The signature number eight hole at Yorkton’s Deer Park Municipal Golf Course will have a new look by the year 2020 and there will be no hindsight.
Currently the hole plays at just over 100 yards from the back tee but with a heavily elevated box overlooking a protected green the par-three picturesque hole is tricky making it a favourite among members and visitors. However with a water hazard fronting the green flooding has been an issue over the years forcing the city to make changes. The new number eight will still feature an elevated tee box but the green will be about 10 feet higher to alleviate the early season water concerns. Men’s Club President Cliff Trombley said work is underway and the new hole looks enticing.
“They have done a fantastic job of building that up and it’s going to be a beautiful hole,” Trombley said.
A company from Edmonton is contracted to perform the work. Trombley said one of the construction crew members has extensive experience working for Jack Nicklaus and his course developing staff. He added that there was some reservation among the course’s membership to the changes of their feature hole, but the progress has changed several minds.
“There was, even some of our men’s club members thought this was ridiculous but now that they see it,” Trombley said. “I think the big thing was they couldn’t visualize it.”
The current hole has a southeast facing tee shot, the new hole will be a northeast launch according to Trombley. The city of Yorkton is funding the hole eight project. The men’s club is providing their own funding for work across the main road into the 18-hole public facility on hole number seven. A new green is being built making the straight away par-five more challenging. Trombley said big hitters will have more to contend with once the green comes into play.
“We’ve moved it over and elevated it,” he explained to Golf Saskatchewan. “We have different angulations in it with sand traps in front of it, it looks very good. It’s going to have a dogleg, so you won’t just be able to blast two long shots.”
The upgrades are part of a long-term plan that was developed about ten years ago. The men’s club funded the architectural design at the time with funds raised during their weekly club nights. Trombley said the renovations on hole seven didn’t come without hesitation as well.
“A lot of our members were opposed to that as well until they sat down and listened to what we had to say. Until they heard the long-term plan and saw what we were trying to accomplish they bought in and said let’s do this,” he said.
Deer Park is going into their 99th season of existence next year. The course did believe that 2019 was going to be their 100th anniversary but according to city of Yorkton and Golf Saskatchewan records they opened in 1921. Trombley said they still have a couple years to plan the century celebration, but this upcoming season Deer Park will host a Future Links event on top of their regularly scheduled tournaments. He said the current format of holes will be available for the season coming up.
“That was one of the beauties of this construction is that it was all done after the golf season and it doesn’t take anything out of play, hole eight and seven will still be in operation,” Trombley said.
In recent years the men’s club has funded a new green and the lengthening of hole one, they spent approximately $15,000 to cure drainage issues between holes six and seven and updated the tee boxes on holes two and seven to the tune of over $72,000. Trombley said the club will continue to host their weekly men’s nights, that average over 110 golfers a week, to continue putting funds back into the course. He said the city has been very cooperative with the plans and the partnership should continue to work together in the future.
“We want to be able to demonstrate to our members and our community that we’re interested in the long-term development of Deer Park and following our long-term plans on that,” he said.