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Melfort Golf and Country Club - Prime shape in spite of the rain

 

Melfort Golf and Country Club - Prime shape in spite of the rain

By George Bowditch, Sask. Golfer

Located on the south side of the town of Melfort, the Melfort Golf and Country Club will challenge to play to the top of your game. The course appears to be flat and relatively wide open with little trouble so it should be a piece of "cake" to play.

Once you get the opportunity to play the Melfort Golf and Country Club, a public championship golf course with a fully stocked pro shop, excellent restaurant and spacious lounge you will find that your first impressions were wrong and the only thing wide open will be your eyes. This 18-hole gem is a very good test of any golfer’s skill.

It is also a very resilient golf course that handles the challenges of Mother Nature very well as General Manager, Kevin Ryhorchuk explains.

“June was a tough month with all the rain that we had received. In a 10 day stretch we got over 7 inches. Course was closed for a better part of 4 days which hurt us.”

“July was a good pretty good month, weather was pretty good and the course was booked fairly steady. Aug is booked as well with around 22 functions so if the weather cooperates Aug should be a good month as well.”

“Course is and has been in great shape since we opened. We had installed a new Irrigation Pump in the first part of May but really haven’t had to use it much, due to the amount rain that we have had.” explained Ryhorchuk.

The par-72, 6580-yard layout has three tee boxes on each hole to ensure every golfer can enjoy playing to their ability without feeling over-matched.

A large water hazard that runs through the middle of the golf course presents a challenge to golfers on numerous holes. The biggest challenge, though, are the small relatively hard to hit and hard to hold greens. While the greens roll true, you must figure out their many breaks, as the greens are not flat. Trees will catch your errant shots as will the well-placed sand traps that are present around the course.

The course record is 62 so as you can see the course will give you a fair test of your game.

Led by General Manager, you will find the staff at the Melfort Golf and Country Club very willing to help make your visit to the golf course a memorable one. The can handle all your group functions and tournament needs.

The Melfort Golf and Country Club General Manager took time out of his busy day to describe the signature hole on the course.

“The 17th Hole would be the signature Hole; it’s a Par 3 that measure 216 from the back tees and usually plays into a prevailing head wind. You have to carry it over water to a big green and you don’t want to be above the hole so choosing the right club is a must.” explained Ryhorchuk.

Their fully stocked pro shop will take care of any your golfing needs whether you need a cart for your round, a new set of club or balls and tees. Their prices are excellent and they will match up with any golf shop around. Also, if they don’t have what you need, they will do their best to get it for you! You can’t ask for anything more than that.

The Melfort Golf and Country Club has a very spacious driving range on which you can warm up on and hone your skills. The range is well marked with yardage markers and target for you to aim at. If you feel you need a lesson, the staff at the pro shop will be happy to arrange one for you.

The restaurant and lounge are waiting to satisfy your cravings whether it is for a breakfast before your round or lunch or a delicious supper meal. You don’t have to be a golfer to come out to the Melfort Golf and Country Club and enjoy their great meals. You are welcome.

Once you have had the opportunity to experience what the Melfort Golf and Country Club has to offer, you will no doubt realize that yes indeed first appearances can be deceiving! Play it once and you will want to come back time and time again.

The Links of North Dakota

Why Canadian golf is dying

Why Canadian golf is dying

The culprits: greed, hubris and the demise of free time

There were already 11 other golf courses nearby when Don MacKay set about to build Muskoka Highlands in 1992. At the time, it wasn’t clear whether Ontario’s cottage country, two hours north of Toronto, could support a 12th course, but MacKay believed in his business plan-a low-key, public links-style facility-and convinced a cautious banker to loan him the money. It may have been the last time a proposed golf course received such serious scrutiny in Canada.

Since then, MacKay says more than 18 courses have been built-and bankrolled-within a few hours’ drive. But there aren’t nearly enough people to slice, hook and duff balls along all those freshly clipped fairways. Business is hurting and competition between operators is growing fierce. “If you talk to a golfer, he’ll say the game of golf is fine,” MacKay says. “But if you talk to a golf course owner, he will say the business of golf is suffering because we overbuilt.”

The numbers are stunning. There are an estimated 2,400 golf courses across the country, while Statistics Canada pegs the number of golfers in Canada at about 1.5 million. That’s one course for every 625 players, or 14,500 Canadians-among the highest number per capita in the world. Moreover, Canadians appear to be playing less golf than they used to. A recent study by the National Allied Golf Associations, or NAGA, found that the number of rounds played on the average Canadian course has dropped 10 per cent over the past five years, with the blame falling on everything from waning interest to the time commitment required.

WATCH: For a first-hand glimpse of Canada’s golf course glut, take a quick tour over Toronto using Google Earth’s flight simulator.

In the U.S., a painful industry shakeout is already under way. Equipment sales are down, closures of golf courses are commonplace and an estimated 400,000 players left the sport last year alone. In Canada, meanwhile, clubs are slashing fees in a bid to stay in the black, with some more successful than others. The award-winning Sagebrush Golf & Sporting Club near Merritt, B.C., recently applied to put itself into receivership, following in the footsteps of others such as Tobiano (Kamloops), Tower Ranch (Kelowna) and the Rise (Vernon). In Ontario, the private York Downs Golf & Country Club north of Toronto put itself up for sale to developers (although the club says it’s not in any financial trouble), while a candidate seeking Toronto’s mayoralty wants to turn a money-losing municipal course in the east end into a park to ease the taxpayer burden.

How did the industry end up in such an obvious hazard? Overly optimistic predictions about how many retired Baby Boomers would hit the links was part of it. But the real culprit was golf’s unhealthy relationship with North America’s overheated real estate market. Developers can sell houses for far more money if they back onto a golf course and the fancier the golf course, the bigger the premium. But not everyone who wants to live next to a golf course plays golf-so many courses sit relatively empty. Egos also play a role. “I watched in astonishment as people poured tens of millions into a course that they probably knew they weren’t going to get their money out of,” says MacKay, who once worked for a company that built golf courses.

Now the industry is scrambling to find its way back out of the rough. Some operators have cut back on watering and maintenance, allowing courses to exist in a more "natural" state. Others are grasping for new ways to sell a centuries-old game to a time-pressed audience, experimenting with faster-to-play courses and pay-as-you-go pricing. One course in B.C. is using eight-inch cups on the greens to make putting easier, while others propose going as big as 15 inches, roughly the size of a large pizza. Golf Digest raised eyebrows this year when it featured a scantily dressed Paulina Gretzky on its cover-not because she’s a golfer, but because she happens to be engaged to one.

Perhaps the most desperate response is to lure people to use golf courses for sports other than golf. MacKay, for one, promotes something called footgolf, a sort of golf-soccer mash-up that involves kicking the ball down a fairway and trying to land it in a 21-inch hole. He’s unapologetic. “When 40 per cent of kids under 15 play soccer and [five per cent] play golf, you realize that you need to appeal to a different market,” he says. “We’ve got to put more people on this course. I don’t care if they’re flying kites or riding bikes. We have to get more people because golf is golf and there are only so many golfers out there.”

You can read more about it here www.macleans.ca/economy/business/the-end-of-golf/

White Bear Lake Golf Course

Greebryre Golf Resort