Pipestone Hills clubhouse a reason to celebrate

Moosomin's Pat McDonald (right) receives a plaque on behalf of Golf Saskatchewan`s Brian Lee.

The community of Moosomin, near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border knows how to come together. Proof of the town’s resiliency and determination was on display June 14 when a crowd gathered at the Pipestone Hills Golf Club clubhouse to celebrate the facility’s grand opening.

The golf course itself has been a nine-hole gem for decades but now the course has a gathering place to match the impressive small-town track. Until this year the clubhouse was a 60-year-old building with several add-ons and issues from electrical to near closing health code concerns. Three years ago the town’s tourism centre was closing, and community members got to work. Board president Pat McDonald said the opportunity was what the town needed.

“When they announced the tourism facility was going to close down we said, okay, what are they going to do with that?” McDonald explained to Golf Saskatchewan. “We thought we had the where withal to go after that building. We will repurpose it and make it a facility worthy of what it is. It’s a beautiful arched facility, it’s got a lot of charisma and character about it. That was the start about three years ago.”

The town obtained the building from the provincial government and moved it to the valley south of the town on the Trans Canada Highway. Banking on local contractors, suppliers and volunteers, the building was moved and upgraded at a cost of $500,000. The value is now $750,000.

The grand opening celebration was combined with the community’s annual awards banquet where they honour dedicated members of the town and region. McDonald said hosting the event in the new clubhouse was very special.

“This is euphoria. In a community like this this is a major spend in a 3,000-population community. We all love the golf course and it was like, where are we going to get the money? How is it going to happen? Will it ever happen? It’s like Field of Dreams, if you build it they will come. Tonight is about we’ve done it, here it is, now let’s support it going forward,” McDonald said.

There was one concern regarding the overall project, how can the clubhouse coincide with the already drawing golf course. McDonald said the board of directors made it clear early on that the course would not suffer next to its shiny new neighbour.

“This will be a stand-alone project that we will follow through with to enhance the product,” McDonald said. “Groundskeeper Dave Myers did the deck and some of the interior work, I laughed because Dave says it takes the clubhouse and the course to draw the people in. He could see the benefit of having a great facility compliment the course, the course was already complimenting the facility. We just needed the facility to compliment the course and that’s where we are today.”

The town is not new to coming together and building recreation facilities. Moosomin has top of the line baseball fields, a marquee small town arena, rodeo grounds, and parks. All either built or upgraded with thousands of volunteer hours and local corporate donations. McDonald said any small town can make their amenities the heartbeat of their community, he said you need to come together and get to work.

“If you have the community that will do it, you have to have that its proven,” he said. “We have done community events before, we have our ball diamonds, our sportsplex with our four golf simulators and things like that. Those things happen but it takes the support of the community to do that. We have a fantastic community in Moosomin, if we didn’t know we could do these things before hand we may have shied away. We know we have the support, so we knew we’d be here today.”

McDonald added the building is equipped for winter and events such as a Grey Cup party and opening on Saturday’s for families using the nearby ski hill and tobogganing area. Weddings and family reunion rentals are in the plans as well for the building and town.