Out on the Back Nine
Ryan Desjarlais is a high school physics teacher looking to shed some light on rural golf. This summer, he’ll feature a different rural course each week.
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What do airplanes, farm tractors, glass towers, hay balers, flat land, helicopters, and military history all of it have in common? They can all be found at the Southport Golf Club.
Southport is a former military base, CFB Portage la Prairie. Its former name gives away its approximate location. The complex is south of Portage la Prairie on Highway 240. If you’re coming from Winnipeg, take the Portage bypass and watch for the 240 overpass. Proceed south from the bypass on 240 and you’ll find yourself on the well-maintained grounds of the Southport campus. Follow the blue signs pointing out the golf course.
Following the signage will lead you down an ever-narrowing paved road, and along that road, you will read signs picturing a helicopter and saying, “Beware! Low-flying aircraft.” As you pass the aircraft control tower, you may feel you’re in the wrong place, as there is nothing but open fields and runways, and the road that you are on keeps narrowing.
Not to worry; look for the three or four tall, obviously out-of-place evergreen trees on the horizon and keep going. Once you’ve reached those planted conifers, you have entered the golf course. Now, be cautious here, because the road runs right through the middle of the course.