The wet weather is not helping Westman golf courses right now.
Some courses have delayed their opening, hoping to avoid flooding or they are waiting to dry off. Meanwhile, those that are open aren’t getting much business.
Oak Island Resort is one that has delayed it opening. It hoped to open last week, but the last few days of rain have forced that to be postponed. If the rain stops, director of golf Dan Halldorson hopes to have people on the front nine today. The back nine, which doesn’t drain as fast, won’t be open until later. Halldorson wishes the weather was a little better, but he knows he’s not alone in his frustration.
“Everybody’s in the same boat,” he said. “Even if you are open, you’re not getting much play because the weather hasn’t been very good. Everybody’s in the same boat where we’re biding our time and hopefully it makes a turn for the better and we have a good summer with weather.”
Oak Island will look the same this year and wintered well. It’s just a matter of waiting for the rain to stop.
Carberry Sandhills Golf Course manager Chris Anderson is also anxious for the weather to improve.
Carberry’s course opened last week, but business has been quite poor both on the course and in the clubhouse.
“It’s brutal,” he said. “Everyone hounds you to get open and running and you get it staffed. We had like eight people for lunch today. No revenue since we opened up.
“By the weekend it’s supposed to get a little nicer out. That’s all you can do. We go through this every year.”
The nine-hole course wintered well and will have a similar look, with the exception of an expanded women’s tee box on the ninth hole. The course, which will put on its men’s open on June 1 and women’s open on June 8, did make a few changes off the links though. It is running a promotion in which people can camp for free at a site with power and water if two 18-hole rounds of golf are purchased. Carberry has also teamed up with the Souris, Minnedosa and Glenboro courses for a lottery in which people who buy a $50 punch card for 18-hole rounds at each course are entered for cash draws ranging between $1,000 and $30,000.
The biggest change this season is that golfers can book tee times on the course’s website (carberrygolf.ca).
“There’s some other courses in Manitoba like Clear Lake, Oak Lake, Shilo, Killarney, Neepawa and Minnedosa on the same program so we thought we’d give it a rip and see how it goes,” Anderson said.
CHIP SHOTS: Brandon’s Sunnyside course is now open, while the Souris Glenwood course will open on the weekend…Due to flooding concerns, the Wheat City Golf Course has pushed back its opening date to May 19, but only the back nine will be in play. The front nine will open at a later date. The Assiniboine River is expected to crest this weekend … The Clear Lake Golf Course will open on Wednesday. It will celebrate its 80th anniversary on June 4 with 50 cent green fees … The 54th annual Grey Owl tournament at Clear Lake still has openings and has extended its registration deadline. The event will run from June 13-15 and will feature a new hole-in-one contest and allow golfers to play with the people they register with for both rounds for the first time. For more information, see thegreyowl.ca … Deer Ridge’s nine-hole two-man senior men’s league that is held on Tuesday mornings has openings. To register, call the club at 204-726-1545 …The Oak Tree Classic, which raises money to conserve, restore and manage wetland conservation in Manitoba, will be held on May 24 at Oak Island. For more information, call Bob Grant at 204-729-3505 … Shilo will host the CN Future Links Junior Championship from May 29 to June 1 and is looking for volunteers. Anyone interested in being a forecaddie, scorecard runner, standard bearer or billeting a golfer can call Karen Gero at 204-765-3622 … Brandon’s chapter of the Huntington Society of Canada will host its charity tournament at Glen Lea on June 8. For more information, call Sandy Harrison at 204-573-4565 … After a three-year absence, the Brandon Ladies’ Western Open will return this season. It will be held at the Wheat City course on Aug. 10 with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. A junior flight for players 18 and under has been added. For more information, call Janice Meadows at 204-728-0708.