The Spiritwood Golf Course already offers a fantastic 18-hole, grass green track for players to enjoy but within the next couple years, seasonal and overnight campsites will be added to the facility.
Ron Schira and four other partners, all with roots deeply planted in the small northwest Saskatchewan community purchased the course in 2013. Schira said keeping the course viable and entrenched in the town’s fabric was important to them.
“We wanted to see the Spiritwood Golf Course continue to offer that great service for the residents and the people that come to the area,” he told Golf Saskatchewan. “It’s such a beautiful course, we wanted to protect the legacy it had developed over the past 20 plus years.”
The group knew when purchasing the property there was plenty of work to do. Now six years into the venture, the partners feel they are at a place to expand and increase service to the region.
“Making money at a small-town golf course isn’t easy, it requires a fine-tuned operation. It took us a while to sort things out and get our hands around it. We think we now have it at a point where it’s operating as it should,” Schira said.
The management team announced in March that they will construct a seasonal RV campsite adjacent to the course. They will have 21 seasonal campsites and four sites used by overnight campers. With upwards of 50 lakes nearby and countless outdoor activities available in the region, Schira said giving visitors another option for accommodations makes sense.
“We think a lot of people would like to live on a golf course but probably see that as something that’s not realistic. Here they can live right on a beautiful golf course in the summer and have access to all those wonderful things and satisfy their golfing needs,” he said.
The course will see minimal effect throughout the construction. Two new greens will be built this season shortening two holes. Players won’t be affected by the work this season. Currently the track plays at just under 5,900 yards and is a par 72. That will drop to a par 70 next year. Schira said the integrity of the course won’t suffer, in fact the intrigue could increase for players.
“We’re going to turn one par four into a par three and one par five into a par four and another par four will change to a dogleg left. They will still have the same beautiful golf course to play. It will probably be even a bit more interesting because of how we lay it out,” Schira explained.
If the weather cooperates this season and the two new greens are ready for play this year, construction on the campsites will begin this fall. Schira said they will begin construction of the new greens in the very near future. If the green development lags for any reason, campsite work will be pushed to next spring, but campers should be settling in by 2021. Schira said news of the upgrades is starting to spread in the town and everyone seems to be excited.
“Everything we’ve heard has been positive,” he said. “I think the community is excited for us, they are excited to see what it will look like as a finished product. It’s going to impact the community; I think that’s important. We’re going to bring in people that don’t normally live there in the summer.”
The trickle-down effect for area businesses is exciting for Schira, who hasn’t lived in Spiritwood for 16 years, but he grew up and got his entrepreneurial beginning in the community before moving to Saskatoon for other business opportunities.
The course recently installed a new roof on their clubhouse ahead of this season. Installation of a water treatment plant for both the clubhouse and campground is also part of the plans.
The 2019 season will be a busy one tournament wise as well, the course will host their annual events such as the Spirit of the North Match Play Classic and the Dale Willick Memorial Golf Tournament. This year the club will also play host to the 2019 SUMA Golf Tournament in early July. Schira said landing that two-day event is more proof the Spiritwood course is among the province’s best.
“We had the provincial Knights of Columbus tournament last year; I think all these things help put the Spiritwood Golf Course on the map and to attract some of these tournaments allows us to say we can accommodate these events,” he said.