This past season, the Elmwood Golf and Country Club in Swift Current celebrated a monumental milestone. The club turned 100 years old.
Reaching the century mark is reason enough to celebrate but the club was able to soak up some marvelous course renovations in time for the occasion. The Elmwood has 18 new greens and five new holes in its arsenal. Long-time Swift Current resident Bob Pollock was the Elmwood professional for 27 years, starting in 1976. He admitted there was a connection to the course as he knew it but eventually he came around.
“I missed the old golf course, it had been there forever,” Pollock said. “As they started the renovations and as they went through them I could see the new golf course was a going to be a little more challenging but much better for the Elmwood Golf Club. It’s going to set a standard, put us ahead of a few people, and give us an opportunity to host some big tournaments.”
During the upgrades the course didn’t close any holes, they continued with some shorter par threes through the process, but the membership felt small pain for long-term gains. Pollock said the wait was worth it.
“We had a very short golf course,” he said. “The equalizer was always our par-threes, they were very challenging. Now we’ve added length to each hole, we’ve added a bigger challenge to each and every hole. It’s really been a big improvement.”
The course increased to over 6,600 yards and went to a par 72 from 70.
Pollock considers himself one of the “oldtimers” at the club at the age of 75. He wasn’t alone when it comes to gripping the changes at the club but, the feedback has been great overall.
“It’s kind of a golf course you can play a thousand times and never get bored of it. When Les Furber came in and made the changes that is still there today. You can still play it 1,000 times and never get bored. For some of our older members they just don’t want to accept the new golf course. They still want to live in the past and play the old course. For the majority of our members the change is positive, and I think it’s helped our whole operation,” Pollock explained.
The work of general manager Sheldon Reinhart and professional Jeff Chambers hasn’t gone unnoticed by Pollock and the community. He credited their efforts for the revitalization of the club and the special weekend the city celebrated on July 6 and 7.
“We had a local guy with his popular band here and he played out on the tee box at the driving range and they were dancing in the dirt. We had a tournament and many things going on, it was quite a weekend,” he beamed.
An 82-lot housing subdivision was also approved by the city of Swift Current. According to Reinhart in an earlier interview with Golf Saskatchewan, sales were going well.
Pollock also credited the club’s success back to 1991 when they purchased a building from the provincial government and moved it to the course for their new clubhouse.
Golf Saskatchewan is bringing the provincial junior boys and girls championships to the Elmwood in 2020.