Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION


Golf season finally upon us as U of M team crams for first exam

  • Print

It's behind us now, so it's a lot easier to talk about this rationally.

The scars are still fresh, though, because earlier this month, snow piles and golf courses were still getting along fabulously.

The Winnipeg area was like much of Western Canada ,with cold temperatures and record-late course openings.

Tales are common in the region that in the last century, the timing of course openings has never been like it was in 2012 (March) or 2013 (May).

This spring, it had added stress to several segments of the competitive set of Manitoba players, among them the University of Manitoba Bisons golf team.

They're the eager beavers of the group. The Bisons players are like you and me, pacing and muttering and cursing weather forecasts for the entire month of April.

But they had an extra urgency -- their biggest event of the season was only a few weeks away. The Canadian University/College Championships are May 28-31 at Ste-Sophie, Que.

Can you say "cramming?"

"Obviously this isn't ideal, but we've been doing what we can do," said Bisons player Bobby Wiebe, one of three team members who agreed to meet Friday morning at the team's practice home, Southwood Golf and Country Club, for a therapy session disguised as a group interview. "It's workable now. We were hitting balls inside most of the winter. You're still swinging. It's the short-game stuff that really needs the work.

"And things are OK now. We might be a little bit behind, but from what I know, the weather across the country hasn't been great."

Bisons player Scott Mazur said he's been putting in extra time on the range at Elmhurst, where he's a member. Elmhurst, if you want to feel some of Mazur's pain, has been open for just 10 days.

"I've been hitting balls more on the range at Elmhurst and I've played more rounds this year in a short time to try to prepare," Mazur said. "But like Bobby said, I don't think it's the long game that's the issue. It's the touch around the greens that needs a little work."

Bryce Barr was asked Friday how he dealt with an unprecedented April.

"Aside from losing my mind?" he deadpanned. "It was trying to keep your ear to the ground about who was opening the soonest. As soon as Hackers and Smackers was open, I went out there."

Barr also confessed that in his impatient state and with courses a long way from open, he might have done something "illegal" when he hit balls in a field in his neighbourhood.

"Just anything you can do," he said. "You just want to get out there. And a lot of that doesn't have anything to do with the fact you're preparing for a tournament. You just love golf. You want to play.

"And turning that calendar to April, well, it's when the Masters is on and that's when golf season is here. That's when I started to really get anxious."

The Bisons, including 2012 Manitoba player of the year Josh Wytinck and Charlie Boyechko, are pretty sure their twitching has subsided. Their focus is now their outdoor practice and their course time.

"I think you have to make sure your practice is as efficient as possible now because we don't have a lot of time," Barr said. "It's only a couple of weeks to get ready for a tournament like nationals, so you want to use your time as well as you can. And having played in a tournament already this year in San Diego (in March), that was good to just get back into the feel of playing."

The Bisons players have two tune-ups straight ahead of them that ought to help with the feel of competition. This weekend they'll be facing a group of juniors that make up Manitoba's Canada Games team in a "friendly," (though don't expect smiles from the losers) and next weekend, the team will compete in the first local event of the year, the Manitoba Match Play qualifier. From there, it'll be off to Quebec the next day and the Canadian championship, which by the way, will be staged at Southwood in 2014.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 18, 2013 C4

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


Government questioned over water woes at Shoal Lake

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A squirrel enjoys the morning sunshine next to the duck pond in Assiniboine Park Wednesday– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


The Manitoba Moose have returned! What's your reaction?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google