Captain's Blog

Our Greens

There were a lot of questions, opinions and complaints about our greens this year.There were so many solutions proposed that it makes you wonder why we have a Course Superintendent – when we have 500 or so experts on growing grass.

What happened to our greens in 2018, was highly unusual. Yes, we’ve had colder winters. Yes we’ve had melting in January before. We always have wind in the winter don’t we? And there are years when we don’t get much snow, right? Right – but we don’t get all these conditions in the combination we had in the winter of 2017/2018.  The combination of climatic conditions at Niakwa last winter could not have been worse.Read More>> Read more »

The Rough

Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly. Members have to complain about the rough being too long when it’s thick and healthy. And that it’s too brown and thin later in the summer when conditions are dry.

Despite our whining, rough at Niakwa is maintained to very specific standards throughout the golf season.  Read More>>  Read more »

Driving Range Etiquette

A few years back, when I was Club President, I recall being on the driving range one evening with a couple of newly minted Student Members. I was full of self-importance, grooving the new swing I had picked up the night before from the Golf Channel. These brash youths were on either side of me. Apparently they wanted to hit beside each other so they could discuss their plans for the weekend. Rather than take up a couple of stations on the end of the deck, one of them, in his ‘outside voice’, told the other to “ask the OLD GUY to move”. As I looked around, I quickly realized I was the only other person on the range.

My response (aside from wanting to introduce the lads’ shins to the business end of Gramma’s cane) was to become sensitive to driving range etiquette.Read More>> Read more »


Last week one of my playing partners had the misfortune of pulling his tee shot on 13, hitting a tree and having his ball rattle off one of those brown buildings in the middle of 13 tee, 15 green and 16 tee. When the cursing subsided, and emotions were brought under control, lucidity was brought back into the conversation – he asked me “what’s in those buildings anyway”?

In fact, those buildings are integral to the irrigation system of the Course. Both are pump houses and both house…. guess what? – pumps!Read More>> Read more »

Our Competitive Golfers

While taking your morning cup of coffee and reading the Sports Section of today’s newspaper, you may have noticed that Niakwa is well represented on the leader board of both the Manitoba Mid Amateur and Manitoba Ladies Amateur Championships.

Niakwa has a history of success in 95 years of competitive golf and 2018 is no exception. Success in competitive golf is important for the Club at a number of levels. Read More>> Read more »

Allocation of Handicap Strokes

Last week, as sometimes happens, my playing partners and I experienced a short delay while waiting to tee off on number 12. It was a beautiful morning and, as my mind started to wander, I began to contemplate the great mysteries of our time – like why does Donald Trump continue to have the support of 40 % of the voting public? And why is Number 12 the 18thhandicap hole at Niakwa?

The answer to the former is beyond my ken, but I have a few facts about the latter.Read More>> Read more »

Niakwa Culture

This past weekend as I came off the course I was met by a couple of long time members with sand bottles in their hands. They were bemoaning the number of unrepaired divots on the fairways and pitch marks left on the greens.

This got me thinking about the “Niakwa Culture” and each Member’s responsibility to his or her fellow Members. Our culture is important for the enjoyment of all Members and it’s often makes new Members choose Niakwa over the competition. Most people are very conscientious on the Course and in the Clubhouse, but occasionally we all get a little forgetful. Here are a few reminders. Read More>> Read more »

Course Rating and Slope

Most of the people I golf with are pretty knowledgeable about the game and the rules of golf. It’s almost impossible to slip anything by them, especially if there’s a quarter on the line.

But I’m always surprised at the misunderstanding among golfers about the meanings of the terms “Course Rating” and “Slope”. I’ve even heard a very experienced golfer refer to the topography of a course when discussing slope.Read More>> Read more »

Modernizing our Greens

Most members would agree that Niakwa Country Club is one of the finest golf courses in Canada and is certainly among the best in Manitoba. It was hard to remember that last week, though, as my ball wobbled and bounced away from the cup on the first green costing me a skin, the 50 cents that went with it, and 5 minutes of bragging rights.Read More>> Read more »

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