UNITY - It was a memorable season at the Unity Golf Course. It started out with masking and other pandemic precautions but as the province lifted all restrictions July 11, much of a sense of normal returned to this popular recreation venue.
The course was happy to have opened in mid-April and kept busy throughout the season.
Unity Golf Club President, Glen Heitt, says of the season, "We grew in membership this year, numbering 200 memberships purchased in 2021, up from last year."
"We had a really great year with more golfers than ever, both in club members, visitors and occasional golfers. We would be amiss, once again, to not acknowledge how much the support of the community and local businesses does for the development and maintenance of this course to keep it in its enviable condition," says Heitt
Heitt said while local golfers are used to the course, its beautiful surroundings and prime condition, visitors often remark on how impressive this small town, 9-hole, grass-green golf course is. From the picturesque beauty of the fairways and greens surrounded by trees and nature, to the challenges each hole offers a golfer, to the layout, operation and features, visiting golfers always leave positive reviews, which, the club knows, translates to future golf trips back to the Unity Golf Club in the future.
Several significant donations were received by the club in 2021 from community businesses to help with ongoing upgrades and maintenance.
The club was thankful for volunteers who continued to commit to work parties for preparing the course before the season started, as well as a couple of storm clean ups.
Men's night on Wednesdays and Fun nights on Tuesday continued to benefit from sponsorship from local businesses, organizations and individuals that provided prizes and a meal for golfers. Both of these week-day events experienced consistent turnouts.
A number of memorials were dedicated this year at the course, including a dedicated space at the course entry for founder Bob Burns. Benches, signs and memorial markers are found throughout the course, a testament to the legacy golfers and their families want to leave for the venue.
The Special Olympic golf program was welcomed back to the course thanks to program volunteers and the golfers themselves.
Unity Golf Course cheered with pride as their "claim to fame" local celebrity golfer, Justin Wood, excelled at the Canadian Men's Mid-Amateur championship, earning a bronze medal.
The club was happy to host a number of events for members in the latter part of the season. The Senior's open year end event was held on Aug. 12, with the following golfers being proclaimed as winners: senior men champion - Vaughn Cumming; senior ladies champion - Sylvia Maljan; and super senior champion, Peter Gartner.
The club championship event, held on Sept. 12 was won by a father/son duo on the men's side. Brent O'Donnell captured the club championship while his son, Denim, won the junior club championship.
Two members of the Snell family won some hardware at the course this season. Kyla Snell won the club ladies championship this season while her son Thomas captured the title at the junior tournament held Aug. 26. Thomas was also part of the UCHS team that captured three berths at upcoming SHSAA provincials.
The Unity Miners held another successful "Fun Day of Golf" fundraiser on Sept. 11 with 96 golfers participating which resulted in much success for both the hockey club and the golf club.
The club also was able to celebrate the success of Unity Composite High School golfers who captured three provincial berths on Sept. 14 at Jackfish Lodge Golf Course. All junior club members, Denim O'Donnell and Hunter Sperle, captured gold and bronze respectively, with Thomas Snell being bumped up to fourth provincial berth from fifth after another student was unable to commit to this provincial event. These high school golfers will head to Rosthern Sept. 24-25 looking to secure a provincial medal.
Unity Golf Club offers more options than golf in their beautifully landscaped surroundings. Battle West District Athletics held a cross-country running meet at the course on Sept. 16 with six schools in attendance. And, in 2020, as an added recreation feature, cross country ski trails were groomed around the course in the winter months.
The club hopes to remain open into October, but states that it will be dependant on the weather conditions being conducive to this option as greens protection is the most important factor in keeping the course open.
Heitt says, "We are still looking for a clubhouse manager for next year, as well as clubhouse staff."