The TS&M Woodlawn Golf Course has introduced a new family loop golf course in an effort to get more young people playing the sport.
The three holes for the course are all short distances, and is a way to get children out who are just learning the game. It also gives families something else to do.
The family loop course is at one end of the driving range, at the opposite end of the main driving range tee box.
“We’ve got our main tee box, which most people are used to, and then there’s another end, which used to be our old number 11 green. So, when things get busy, people go down there (to the other end), and I do most of my teaching down there, and our junior lessons,” said Amanda Minchin, the head pro and general manager at Woodlawn.
Behind the lessons tee box is the former fairway of the 12th hole, which is land that has been unused since the redesign of the back nine following the flood of 2011.
There are no hazards on the course.
The first day for the family loop course was June 8. Minchin noted the weather wasn’t co-operative the first few days, but conditions have improved recently.
“We’re reserving it for kids with adults right now,” said Minchin. “We don’t want people out there hitting wedge shots and ripping up the course. It’s not meant for that. It’s meant for our young juniors to get … comfortable on a golf course.”
She expects it will be busy, especially since Woodlawn has had an influx of junior golfers. A couple of weeks ago, their junior lessons were full.
Woodlawn has been looking at the possibility of having an academy or another teaching area. Eldon Rondeau, who is a long-time supporter of junior golf in the community, approached course superintendent Bob Currie with the idea.
The course received some funding from Saskatchewan Lotteries last year for the mini-course, and Currie and his crew were able to construct the holes.
The three-hole junior loop is free to use for juniors that come down, even if they don’t have a membership, thanks to a donation from Techmation Electric and Controls Ltd. If a youth golfer does want to use the course, they need to check in at the pro shop before venturing out; they do not need to book a tee time.