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Weyburn Golf Club hopes for a strong year in 2024

The Weyburn Golf Club had some challenges in 2023 with unexpected expenses, but this year is shaping up to be better in many ways.

WEYBURN – The Weyburn Golf Club had some challenges in 2023 with unexpected expenses, but this year is shaping up to be better in many ways, with an early start to the season and healthy membership numbers.

Members heard the details of 2023’s operations at the annual meeting held on Thursday evening at the clubhouse, and acclaimed directors to the board for 2024 with some key changes in personnel.

Revenues were up in 2023 by $130,000, totaling $976,259, but they weren’t enough to cover expenses which were also up, leaving the course with a deficiency of $102,681 of revenues over expenses.

This year will be quite a bit better, particularly as the Oil Show tournament will be on in early June, which always brings in extra revenue, members were told.

Revenues from green fees were up a fair bit, going from $189,623 in 2022 to $233,565 last year, but membership fees were down by about $10,000. Liquor sales were up from $109,266 to $125,181 last year.

One of the challenges on the expenses side was the hiring of students for the summer, and then finding out in late April the federal government did not approve a student employment grant, which is worth $30,000 to the golf club.

This will not be the case this year, as the Weyburn club was approved for the grant for students for 2024.

Other increased expenses included a bill hike in utilities that caused those expenses to go up from $25,195 to $45,481, including a surprise $5,000 bill for the power to a pumphouse.

The golf club also saw an increase of $8,000 in insurance costs, and an increase of $18,000 in the cost of course supplies. In addition, equipment repairs were about $10,000, and the cost of chemicals and fertilizer went up from $26,184 to $32,503. Expenses totaled $850,475, up from $743,828 the year before.

In a report on the irrigation project for the back nine holes, members were told it will cost about $567,000 to complete, not including the pumphouse. The Golf Club did receive a donation of $50,000 towards the project from Kingston Midstream which will help out, and the club is applying for other grants as well.

The members were told they are looking at around $450,000 to get the project started, said president Dustin Murray.

Club manager Chad Brock noted the course was open for playing almost a full month earlier than last year, and so far the club has 186 members paid up, which is ahead of last year.

He also noted the schedule is filling up with tournaments, including the Oil Show tournament, the men’s Crocus tournament, the ladies tournament, and a tournament with the Yellow Grass Wheat Kings, among others.

A junior camp was set to run over the long weekend, and the following weekend, and during the summer, the junior program will run due to a donation by Mryglod Steel which will enable it to be held.

Greenskeeper Lee Stobbs reported that his crew only spends a half-hour to work on the irrigation system on the front nine, and then spends the bulk of their time looking after the back nine, including hand-watering on certain holes, particularly 14 and 15 right now.
“It’s quite a difference from one to the other,” he said, noting his core crew this year has seven members, plus he has four university students and five high school students for the summer.

“We’ll have a large crew, but they don’t work all the time,” said Stobbs, noting if he has issues on the irrigation system, he sends in his most experienced hands to handle it.

“Now, we just need some help from Mother Nature,” he added.

In answer to a member’s question, he noted they hand-water the greens on the back nine, but don’t have the time or ability yet to be watering the fairways.

In the board elections, president Dustin Murray noted he is stepping down as he has moved to Regina, and secretary Marc Henderson was also stepping down.

With nominations coming up, Jim Linnell noted there were seven names for six positions, so he said he would step down so the six could be acclaimed. Linnell said he will continue to work on the golf club’s business plan until it’s finished, and he would continue to work with the RM and City.

The new board includes Tylar Fox, Lee Tochor, Conrad Pearce, Tyler Hollar, Tyler Mryglod, Jason Gibson, Chad Bailey, Murray Braun and Russ Chartrand, with Pearce chosen as the new president, and Bailey as vice-president.