Captain's Blog

Captain Corner August 2023

Take Pride in Our Golf Course!!!!

Hope everyone is having a great year at the club.  We are truly blessed to have THE best conditioned course in Manitoba that seems to get better every year!!!!

However……Recently we have seen some issues that need to be addressed by the members in order to help our Turf Care Team keep things moving forward.   The 3 concerning issues we are seeing are: 

  1.  Cigarette Butts.   There appears to be an increasing number of butts showing up all over the course.  Cigarette butts can take up to 14 years to decompose.  The back shop has secured ashtrays that smokers can put in their carts.   It is very important that all smokers make an effort to use these ashtrays.  If you are bringing guests who are smokers, please supply them with ashtrays and stress to them the importance of using these ashtrays. Please do not use the divot mix bottles.
  • Un-Repaired Ball Marks.   We are seeing these on all greens.  Please take a moment to review the attached link on the proper ball repair method.  While repairing your own ball mark, please look around and fix any other marks that may have been missed.  Attached is a link to a short video on proper ball mark repair techniques.   https ://
  • Unfilled Divots On The Fairways.  Every cart is supplied with a bottle of divot mix.  Please take the time to fill your divots.  It takes no time at all to fill any other divot you see.  For those who carry their clubs, there are small sand bottles that can be attached to your bag.

Please remember, even though our course is great, it takes an effort from each and every one of us to make it even better!!!

Keep It On The Fairway!

Captain Bill

Captain’s Corner May 2023

Welcome back to Niakwa!!  Hope everyone has had a chance to get out and enjoy the fantastic conditions that we have.  Just a friendly reminder to fix your ball marks, fill your divots and rake the bunkers.

To clarify a few things about entering your scores into the handicap system.  All scores should be entered.  This includes both 18 hole and 9 hole scores.  Any “match play” scores should also be entered…players should use Rule 3.3 from the Golf Canada Handicap Manual to determine their “most likely” score. Click here to read Rule 3.3.

Rule Changes for 2023.       There have been 5 Key Changes.

  1.  The 24 Rules of Golf have now become The 25 Rules.  Modifications for players with disabilities have been incorporated into the overall Rule Book and become Rule 25.
  2.  Handicap on Scorecard (Stroke Play Only). You are no longer required to put your handicap on the scorecard and there is no penalty if you return a scorecard with an incorrect handicap in a competition.  This is now the Handicap Committee’s responsibility.  
  3.  Replacing Damaged Clubs.  If your club is damaged during a round, you can now replace it, repair it, or continue to use it.  However, this rule does not apply if the club is damaged through abuse.
  4.  Ball Moved by Natural Forces. When your ball is at rest after taking relief (dropped or placed) and rolls to another area due to natural forces, the ball must be replaced in its original position without penalty.
  5.  Simplified “Back-of-the-Line” Relief.  We’ve all used this when taking relief from a penalty area or an unplayable ball.  Now, when you drop your ball on the line, the ball must come to rest within 1 club length from where it was dropped.  This can be in any direction (even closer to the hole).

Keep It On The Fairway!

Captain Bill

Handicap Committee Notice to Members

Golf Canada requires a Member Club, which uses the Golf Canada Handicap System, to have a formal Handicap Committee. The Niakwa Handicap Committee is comprised of the Club Captain (chair), the S&C Committee Chair, the Past Club Captain and the Head Professional. The Committee is required, by Golf Canada, to send a Notice to Members at the start of each season. Issues of importance for 2023:

  1. Entering Handicap Scores

In 2022, there were over 30,000 rounds played at Niakwa.  Out of these rounds, only 13,498 scores were entered into the handicap system.  Yes, some of these rounds were from outside tourneys, guest play, etc… but we can do much better!!  Every golfer, regardless of ability, should have an established handicap. Establishing a handicap will allow you to keep track of where you stand with your game at any given moment. It will also allow you to enter any Niakwa Golf event.

   All scores should be entered into the Golf Canada Handicap System. Scores can be entered online at  or through the Niakwa website. You can also download the Golf Canada app to your phones. If you are having trouble entering your scores, please contact the Pro Shop and they will help you enter your score.

  • Winter Scores Played Away From Niakwa

All away scores from games played during your winter vacation must be entered into the Handicap System. The Pro Shop will be happy to assist members entering away scores in the Handicap System.

  • Course Rating

Now that the major construction projects have now been completed, we have had the course completely re-rated. The new ratings and slopes are as follows:

Men          Gold Tees                        Rating 72.6 (From 72.3).   Slope 138 (From 131)

                  Blue Tees                         Rating 70.6 (From 70.5).   Slope 127 (From 123)

                  White Tees                      Rating 68.7 (From 69.0).   Slope 124 (From 122)

                  Green Tees                      Rating 66.2 (From 66.1).   Slope 115 (From 116)

                  Gold/Blue Combos         Rating 71.6    Slope 132

                  Blue/White Combos       Rating 69.7    Slope 126

                  White/Green Combos    Rating 68.0    Slope 120

Women     White Tees                      Rating 74.2 (From 74.3).   Slope 129 (From 131)

                  Green Tees                      Rating 71.1 (From 71.1).   Slope 125 (From 124)

                  White/Green Combos    Rating 73.0    Slope 126

All of these new numbers have already been adjusted on the Golf Canada Handicap system.  Any score you enter will reflect these adjusted ratings and slopes.

  • Regular and Combination Score Cards

New score cards have been printed. These cards will reflect the new ratings and slopes as well as adjusted yardages (The course was also re-measured)

The combination tees have been slightly adjusted for 2023.

However, the individual hole handicap ratings remain unchanged.  We ask every member, that any score you enter should be done on a hole-by-hole basis.   This will provide more accurate data, and allow us to ensure that each hole is handicapped correctly.

  • Local Rules

The local rules for 2023 will be the same as 2022.  These local rules can be found on the scorecards

For more information or any questions that you may have, please contact the Pro shop or any member of the Handicap Committee.


Niakwa Handicap Committee

Bill Bench, Club Captain (Handicap Committee Chair)

Mace Mazar, Social and Competition Chair

Rob Sproule, Past Club Captain

Terry Reilly, Head Professional

Holiday Hours & Weekly Update

Fall Weekly Update Banner.png
December 15, 2022
Welcome to your weekly club update. Below you will find helpful information for the week ahead. Should you have any questions or require further information on anything below,  please feel welcome to reach out directly.

Year End Reminder (1000 × 180 px) (1).png

As the year is coming to an end, we wanted to remind you that the 2023 Membership Dues and Food Assessments are due Dec 31, 2022.

Should you have any questions please contact Rhianna via email or by phone 204.256.7326

Holiday Hours

Administration – CLOSED Dec 24 – Dec 26 & Dec 31 – Jan 2
Food & Beverage –  CLOSED Dec 24 – Dec 26 & Dec 31 – Jan 2
Gallagher Indoor Golf Studio – CLOSED Dec 24 – Dec 26 & Dec 31 – Jan 2
Fitness Centre CLOSED Dec 24 – Dec 26 & Dec 31 – Jan 2

Click Here for more details on department hours.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2022 Annual General Meeting on Monday. For those who were not able to attend, you can view the Presentation along with the Budget Assumption and Notes by clicking here.

Annual  Pro Shop wine _ cheese  party.png

12 Gifts of Christmas.png

Handicap Index vs Course Handicap

Captain’s Corner                 July 7, 2022

The golf season is in full swing and hope everyone is enjoying the unbelievable conditions we are experiencing at Niakwa.  

There seems to be some confusion between the Handicap index and your Course Handicap.

Handicapping is at the core of equitable competition in amateur golf, with few other sports enabling players to compete equitably across different skill levels in the way that golf does.

The Handicap Index is calculated using the lowest 8 of the player’s most recent 20 Score Differentials and updated with each new round played. The Handicap Index travels worldwide with the golfer from course to course (and tee to tee) and is used to calculate a “Course Handicap”. The Course Handicap is the number of strokes a golfer receives from the specific set of tees at the course. The more difficult the golf course, the more strokes the golfer receives and vice versa.

The relative difficulty of a golf course is determined jointly by Golf Canada and the provincial golf association using the WHS Course Rating System as administered by Golf Canada. Specially trained Course Rating Teams evaluate the difficulty of a golf course based on such variables as length and a number of obstacle factors (e.g. topography, bunkers, lateral & crossing obstacles, severity of rough, etc).

Therefore, if you are playing another golf course, please remember that your course handicap may be different at the course you are playing versus your course handicap at Niakwa.  I would recommend that you stop at the Pro Shop at the course you are playing before you tee off. They should be able to assist you in determining your course handicap based on your handicap index.

Captain Bill

Penalty Area Relief

In my last communication, various penalty areas at Niakwa were discussed.  Today’s article will be about the various options available in the highly unlikely event that you hit a ball in a penalty area (marked by red lines or red stakes).  Prior to 2019 “Penalty Areas” were referred to as “Hazards” Read More>>

Read more »

What’s up with all the Red Paint??

As you may have noticed, the penalty areas (formerly known as hazards) have been freshly marked.  I had the opportunity to watch Jon and Shane from the maintenance crew do the marking.  They follow the guidelines that were established by the Player’s Cup officials from 2016.   I have attached a photo of the tool they use.  It takes about 2 to 3 hours to mark the entire course. Read More>>

Read more »
« back