TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club – Estevan, SK
Popular Southern Saskatchewan Golf Course Celebrates 75 Years in 2020
The TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club, located in Estevan, has long been a favourite golf course for Saskatchewan golfers …. a solid 75 years in fact!
Golf courses that have been successful for 75 years, and I don’t care what province you talk about, require a strong management team and a supportive golf community. Over the years, the TS&M Woodlawn GC has checked off both of these requirements.
When it comes to management of a golf facility, you couldn’t get a more passionate General Manager / PGA of Canada Professional than Amanda Minchin. And when it comes to a supportive golf community, one needs to simply enter “The Classic” any given year and witness top shelf golf community hospitality at it’s finest. The Classic is a popular weekend golf event where the entire Estevan community steps up and provides golfers with one of the most amazing golfing experiences in all of Saskatchewan.
We were fortunate to spend an entire week in Estevan back in 2015, and the memories and relationships that we formed in that short week will last forever. Outside of the immaculate course conditions, delectable clubhouse meals and incredible overall value playing in “The Classic”, what really enhanced the overall experience at the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club was the hospitality.
We caught up with General Manager & Head Professional, Amanda Minchin, this summer to talk about the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club.
SaskGolfer: First off Amanda, congratulations on your 75th Anniversary in 2020! What did TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club do to celebrate such an accomplishment?
Thank you! Prior to the Covid 19 Pandemic, we were planning to do a kickoff party on opening weekend. Obviously, things changed and we have had to postpone that. We are hoping that we can do a big celebration late in the fall or wait until next year and celebrate our 75th/76th anniversary! We are also going to be sharing stories and memories from the past 75 years of the club.
SaskGolfer: TS&M Woodlawn is a fantastic overall facility. What are some of the major changes over the years that have helped elevate the status of TS&M as being one of the top golf courses in Saskatchewan?
We did the back 9 redesign in 2012 after the flood year (2011) which was huge for our course. We prioritize having consistent greens from opening day to closing day. We also added recycled asphalt to our cart paths to help control dust and we put it in our main parking lot last fall. We are not in a position to pave our paths so this was our next best option and it has done a lot to improve the overall appearance of our paths and functionality.
As a team we look for small details to improve on every year. It’s the small things that can take you to the next level and that is what we aspire to do all the time!
SaskGolfer: Junior Golf Development is very strong at your facility, and it’s great to see golfers from the Estevan area playing in events all over the province. What are a couple of your key Junior Golf initiatives that are helping grow golf there in Estevan?
We are dedicated to making sure that all juniors feel welcome at the course from the moment they arrive until they leave. We take pride in the fact that our community is comfortable with dropping their kids off at our facility.
We host our Summer Junior League, which has existed for over 30 years (I used to play in it every week as a kid)! We basically shut down the front 9 for kids every Wednesday morning and they get to play 9 holes, go to the driving range and get a mini lesson. The focus is on etiquette and teaching them how to navigate around the course. We host spring Junior Lessons every year for kids aged 4 to 15. This is a great start to the golf season and we invite the parents to come and watch.
We also host Family Golf Days where parents/adults can take juniors of all ages on the course in a fun and relaxed setting. We have great volunteers and staff that work to ensure that these junior programs are running smoothly.
SaskGolfer: Your annual Frametech Classic Tournament is one of the top Amateur golf events in Western Canada. What makes it such a success year after year?
It’s a success because it is built on tradition. The tournament has evolved over the years, adding the Women’s and Senior Men’s Flights, which has helped grow the event more and more. It is always referred to as “The Classic” and even people in our community who do not golf, know what that means to the club.
Our Sunday afternoon horse race is really what draws people to the event. We have people following it and supporting the players every year and it is definitely a highlight of our weekend and season overall. The level of competition has increased every year as well which helps drive the success of your event.
SaskGolfer: Becoming a Member at TS&M is very affordable for the entire family. What are some of the main benefits of becoming a Member?
Being a member allows you access to our course 7 days in advance through call in and online booking. Our Junior Memberships are $250 and they do not have any restrictions on when they can play, so we feel that is very affordable for the season for kids.
We enjoy a mix of member play and public play. The one thing we tell people who are on the fence about getting a membership is that it is so handy to be able to come down and play 3 or 4 holes on evenings, you’re not committed to just playing 9 or 18 hole rounds.
Our full adult membership is based on 25 rounds of 18 holes, so for most people that’s a great fit for them.
SaskGolfer: Amanda, what’s your favourite hole at TS&M and what’s your lowest score?
My favourite hole is #16. It reminds me of being a kid and growing up at Woodlawn every time I play it. My lowest score is 66 at Woodlawn and a 65 I shot at Tor Hill in Regina.
SaskGolfer: PGA of Saskatchewan Professionals spend a considerable amount of time at their respective golf facilities during the summer. What’s your go-to meal at the golf course?
It changes as the season goes on! I have breakfast at the course almost everyday during the season, eggs and bacon! My go-to when we are in full swing and the days are long is our Greek chicken salad! Something about in house made dressing!
SaskGolfer: Thanks for your time Amanda, we can’t wait to get back out to TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club and enjoy the amazing Estevan hospitality!
The SaskGolfer Community ranks TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club as one of the “Top 10 Golf Courses” in Saskatchewan.
By Scott Allan / SaskGolfer