Twenty Twenty One. This year was every bit as unique as 2020 and I did not think that would be possible. We here at Minnedosa Golf & Country Club did not know what to expect going into the season. There were ever evolving Covid-19 restrictions and cases, we were still gathering ourselves as we continued to recover from the 2020 flood and a balmy winter that while enjoyable, was creating many challenges for our grounds crew. But our team persevered as we always do and barrelled forward into a very unknown golf season. With all the uncertainty we knew one thing was for sure, people were dying to golf!
The Golf Course - Grounds
The back nine opened April 9th this season. After opening and closing with drastic changes in weather conditions all 18 holes opened and stayed open on April 21st. Despite having very little snow cover the course wintered well and the grounds staff set to work continuing repairs on the flood damaged areas as well as the tasks that come with firing up the course after a long winter. As the season progressed we saw the fruits of Dan Bailey, Jamie Stone, Jim Dowsett, George Collin, Wayne Johnson, Angus Hachkowski, Sydney Austin, Adam Bailey, & Harry Cornish's hard work. Our course was phenomenal this season. Very little rainfall once again led to challenges for Dan and the staff but I cannot speak highly enough of the job that he and everyone else did to keep the course on the right track this year. My hope is that our new project this fall/winter in the well and holding cell will alleviate some of the unnecessary stress put on our staff when dealing with our irrigation supply. This project, as many of you know, has already been put into motion this fall and is designed to supply our course with a clean, constant supply of water through the golf season as opposed to our current situation of pulling from a very dry river oxbow.
Projects such as this and others coming in the near future make me very excited for what the years ahead hold for our golf course. Thank you to all who came out and enjoyed the excellent conditions this year and supported our club and thank you to our grounds crew for their tireless work this season.
The Golf Course - Operation
After an early opening and closing, and opening and closing, due to weather, we were off and racing welcoming golfers back after a long, locked down winter. The joy was marred slightly in May when restrictions slowly began to affect golf courses. This reached its peak when we were mandated to only allow golfers from the same household to golf together for 4 weeks. After hosting couples nights, household scrambles and even donating everything we made on green fees for a week in June to the Brandon ICU, we made it out the other side and the season was kicked into high gear. Golfers flocked to the course once again and we saw record numbers for green fees. Men's & Ladies nights and all leagues were able to once again function fully and be let back into the restaurant for meals. Our tournaments saw increased participation and our membership increased by 20% from 2020.
In a year like this I was very fortunate to return two staff members in the Pro Shop that have been at the course longer than myself. Luke Zacharias & Zane MacDonald along with Gary Clark stepped up big this year during a non stop busy summer and I could not have done it without them. Nor could the golf course have benefitted the way it did with out the incredible support our guests and members gave us this season. Thank you to everyone who put a tee in the ground here at MGCC this year. It was the bounce back season we needed.
As many of you know, the restaurant business was hit very hard by Covid-19 and unfortunately to begin the golf season our restaurant was no different. Handcuffed by restrictions we were allowed only to operate under "take out only" until June 26th! Considering our opening date on the golf course, restrictions took away over 2 months of our season in the restaurant and even once the doors were open restrictions were still in place that hampered our ability to fully function. However, we battled through these tough times with creative options for our customers who so generously supported us and by the time July and tournament season finally rolled around Anita, Missy, Ellen, Pat, Caroline and everyone else in the kitchen stepped up their game after many next day changes had to be made to balance between health orders orders and demand from the incredible amount of golfers and supporter we received this year. Our beverage cart staff members Danielle, Teagan, Suade, Caitlyn, Kara and Mel also stuck it out through the turbulent start to the season and we are thankful they did as they would have been sorely missed when summer events such as RFM Par 3, Minnedosa Masters and the Mixed Open burst onto the scene with record numbers of golfers. All in all we can look back at this year in the restaurant and see many "what ifs" but we were also shown how fortunate we are to be located in Minnedosa as the support we received through the challenges was incredible as always. Thank you everyone.
After beginning the season with our $1,000 Draw and starting off with a bang our tournaments were forced to be pushed to July and beyond. This made for a jam packed summer but we also saw jam packed attendance at almost all events. I would like to thank all who attended and understood the position we were put in to conduct these events while also obeying public health orders. It was challenging to say the least but I am proud of how our staff made everything work and excited to build on these events next season.
Congratulations to all our champions:
Mixed Open - Patrick & Nicole Law / Wyatt Rapsky & Brittany Hewlko
Senior Ladies Open - Trudy Adamson
Senior Men's Open - Bryan Letain
RBC Scramble Qualifier - Matt Saler, James McCarville, Shane Jury, & Wyatt Rapsky
Minnedosa Masters - Derek Cameron
Senior Men's Fall Classic - Bill Horn/Mark Shanks
Ironman Scramble - Evan Nachtigall, Ryden Hargraves, Ryan McKean
Cross Country Wind Up - Derek Cameron & Amy Kingdon
Club Championship Winners:
- Brett McNabb (Men's)
- Ken Newman (Senior Men's)
- Trudy Adamson (Ladies)
- Cole Topham (Juniors)
Making A Difference
Golf is accountable for billions of dollars in charitable donations each year world wide. This year we did not raise billions for charity but we were a part of a few unique initiatives to help improve the world we live in.
During the peak of our lockdown in June where golfers were permitted to play only with members of their household, we took a whole week and told golfers they could play for free if they donated to Brandon Hospital's Intensive Care Unit. We are proud to have been in a position to help those on the front lines, who have been through a lot in the past year and a half, by raising $2,000 for the ICU to purchase needed supplies.
We also were a participating golf course in the 2021 Marathon Monday/Sunday Funday Cancer fundraiser. Many of our members took to the course and played well over the standard 9 or 18 holes in order to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. The event raised just under $16,000 this year and our members Amy Kingdon & Kiersten McNabb were the top fundraisers for the event!
We are wrapping up the season in our final week by donating 50% of all our green fees paid during the final week to the Canadian Cancer Society. This is a fundraiser we have done every October for Cancer Awareness Month and we could not be happier to be in a position to support a worthy cause this season.
Twenty Twenty Two
Looking ahead to our off season and the 2022 season I am filled with much optimism and excitement. 2021, while hectic and challenging, was one of our best ever here in Minnedosa. With an increase in people playing the game comes the ability to do more for the community and the game as a whole. We have many plans in place to better our golf course and the product we offer. With the hope of reduced restrictions in the spring our junior programs can once again commence with greater capacities. And some new expanded membership offerings are coming to encourage yet another increase in participation in our game.
There is much work to be done this offseason but more than ever I am excited to see that first tee go in the ground in 2022 and kick off another great year at Dosa National Golf Club.
General Manager/Head Professional
Minnedosa Golf & Country Club