Sunday, May 20th, 2012
Winnipeg golfers have plenty of room to play, Golf course supply outstrips demand by 10 per cent, according by city report, so getting a tee time should not be a problem.
Alan Shane, the acting chief operating officer for Winnipeg Golf Services, said the city owns 12 of about 25 golf courses in Winnipeg.
Shane, an avid golfer since 1972, said he plays all the courses, though Kildonan Park is his favourite.
“Did you know Bon Hope learned to play golf at Kildonan?” asked Shane, citing J. Alan Hacketts’s book Manitoba Links: A Kaleidoscopic History of Golf. The 18-hole Kildonan Park Golf Course was Winnipeg’s first, he said, opening in 1921, back when Hope and a slew of other stars were working the vaudeville circuit.
It’s a forgiving course, within thin tree lines between fairways making for easy recovery shots. And it’s the most popular of the 12 city owned courses. In 2010, there were 29,500 rounds played at Kildonan, Shane said, almost 6,000 more than second place Windsor Park.
Brian Kostiw, 52, has been playing golf in Winnipeg for 40 years and fondly recalls Kildonan’s par-3, 10th hole with its train trestle bridge looming between tee and green.
“As a kid we didn’t have the strength to go over the bridge, so we’d go under.”
Kostiw, a kid no more, also regularly playes Windsor Park, Wildewood Club, and Rossemere Country Club.
But if you are still a kid, go get your parents, or a friend at least 18 years old, because Shane has a freebie offer.
“Kids 17 and under play for free at Crescent Druve and Harbour View golf courses and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays between 1 and 5 p.m. when accompanied by a paid adult,” he said, adding both courses are nine hole par 3′s and “absolutely wonderful places to learn golf.”
There are many other golf options in Winnipeg, though some are private so call before you go. The Yellow Pages or websites like scoregolf.com and golfmax.ca list courses in and around the city.
And remember, keep your eye on the ball.