. “For the membership base this has been smoke and mirrors, talked about, talked about with nothing really happening. This was one of my goals in joining the board was to get this project off the ground and finally get it to happen.”

The project is expected to take about 40 days and will see the work done in August and September with a couple of holes being affected at a time during the construction. The new system will include HDPE pipe with approximately 300 sprinkler heads on the front nine of the course.

The club was busy last year and saw a revenue increase that allowed them to save some money for the project however the WGC still needed a loan. The membership needed to vote on borrowing the funds but was passed unanimously at their annual general meeting in March. Bakken said the excitement is evident and the course will see benefits for decades.

“We’ve been so dry down here the last couple years, with last year how busy golf was and our irrigation system giving us issues the last five to 10 years, especially the last few we’ve put a lot of man hours in to fixing it. With the dry conditions you lose green fee players and members because they do not want to play a course that is dried out. I think financially this is really going to help. Having constant irrigation on the course is going to be huge for our membership and green fee players,” he said.

There are several courses to play in the Weyburn area including TS&M Woodlawn in Estevan, Golf Kenosee, Whitebear First Nation, and Avonlea’s Long Creek. Bakken said he’d like to see a day where the WGC can be compared to Woodlawn again in the future.

“I compare us to Woodlawn and that course is in great shape since they’ve done their renovation in 2011 with a new irrigation system for Bob (Currie, superintendent) to utilize. You jst see the improvements they make there year after year and at the end of the day their membership has grown substantially because of that. I’d love to say in 10 years we’re comparable to Woodlawn for sure,” Bakken added.

The cost of the entire 18-hole irrigation system is estimated at $1 million which is why the board and membership decided to bite off a smaller chunk. The key now is to work this season raising funds. Bakken said they will sell the sprinkler heads and provide recognition on the course plus a tiered system of sponsorship that will be displayed in the clubhouse.

The goal is to have the whole course redone with a pumphouse in the next three to five years.

May designated as Kidsport month

Kidsport is an organization that allows children to get into sports even though there could be financial barriers.

May has been designated by the Government of Saskatchewan as “Kidsport Month.”

“Sport and recreation play such an important role in the health and well-being for children and youth,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross said in a news release. “Participation in sport at a young age teaches life skills that will help our children in all aspects of life and has positive effects on both their mental and physical development. Thank you to KidSport for allowing children in our province to participate by assisting with financial barriers.”

Golf programming falls under the mandate of the Kidsport funding program. The organization won’t fund tournament entry fees or golf camps, but lessons and equipment purchases are eligible.

For more information on applying to Kidsport for funding, confidently of course can be found here.

In 2020, even with COVID-19 restrictions and the different look of many organized sports, KidSport Saskatchewan granted $656,050 to assist 3,751 children and youth in province to get off the sidelines and into the game. That’s in addition to the over $13 million raised and more than 150,000 kids helped since KidSport in Saskatchewan started in 1995.

“We’re grateful for the continued support of our partners, sponsors, donors and volunteers who help us to eliminate the financial barriers associated with participation in organized sport,” said Jerry Shoemaker, Provincial KidSport Committee Chair. “By giving kids the chance to experience the power of sport, we are providing them with the opportunities to learn skills and lessons that can help them throughout their lives.”

Carnduff Golf Club “disappointed” with recent disrespectful incidents

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.

Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum to celebrate 50th anniversary in 2021

The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum is inviting Canadians and golf enthusiasts to help celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021 by weighing in on the 50 most influential moments in Canadian golf.

The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame enlisted the support of golf leaders, media, and historians to help create a list of the 50 most influential moments in Canadian golf history. The moments will be showcased online and Canadians are invited to share in the history and vote on their favourite moments.

The 10 most moments receiving the most votes will be showcased on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 during the RBC Hall of Fame 50thAnniversary Gala presented by Nike Golf. The virtual gala celebration will take place on what would have been RBC Hall of Fame Day during the RBC Canadian Open which was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Following the virtual gala, the top moments will also be celebrated through social channels through the end of the 2021 season.

“Canada’s storied golf history is marked by the signature accomplishments of so many talented legends of our sport and the Top-50 Most Influential Moments voting celebration invites Canadians to share in the moments they feel are most meaningful,” said Golf Canada Director of Heritage Services Meggan Gardner. “While we won’t be able to celebrate in person, the virtual RBC Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary Gala presented by Nike Golf lets us pivot to invite more golf enthusiasts to be a part of the celebration.”

The virtual gala will feature a video showcase of the top-10 greatest moments in Canadian golf as well as interviews with golfers or individuals connected to the moments. The gala will be co-hosted by a pair of honoured members – TSN golf personality Bob Weeks and former LPGA Tour player Gail Graham.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, an online auction is currently underway to raise legacy funding for the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum through the Heritage Fund of the Golf Canada Foundation.

Founded in 1971, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame began honour the legends of our sport, beginning with the inaugural induction class that included Ada Mackenzie, George Lyon, Charles Murray, Marlene Streit, George Cumming, and Sandy Somerville. To date, 83 honoured members and their accomplishments as players and builders of the game are showcased in the Hall of Fame and Museum along with history, innovations, and standout moments through the storied history of golf in Canada.

JOIN IN CELEBRATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CANADIAN GOLF HALL OF FAME

To vote on the Top-50 Most Influential Moments in Canadian golf, click here.

To participate in the Canadian golf heritage online auction, click here.

Weir wins first Champions Tour title in duel with Daly

THE WOODLANDS, TX - MAY 02: Mike Weir with the trophy for winning the 2021 Insperity Invitational at The Woodlands Country Club on May 2, 2021 in The Woodlands, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Former Masters champion Mike Weir won his first PGA Tour Champions event Sunday when he held steady with pars down the stretch for a 4-under 68 and let John Daly made the last mistake in the Insperity Invitational.

Weir and Daly were tied going down the stretch at The Woodlands, which was reduced to 36 holes because of heavy rain earlier in the week.

Daly, playing in the group ahead of Weir, was posing over his 9-iron over the water to the 18th green when it came up a fraction short and splashed next to the bulkhead. He made double bogey for a 69 and had to settle for runner-up.

Weir, who missed birdie chances inside 10 feet on the 16th and 17th holes, watched it all unfold and knew what he had to do. He fired his approach to about 15 feet behind the hole, and pumped his fist as he walked toward the green. He wound up winning by two shots.

“J.D. played great. It was unfortunate for him on the last,” Weir said. “This means a lot. I played really well today. I’m still a little off with my putting. I made it hard on myself. But I hit the shots that I needed. It feels very good.”

Because of rain that washed out the opening round Friday, the first round wasn’t finished until Sunday morning and the tournament was reduced to 36 holes. That turned it into a shootout, and Daly and Weir provided most of the action.

Daly holed a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 13th to take a two-shot lead, and it looked as though he was on his way. In the next group, Weir hit his approach to 3 feet on the 13th for a matching eagle to tie for the lead again.

Weir fell back with a bogey on the 14th, but he caught a break when Daly missed his 3-wood into the par-5 15th and had to settle for par, and Weir made birdie to catch him again.

Weir fell back with a bogey on the 14th, but he caught a break when Daly missed his 3-wood into the par-5 15th and had to settle for par, and Weir made birdie to catch him again.

Daly couldn’t believe he hit into the water on the final hole.

“I caught a gust on 18,” he said. “I hit a 9-iron from about 155 and I hit a 9-iron from 141 there and I caught a gust and just got a bad break. But I can’t hit the ball any better. I’m excited about next week.”

The 50-and-over circuit plays the first of its five majors next week at the Regions Tradition.

Weir finished at 10-under 134.

Daly tied for second with David Toms and Tim Petrovic, who each closed with a 71. Bernhard Langer (69) and Bob Estes (68) tied for fifth.