TIM SMITH / BRANDON SUN
Kyle Ratz, Superintendent for the Wheat City Golf Course, examines a silt covered fairway on the course on Tuesday after the flood water had receded.
Crews at the Wheat City Golf Course are pumping off the last of the extra water from this summer’s flood and are working to try to get nine holes open before the end of the golf season.
Rob Hopkins, Assistant Superintendent for the Wheat City Golf Course, tills up the 10th green on the course on Tuesday as part of remediation as the flood water continues to recede. (TIM SMITH / BRANDON SUN)
The course managed to keep six holes open during the flood and manager Bryce Wilson hopes to have three more open by September and the rest ready for 2015. That, however, will take a lot of work as the damage from the flood was worse than what he expected.
"There’s more silt this year than 2011, but I don’t think the damage is as bad, like downed trees and torn-apart fairways," he said. "The water wasn’t moving, it was just sitting. There’s not as much reconstruction to be done, it’s just the seeding of fairways and trying to get the greens back and overseeding them."
Greens and fairways of 12 holes were under water from the flood that lasted most of July and since the water levels dropped back below the dike, crews have been told by city administrators to work on the course and apply for money to pay for the repairs through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements Program. Since then, they’ve been trying to get rid of the silt, till the greens and fairways and then seed.
Wilson said this is the perfect growing season and he hopes all the work will pay off.
While he hopes to have nine holes open in September, Wilson admits the course hasn’t been able to offer the services he hoped this season and letters are being sent out to members to offer them rebates based on how much they played between May 18 and June 28.
"They have the choice to take the rebate or continue their season pass and play the six holes, which I believe some will. Most will probably take the refund," Wilson said. "We totally recognize we couldn’t provide a service that we thought we could offer. We feel that people need to get a portion of their money back."
The course is charging $15 to play the six holes all day, plus $10 to rent a cart. With the other holes under water, the top six have been kept in really good shape and Wilson has heard many compliments about their condition.
While there are discussions around the community about the viability of the course and whether it should be shut down, Wilson has been instructed to get the course running a full 18 holes as quickly as possible and he will continue to do so until he’s given different directions.
"We’re plugging away," he said. "You know the talk that’s going around the town. We’re moving forward from our city administration to get that course back up and running. That direction may change during a certain time in the year, but from right now we are totally committed to rebuilding the nine holes and then move to the additional holes after that."
CANADIAN AM: Glenboro’s Josh Wytinck continued to struggle in the third round of the Canadian Amateur in Winnipeg after posting 7-over 77 at the Elmhurst Golf and Country Club on Wednesday. That dropped Wytinck to a tie for 56th at 7-over heading into today’s final round. Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., leads everyone at 8-under, followed by Sam Saunders of Albuquerque, N.M., at 7-under.
BANTAMS: The provincial junior bantam golf championships start today at the Maplewood Golf Club.
Minnedosa’s Zane MacDonald and Onanole’s Lawson Yates are in the boys’ division, while Erickson’s Bobbi Uhl and Brandon’s Haley Shanks are in the girls’ field. The event wraps up on Friday.
CHIP SHOTS: Deer Ridge hosts a two-person scramble on Sunday. Call the clubhouse to register … Killarney’s Senior Men’s Fall Open is set for Monday, followed by its Ladies’ Fall Open on Aug. 21. Contact the club for more information … Pleasant Valley is putting on a senior men’s event on Aug. 14. Call the club for more information … Minnedosa is putting on a mixed golf tournament on Aug. 16. Call the club for more details … Souris’s two-person 999 event will also take place on Aug. 16. Call the club for more information … Carberry is putting on a two-person scramble on Aug. 17 and its Senior Women’s Open on Aug. 20. Call the club for more details … The Clear Lake Ladies’ Classic will be held Aug. 25. The cost is $94, including cart rental. Call Pat at 204-848-7497.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 7, 2014