Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Fore' Pete's sake, let's golf

Skiing, driving range see heavy action

  • Print

No one said the weather has been par for the season.

But going downhill? That's another matter entirely.

Regardless, there was a seasonal convergence on Saturday when the last open ski hill in Manitoba remained in operation while the first driving range in Winnipeg teed-off in the never-ending spring (or winter) of 2013.

And both the golfers and skiers/snowboarders were equally basking in the sun of a day where the temperature barely nudged above freezing.

In fact, it was about 2 C with a bracing westerly wind when Darcy Urdal, 62, started wailing on his first bucket of balls at Shooters Family Golf Centre on north Main Street in the early afternoon, lofting shots into mounds of snowbanks, while geese were waddling over nearby frozen ponds.

But Urdal wasn't complaining.

"Come on, I was raised in Canada," said the retired aerospace engineer. "It's near zero so I put on a sweater."

Besides, Urdal had already finished the New York Times crossword puzzle in the Saturday Free Press. And he had determined the unseasonably cold weather that has gripped Manitoba this spring had lasted "way too long."

Urdal was just happy to be hitting anything, in fact, after undergoing a carotid endarterectomy just a couple weeks ago.

"I'm not supposed to be doing anything strenuous," Urdal said, between swings. "The doctor doesn't know."

Urdal was accompanied by wife Ethel and brother-in-law Dennis Cote, but they were far from alone at Shooters. A few tee boxes away, Andrew Middleton was airing out his Taylor Made driver.

"I've been waiting for a little while," said Middleton, 27. "It's relaxing to finally get outside. You can only watch so much hockey."

Perhaps, yet Middleton was still going to be in front of the tube Saturday afternoon in time to watch the Winnipeg Jets host the New York Islanders in a critical late-season showdown.

Just one bucket first.

But while Urdal sat down at Shooters to sip on a bottle of Alexander Keith's, a few kilometres to the north, Robert Paige was soaking up the sun on the porch at the Stony Mountain Ski Area, where dozens of skiers and snowboarders were taking advantage of the final day of their season.

"I'm from B.C.," said Paige, a volunteer ski patrol member. "It kind of reminds me of back home. Last year I had six rounds of golf in by now. This is a lot better."

Indeed, what might be considered chilling golf weather was downright balmy for skiers. At Stony, the speakers were blaring out Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars tunes and mostly under-20s populated the modest slopes.

"It's awesome," said 18-year-old Trevor Szarnecki.

"Spring snowboarding is the best. I mean, look at these guys wearing T-shirts. Lovin' it. Wish it would keep going."

"I can't believe the length of the season," added Paul Marchand.

"It's been so great to come out. I put my stuff away (last week) then brought it back out again when they decided to stay open."

Garett Turbett was also grateful for the extra snow after suffering a shoulder injury in January after he "messed up a 360."

"I'm just trying to get as much in as I can," Turbett, 18, said.

"For this time of year, it's amazing how good it is."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 21, 2013 A3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Winnipeg Free Press 27 cent digital payment system

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A female Mallard duck leads a group of duckings on a morning swim through the reflections in the Assiniboine River at The Forks Monday.     (WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Winnipeg Free Press  June 18 2012

View More Gallery Photos


What do you think of Manitoba Hydro's deal to create a surface-parking lot to allow for construction of a new substation?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google