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Saskatchewan clubs make noise on national “value course” list

Written by Clark Stork
Deer Park Municipal Golf Course is number four on the list of "value" courses in Canada.

The publication, Golf Advisor, has released a list of the top-25 value course list across Canada with clubs in the province finding their facilities in fourth and first place.

Deer Park Municipal Golf Course in Yorkton is number four on the list that was developed by scanning reviews from golfers across the nation. Courses needed at least 10 reviews to be considered. On the list, the green fees for Deer Park are listed between $39 – $44.

The review mentioned says “as good of a countryside course as you’ll play. Country Club conditions with a municipal price tag.”

The city of Yorkton owns Deer Park. Director of Community Development, Parks, and Recreation Darcy McLeod said being mentioned on the list is a great accomplishment.

“Being on the list, but also being placed higher on the list, makes us proud as it indicates to us that we are achieving our mandate of providing a quality, accessible golf product for the public. As a municipal course, our focus is to provide golf as a recreation activity for residents to participate during their leisure time, but also realize that we need to attract golfers from outside Yorkton,” McLeod said.

Of the six options to rate a course through Golf Advisor, most reviews range from “good” to “excellent.” Among the options are conditions, value, layout, friendliness, pace, and amenities. McLeod contributes their success to their staff and long-term management.

“Leo Skaluba, the superintendent has worked at Deer Park for approximately 35 years. This history and experience provide us with extensive knowledge of our turf and weather patterns to implement a maintenance plan that ensures the course conditions are at a high level as soon as possible in the spring and continue as late as possible in the Fall. Director of Golf Allan Sauser is also our golf professional and has worked at Deer Park for more than 20 years. He provides a full-service proshop to support the golfing public and works closely with our food and beverage contractor to ensure those needs are met as well,” he said.

Deer Park has done extensive work on two holes on their course that will be in play for the 2020 season.

Coming in at number one on the list was the host site of the 100th Saskatchewan Women’s Amateur Championship, Harbor Golf Club & Resort based in Elbow. Flanked on the shores of Lake Defienbaker, some holes on the course make a golfer feel as though you aren’t in Saskatchewan according to the posted review on Golf Advisor.

“Definitely not a stuffy old-style experience,” the reviewer stated. “Come as you are and have a great day. Food is amazing and the views are not anything you would expect from southern Saskatchewan.”

Mark Patterson is the golf professional at Harbor. He was also pleased to see the course not only on the list, but in the top spot.

“Although the award is for “best value” which some people might feel it indicates what people pay for playing the golf course and the condition it is in, it is more than that. It is an entire team effort that makes each customer’s experience just that much better. Our goal here at Harbor Golf Club and Resort is to ensure each customer is treated like they would want to be treated,” he said.

The publication states Harbor’s green fees range from $40 – $47 a round. The reviews showed many excellent ratings from visitors taking the time to report to Golf Advisor. Patterson credited the staff for the honour.

“This award is an entire team effort, from golf shop staff to maintenance staff and from kitchen staff to the cleaning staff. Our staff truly has a deep commitment to our members and green fee players,” he concluded.

According to Golf Advisor, 700 Canadian courses were reviewed in 2019. Overall there was just under 9,000 reviews.

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