Wascana wired to welcome the world

Preparations are well underway for the 2018 CP Women's Open in Regina. Photo-Lindsay Folk/Twitter

In a just a few days the Wascana Country Club in Regina will welcome the world’s best women golfers during the CP Women’s Open.

Not only are 96 of the top 100 women on the LPGA tour attempting to tackle the historic course in Saskatchewan’s capital city, the entire region and province will be featured in over 200 countries worldwide on television. Wascana chief executive officer Greg Dukart said the preparations are going as planned.

“It’s like planning for a wedding of 50,000 people,” he told Golf Saskatchewan on Wednesday. “The wedding isn’t quite here yet but we’re as organized as we possibly can be at this time.”

The most glaring work is preparing the golf course for the event, considered by many players on the tour as the “fifth major.” Dukart admitted the season didn’t begin well but superintendent Chad Fawcett and his staff have worked tirelessly to bring the course up to par for a professional event.

“The golf course has come back really good now. We had a disaster on our hands back in May when we opened. We had hundreds of thousands of square feet of turf that was actually dead on our fairways. We had a lot of dead areas on our greens, on our collars, we’ve done a lot of restoration work, it may not be perfect but it’s going to be pretty darn good,” Dukart said.

The field will consist of 156 players. The first round is slated for Thursday, Aug. 23. Practice rounds will take place on Aug. 21. Dukart said the LPGA is excited to see what the course has to offer the players chasing a $2.25 million purse.

“When the LPGA came out on their site visits they really liked the course and thought the players would enjoy it. I haven’t talked to any players besides Brooke Henderson or Lorrie Kane when they were here, we hope they are going to like it, we hope they like the city,” he said.

The golf course does take most of the spotlight during tour events, but countless hours of work takes place behind the scenes. Food and beverage service are a critical portion of the tournament. Dukart said the kitchen staff is prepped to feed thousands of meals over the week.

“It’s a big undertaking, the culinary team has had to import some extra help. I think that’s a good point to make. I don’t think anyone appreciates them. When you factor in breakfast, lunch, and dinners it could be 1,500 people eating a day. That’s a big job,” he said.

The Wascana is the first Saskatchewan course to host an LPGA event. Dukart said the members have been very understanding all season long. Dukart said there has been some disruptions but the legacy of having the tour event in Regina will go down in history.

“We’re one of very few clubs to get this opportunity in the country. There is a lot of sense of pride there. When you look at our 107-year history, to take 10 days away out of our history I think it’s quite the statement to make in our history,” he said.

Ticket information and more details can be found on the CP Women’s Open website.

You can hear more from Dukart who spoke with Golf Saskatchewan’s Clark Stork.