Waskesiu Golf Course management deem unusual 2020 season a success

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Shell Lake’s Brooklin Fry makes a putt during the 2020 Women’s Lobstick final at the Waskesiu Golf Course.

It took a little bit for everything to get back to a somewhat normal state at the Waskesiu Golf Course this year, as they worked around the rules and protocols that were put in place to allow golf to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the course prepared to wrap up their season on Sunday, those involved with the facility were happy with how things went.

“All in all, it was a very successful year,” Waskesiu Golf Course general manager Tyler Baker said last Friday following the conclusion of the 2020 Men’s Lobstick tournament. “We were very busy, like most courses were in the province, which was great to see across the board.

“Everyone that came up was very understating and patient with the rules that were put in place. We tried to keep everyone as safe as possible and the whole year was very eye-opening and interesting for us.”

One of the biggest changes for those who work at the course was to make sure that everyone followed the new rules and the protocols, which were announced by the Government of Saskatchewan on April 23. 

“We had to change the way that the golf carts were brought back to the clubhouse, we had to sanitize the golf carts once they came back and we had to sanitize the washrooms once every hour,” Baker said.

“When you think about everything that you have to sanitize, such as entrance and exit areas and the touch points, you can sometimes take that for granted when you realize how many germs are around. Everyone that came here understood what we were doing and did their part, which was good to see.”

Another major shakeup to the calendar at the course involved the annual Lobstick tournaments.

While the Junior and Women’s events remained in their August dates, the Senior Men’s and Men’s competitions were moved from June to September.

“It can be kind of dicey up here with the weather at this time of year, but the course was the best shape I’ve ever seen it in and we really lucked out with how nice it was,” said Saskatoon’s Brad Phelps, who was the runner-up in the Senior Men’s and Men’s Lobstick tournaments. “I think everyone who came to the tournaments were really happy that they were able to take place.”

“We weren’t sure what to expect, especially after what the weather was like here last September, but I think we only had one 20-minute frost delay that slowed us down,” Baker added. “There were smaller fields this year but I think that made things a lot more competitive, especially when you look back at the first round match at the Lobstick between Danny Klughart and Jason Galon, as it an extra nine playoff holes before Jason won.”

Now that the 2020 season is over, preparations for the upcoming year will slowly begin to take shape during the next few months.

 “The only major project that’s on our plate right now is with the driving range, as we’re going to do some upgrades on that,” Baker said. “As a far as everything else goes, we’re putting on hold on that so that we can let everything soak in and really look at how successful the season was.

“We do plan to move the Men’s Lobstick and the Senior Men’s Lobstick back to their traditional June dates. If we are in the same situation as we were this year with COVID-19, we have a better handle on how to organize things after going through it this year. Plus, with the longer daylight hours, it will allows us to have some more golfers take part.”