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Fifty years of putts and drives at Outlook golf club

Outlook's Riverview Golf Club is marking half a century in 2022, and today it continues to thrive as a popular choice among courses.

OUTLOOK - On the front page of this very newspaper 50 years ago, during the week of June 22, 1972, there was a photo of a mid-sized building that had been recently moved down in the Outlook Regional Park to what was, at the time, the brand-new Outlook Riverview Golf Club.

The caption read as follows:

"This is the new Golf Club House recently purchased by the Riverview Golf Club, in Outlook. It is open for use of all golfers and is a very welcome addition to the new golf course. It is hoped that water and sewer facilities will be installed in the near future, plus the installation of kitchen facilities. The large windows allow a clear view of the course and the South Sask. river."

Today, in the half-century that has followed, plenty of history has been made and good times have been had at Outlook Riverview Golf Club. Game nights, steak nights, men vs women, kids nights, fundraisers, and the creation of the Brock Myrol Memorial Tournament; all of these and so much more help comprise the history of Outlook's golf course.

The season got underway this year on April 29, and with things greening up and the course already a popular location, things seem to be revving up for another busy year.

Mario Chabot, chairman of the golf club board, says Riverview is a place for every golfer of every skill level, highlighting how popular it is with those looking to play a serious game and even full households who just want to come out and have some fun.

"For a small town, this is awesome," said Chabot, talking with The Outlook after playing a round. "I've been here in Outlook for 12 years, and I've been down here a million times and it's always been really good. It's a great place for the town and a great place for families, as well as anybody who just wants to come down and play. There's still some work to do on it, but I think it's just awesome."

Chabot's memories of the course include games that pitted Outlook against another golfing community, and he also pointed out that there's a special part of the clubhouse that has produced many memorable conversations and focal points about the sport of golf.

"A lot of the tournaments and getting to know a lot of the guys, the locals," he said. "Our Outlook vs Delisle Ryder Cup tournament is always a blast with the different teams. The Men's Nights and getting to know the guys on the deck and just hearing some of the stories that come out of that. Definitely, the deck is one of the big things where you get to hear stories from some of the older members, some stuff from the new guys, and stuff just gets passed down through the years."

Mario says that the unpredictability of the sport is what keeps drawing people back to the course, as well as the welcoming nature that Riverview has always tried to promote. It's a course that can benefit the seasoned pro or the timid beginner.

"It's a course that the season player can enjoy," he said. "On certain days, they can find it tough or easy, but it's not so tough that families can't come out and enjoy it, such as beginners or coming out with your kids. It's enjoyable for everybody, and we're trying to create an atmosphere down here that everybody's welcome whether you're a raw beginner or a seasoned veteran. We just want everybody to come down here and enjoy it."

As for what he loves about the sport of golf, Chabot says it's the challenge that keeps bringing him back to the course because the sport will always give its players something different.

"The constant challenge, to say the least," he said. "I've been playing for well over 40 years and even did it for a living for a while. For me, it's just about the constant challenge. Every time you go out, it's always something different. The people, too; you get to play with different people and meet new people while enjoying the sport we all love."

Former longtime board chairman Wayne Sandbeck, also out on the course for the day and enjoying a round with some friends, said it's great that the community of Outlook thought to begin a course way back then.

"It's wonderful," he said. "Individuals who had the foresight to get a golf course going and contact an architect and do all the work - it's just been wonderful for the community."

Playing golf for as long as he has, Sandbeck has plenty of memories of Riverview, whether it's of historic events that have been played or some of those, well, shall we say 'adults only' memories that have no doubt been produced in the course's 50 years of existence.

"Oh, well, probably some that I shouldn't mention!" laughed Wayne. "The big ones would probably be the men's tournament that attracted 144 golfers, and the horse race that went along with that. That was really good."

In Wayne's view, it's Riverview's location that has been a consistent positive for the course, bringing in people who were coming down to the park for one thing and then ultimately drawing them in for a round of golf, strengthening the relationship between the golf course and the regional park.

"I think two things; people come so that they can camp in the regional park, and I think the golf course itself," he said, on what keeps attracting people. "Obviously, I'm biased, but I think it's one of the nicest nine-hole courses, and it may even rank right up there with a lot of the 18-hole golf courses. Some people may not rank nine-hole courses with 18-hole ones, but that's just my view. The course is also in really good shape, and the cost; I mean, you can't golf any cheaper than here, for the value that you get."

Sandbeck echoes the sentiments shared by Chabot when describing what he loves about the sport of golf, describing how one day is not the same as the next one. That constant challenge, along with the relationships and friendships that can be formed on the course are the highlights of the game.

"I'd have to say the challenge," Wayne grinned. "One day, you can play really good, and you come back out the very next day and you start shaking your head because you can't hit the ball! It's just a challenge, and when you're playing with others then you enjoy the comradery with the other golfers. Since I've retired, it's just been a hoot, golfing with the senior men's club because everybody's jabbing everybody. It's just a lot of fun!"

How can one encapsulate the sport of golf? Well, perhaps we should leave that task up to the late Bobby Jones, co-founder of the Masters Tournament and one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport.

"Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies."