While some Westman course ledgers may not deem this golf season as great, a lot of course managers feel lucky to have the year they did.
A massive rainfall flooded a lot of the courses in the region in late June and early July, but all of them have recovered with the exception of the Wheat City Golf Course, which is down to six holes.
Graham Freeman was very concerned with the Virden Wellview Golf Course, the province’s oldest course, as the board member saw water over greens, a couple tee boxes and some of the fairways. Other courses in the southwest corner of Manitoba looked like lakes instead of golf courses. However, they have all come through and were reopened in a couple weeks with little damage, which was limited to one fairway in Virden.
"It came back amazingly well," said Freeman. "All the greens were underwater. It’s amazing. The greens came back in perfect conditions. Within three weeks of the flood we were going again.
"We had a couple bridges wash out and local volunteers worked hard with our committee and we got it rebuilt. We lost one fairway that suffered some damage, but it’s recovered fairly well."
Virden has managed to host a few tournaments since the flood — and will put on a 27-hole, two-man event on Sept. 13 — as it bounces back.
Other courses like Souris, Oak Island and Melita, which was covered in water after the storm, have re-opened and hosted tournaments. Melita is limited to eight holes as one of them had to be reseeded.
However, after fearing the worst for a couple days after the rain stopped, Freeman admits how lucky a lot of the courses really are this year.
"I don’t know that anybody knew for sure (how bad it would be)," he said. "We weren’t going to be completely shut down, but we didn’t know if we were going to be playing with seven holes or something like that. When we saw the water, we weren’t sure what we would find once it subsided, but considering the way the weather was, we probably came through as good as anybody else, and probably better than some."
It was also a rough season for golfers as the Westman Tour couldn’t find a sponsor and didn’t operate this year.
The Westman Invitational, traditionally held at the Shilo Country Club, has also been cancelled.
However, the Tamarack and Grey Owl tournaments at the Clear Lake Golf Course both had respectable numbers and continue to be two of the most popular events in Westman.
CHIP SHOTS: Neepawa’s Women’s Fall Classic (two-women net par points) will take place on Saturday. The cost is $45. Neepawa will also host the Natives Hockey Club’s Alumni and Friends Four-person Scramble on Sept. 20 and the par-3 windup event on Oct. 18. Call the club for more information …Deer Ridge’s Men’s Open will take place on Sunday. It will also put on the Ridge Bowl match play event from Sept. 27-28. Call the club for more information … Killarney’s Senior Ladies’ Fall Open will be held on Sept. 11. Call the club for details … Shilo is hosting its club championship weekend on Sept. 13 and 14. Men, women, senior men and juniors will play in the 36-hole stroke play event. Call the club for details … McCreary’s Best Ball Tournament for two-person teams is set for Sept. 13. Register by contacting the club … Minnedosa’s Credit Union Cup will run on Sept. 14, followed by its Cross-country Tournament on Sept. 27. Call the club for more info … Carberry will host a four-person scramble on Sept. 14. Call the club for details … A fundraiser tournament for the Onanole Recreation Centre will be held at Poplar Ridge on Sept. 15. Call the club for more info … Pleasant Valley’s Superintendent Challenge will take place on Sept. 20. Call the club for details.