Waskesiu Golf Course stalwart Herb Pinder takes the first shot off the tee with the new lobstick tree in place (pine tree on the crest of the hill, behind the remains of the old lobstick tree in the middle of the fairway). Pinder has been a regular golfer at the course since it was established in 1935. Herald photo by Matt Gardner
Designed by renowned architect Stanley Thompson, the Waskesiu Golf Course is worth the drive from Prince Albert.
Thompson designed Waskesiu Golf Course in 1935 as part of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame inductee‚Äôs Western Canada swing, which saw him architect courses in Banff, Alta., and Jasper, B.C.
Waskesiu‚Äôs head professional Tyler Baker describes the course as scenic and challenging with undulating greens and fairways.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs carved right through the forest and each hole has a separate identity,‚ÄĚ Baker said of his course. ‚ÄúYou can see the lake from a few holes and every time you stand on the tee-box you feel like you‚Äôve got the course to yourself.‚ÄĚ
Baker added that the course‚Äôs biggest challenge is its rolling greens and fairways, which make every lie interesting.
‚ÄúYou don‚Äôt get an even lie on the fairway, everything is on a side or downhill,‚ÄĚ Baker said of the course‚Äôs layout. ‚ÄúWhen you get to the green, because there is so much break and slope, it can make for some really tricky putts.‚ÄĚ
Located about an hour‚Äôs drive from Prince Albert, the 6,301-yard (from the tips), par-70 course features a pair of par fives, a dozen par fours and four par threes with three tee boxes per hole.
Green fees for the course are priced at $75 for adults and $24 for juniors with full season membership going for $1,475.
In terms of price, Baker explained that the course is within ever golfer‚Äôs range, as they offer numerous promotions.
Among the club‚Äôs various promotions, Waskesiu offers a Monday to Thursday after 11 a.m. $50 deal, which includes green fees and power cart rental.
In an effort to get youngsters into the game, the course also offers a ‚Äúgolf your age‚ÄĚ promo for juniors, where when accompanied by an adult, a junior‚Äôs green fee will be determined by his age. For example, if a golfer is 12-years-old, he‚Äôd pay $12.
While many golf courses in Prince Albert are just about ready to go, Waskesiu is still dealing with snow coverage on the course‚Äôs fairways and some tee boxes, Baker said.
Hoping to open the links after the Victoria Day long weekend, Baker said that when they do finally open, golfers can expect outstanding conditions.
‚ÄúFrom what we‚Äôve seen, the greens are fantastic,‚ÄĚ Baker said. ‚ÄúThey are probably in the best shape I‚Äôve ever seen for this time of year. The fairways also look good. When we do dry up and open, the course will be in great shape.‚ÄĚ
Baker explained that due to the course‚Äôs historic nature, the club does it‚Äôs best to keep changes to the course‚Äôs layout minimal.
Returning golfers, however, will miss the historic Lobstick tree, a 90-100-year-old spruce tree that was located 100 yards out from the first tee in the middle of the fairway.
Removed in September due to old age, the Lobstick pre-dated the course itself and has since been replaced.
The native legend for the tree is that it was used as a navigational marker. For golfers, it was the first test on the course and has become a symbol of the beauty associated with the Thompson course design.
‚ÄúAnyone familiar with the course will notice a difference right off the first tee,‚ÄĚ Baker said. ‚ÄúWe had to go with a small, younger tree.‚ÄĚ
From Prince Albert, Waskesiu Golf Course is located about 93 km north on Highway 2.
For more information on Waskesiu Golf Course, including a full list of fees, visit waskesiugolf.com or call 306-663-5301.