Manitoba’s competitive golfers will notice a few changes as the 2011 golf season gets under way.
Golfers in all provincial championship events except in the junior divisions will be permitted to use power carts this year. The use of cart was previously restricted to play in the senior event. Now, all amateur, mid-amateur and senior competitors, male and female, will be allowed to ride.
“We experimented with the use of carts at the mid-amateur championship last year at Granite Hills and it was a success, so we are extending it to all but juniors this year,” executive director Dave Camaskey explained. “We felt some players who find the power carts necessary were unable to enter so this will allow them to do so.”
He emphasized this is only for provincial events and those going into national competition will not be allowed to use the power carts.
Golfers will also notice a slight increase in tournament entry fees this season, but there will be reduced fee which is equivalent to the 2010 fees for those who register for tournaments on line. About 72 percent of entries in last year’s tournaments were submitted on line and it is expected more will take that route this year.
Those who register on line will save $10 for every tournament they enter through golfmanitoba.mb.ca with credit card, your ID and Password. Credit and debit payments will now be accepted in the office.
The Nott Autocorp Men’s Amateur Championship will be played at the Neepawa Golf and Country Club, a first for Golf Manitoba. It was also announced that the annual Manitoba/Minnesota junior golf matches were deleted from the calendar this season. The event had been held for about 30 years alternating location in Manitoba and Minesota.
Those competing for berths on the provincial teams who will represent Manitoba at the seven national competitions will have only three positions to fill, down from the four-member teams featured in previous years. This was a decision from Gold Canada.
There will also be a change in the funding for the teams heading for national events and golfers will have to bear more of the cost. Where full team expenses used to be covered, the team players will now receive a subsidy and will have to make up any additional expenses on their own.
“It brings golf into line with most other amateur sports,” said Comaskey. “Many who represent Manitoba at national events have to pay their own way or possibly take part in fund-raising programs.”
Another change for the 2011 season will see the rural junior men’s tournament played in conjunction with the rural amateur and senior championships, which will allow for some to compete in both junior and amateur divisions at the same time. Seniors will compete only in that division because shorter tees are used in the senior division. The 2011 rural championship will be played at Shilo Country Club.
The new Golf Manitoba/Golf Canada membership card this year will feature the new logos of both the national and provincial organizations of equal size and will included the member’s club name. It should be activated to bring benefits and discounts into play.