Manitoba

'Never seen a worse fall in my entire life in the golf industry,' pro says as rain, snow put chill on season

Cool weather, rain and snow are taking a slice out of the fall golf season in Manitoba this year.

Some Manitoba golf courses say cool weather has led to a drop in business in recent weeks

Golfers had to layer up at Kingswood Golf and Country Club in La Salle, Man., on Saturday. Some courses say the chilly fall has been putting a damper on business. (Travis Golby/CBC)

Cool weather, rain and snow are taking a slice out of the fall golf season in Manitoba this year. 

David Borowski, head golf professional at Kingswood Golf and Country Club in La Salle, Man., said there have been days in recent weeks when they've been forced to close the course due to weather. 

"Normally we would, even if it was cooler …usually still stay open for maybe the few people that want to come play," he said.

'No one is coming out to play,' says David Borowski, the head golf professional at Kingswood. (Travis Golby/CBC)

"But because it's been so cold, and then combine that with rain and snow, there's really just no point because no one is coming out to play."

According to data from Environment Canada, most of the recent daily high temperatures for Winnipeg have been several degrees cooler than normal for this time of year. 

Spring, fall weather uncooperative for courses

At Bridges Golf Course in Starbuck, about 35 kilometres west of Winnipeg, weather is also taking its toll. 

"I've never seen a worse fall in my entire life in the golf industry," said Larry Robinson, Bridges' head professional. 

Robinson, who has worked at the course for nine years, said the dip in business in recent weeks will likely lead to about a 10 per cent dent in overall revenue this season.

"In the golf business, you know, you're going through the whole summer working hard and keeping online with the budget, knowing that you're on track and going to have actually a really good year, which I think all of us in the golf industry thought we were going to have." 

Ben Fey oversees the four City of Winnipeg municipal golf courses, which include Kildonan Park, Windsor Park, Crescent Drive and Harbour View.

Fey said while rounds and revenue are up, the weather hasn't co-operated in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.

"In the spring we opened a week later than in 2017, and it's very likely this fall we will have to close at least one week earlier than in 2017," said Fey.

"So the heart of the summer … June, July, August, September were really good, but we're noticing a drop in play this October due to the weather."

A golfer on a cool Saturday at Kingswood, which Borowski said would normally close for the season around the third weekend in October. He's hoping to see mild weather in the coming weeks that would allow them to stay open a little longer. (Travis Golby/CBC)

Fey said while Crescent Drive Golf Course has closed for the season, the other three city-operated courses remain open. He said the goal is to keep them open until Oct. 21, but it depends on weather. 

"October is a bonus month and the weather is very unpredictable, obviously, in this city," said Fey. 

Borowski said normally Kingswood would look at closing for the season around the third weekend in October, but he's hoping to see mild weather in the coming weeks that would allow them to stay open a little longer than usual. 

"If it turns out that it's all of a sudden nice, we probably will stay open a few more days," said Borowski.

"We could use that extra revenue, for sure." 

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