I’m on my way to play golf in Scotland with a few of the boys tomorrow. As those who have played there know, when you golf in Scotland you really get a sense of the history and traditions of the game. I’ve had the privilege in the past to play both Musselburgh Links and St Andrews Old Course, each of which claims to be the oldest golf course in the world.
Niakwa Country Club is not without its own rich history and traditions. Read More>>
Most Members I’m sure will have heard that in 1946 the CPGA Tournament was held at Niakwa. With a purse of $10,000 the event attracted the top names in professional golf at the time. Ben Hogan won the top prize of $3500 and it turns out that was the only tournament he ever won in Canada. Sam Snead’s hole in one on the difficult par 3 15this part of Niakwa lore. Bing Crosby was part of the entourage, but he didn’t enter the event.
Other events that are part of our history include the 1961 Canadian Open, numerous national Canadian Men’s, Ladies and Junior Championship; and other national pro tournaments. In 2011 many Members had an opportunity to meet two current PGA Tour professionals, Corey Connors and Mackenzie Hughes. Corey Connors broke the course record, previously held by Jim Rutledge, with a fine round of 63. Mackenzie Hughes won the tournament shooting 274, 10 under par.
Another Niakwa tradition is the generous support of Members. The tradition began in 1923 when the founders of the course purchased land from the Catholic Church for $265 per acre. One the founders, H.T. Hazelton, a Chicago developer, served as President for 12 years from 1923 till 1935. When the Club ran into financial trouble, in the Great Depression, many of the leaders of the Club put up their own money in support. Of particular note was a loan from Founding Member, Donald H. Bain, in the amount of $35,000. Mr. Bain had quite a history himself. Check his history out on the Manitoba Historical Society website. http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/people/bain_dh.shtml
Donald H Bain
In recent times, Members have contributed generously through the Forever Fund to support the renovation of the Trophy Room on the mezzanine and the construction of the Gupta Terrace.
The latest Club’s latest initiative, the Indoor Golf Studio, has received significant support form Gallagher Insurance. Other sponsorship announcements are in the offing and I have every confidence that Members will fully support this addition to the Club when asked. A lot of physical work has been done in the basement in preparation for the Studio. Have a look downstairs if you haven’t already done so.
Artist’s rendering of the Golf Studio and Exercise Room
While the weather has been cool and windy to start the season our Course is in great shape. The Club is gathering momentum and with both strong Management and Board 2019 looks to be a year Niakwa will continue to build it’s tradition and culture.
PS… when I was researching the history of golf, I found out that King James II, of Scotland banned golf in 1457. The relevant article states that“Golf was considered ‘unprofitable’, dangerous and generally thought of as a waste of valuable time”. Hmmm… I know one or two people who would sympathize with this point of view.