Welcome to the 2023 golf season!
With the May long weekend now behind us, we can now declare Manitoba’s summer golf season unofficially open.
Courses were a bit slow opening this year but, seemingly overnight, the snow disappeared, and the fairways have greened right up.
Before heading out into rural Manitoba this year for some golfing road-trip adventures, it is always a good idea to work on your game. In keeping with this column’s theme, there are some nine-hole courses in and around Winnipeg you can visit to iron out the kinks.
In the northeast part of the city, Harbour View’s nine holes are all par 3s. Hole 4 is a long effort to get there in one, but the hole right after has a green that can be reached with a sand wedge. You can find this facility on Springfield Road, off Lagimodiere Boulevard.
Those in the southern part of town can find a similar par 3 layout at Crescent Drive Golf Club. A couple of holes there also require a bit of an initial poke to reach the green in one, but a driver may be too long and a fairway wood maybe too short. Watch the fence line on Hole 5. However, if you end up stiff and sore after your round, no problem! Thermea spa is right beside the golf course; a nice thérapie d’après-jeu.
Once you’re warmed up and want to try a course with some par 4s and 5s, folks in the northwest have the treat known as the Players Course, located at 2695 Park Royale Way, just west of Route 90 on Centreport Canada Way. This is a great nine-hole layout, with a picturesque finishing hole. It also has a very nice driving range.
Folks living in the far west end of the city should head out to the “middle” course of John Blumberg. Easily found just off the Trans-Canada highway, the nine-hole offering is surrounded by an 18-hole course. Make sure you start off on the right tee box. I reviewed this little course last season in this column.
Live near the airport or Polo Park? Assiniboine Golf Course, running alongside Ness Avenue and near 17 Wing’s Air Force Way, runs alongside Truro Creek. If you have some energy left over, across the street is a set of tennis courts; bring your pickle ball kit.
Folks living in the south end have a lovely offering running along the Red River called Wildewood Golf Course, situated on land lying between North Drive and Netley Street. You should call in advance when considering Wildewood. Although the public is welcome to play this wonderful little course, it is semi-private, and non-members are restricted to certain times of the day.
Speaking of the river, and if you live or work downtown, why not paddle south a spell on the Red River to hit the links at the Canoe Club. If you’re the type who drives a car more than a boat (although construction this summer on the St. Vital Bridge may make you wish you were on the river) the Canoe Club Golf course can be found a very short drive down Osborne Street from downtown, then on to Dunkirk Drive. After your game, a walk down Kingston Crescent leads to a bridge that in turn leads to the famous Bridge Drive-In ice cream stand!
These offerings should get your game into focus. Future columns will continue to explore nine-hole courses throughout our wonderful province. Feel free to visit our online archive for previously explored courses.
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.