HUMBOLDT — While the Humboldt Golf Club (HGC) is celebrating 75 years of business, the relationship between the community and the sport go further back.
According to Dave Hill, a HGC board member, the city received their first golf club in the 1920s at Waldsea Lake.
“Back in, I believe it was the 1930s, the green fees were 25 cents [around $4 in 2019 dollars] to play a round of golf, and a year pass was $7.50 [around $130 in 2019 dollars],” Hill said. “The very first tournament was called the President Versus the Vice-President Challenge.”
The prize for this tournament was $1.50 [around $25 in 2019 dollars] to the winner, and 75 cents [around $12.50] to second place.
Unfortunately, as the Second World War began, recreational activities slowed down and stopped around the lake.
“Then a farmer bought the land the golf course was on, so there was no more golf course out there.”
It was shortly before the end of the war in 1944, local community members started up the location that exists today. At the time it was only nine holes.
Hill said 1968 was also an important year for the club.
During this time the club switched from sand greens to grass greens.
“Sand greens wouldn’t give you a true putting experience, it was just a place to put the hole. Every time you would play, you would have to rake the hole green for the next group and stuff like that.”
He said for players this made all the difference.
“There still are a few sand green courses in Saskatchewan, not many. Of course they were easier to maintain, but they didn’t give a true golfing experience.”
“It was progress, at the time.”
In 2000, the club upgraded to 18 holes.
“Because it was getting too busy, just the regular nine holes.”
Hill also plays on the club as a golfer – due to what he calls “a love of the game”.
“It has provided so much recreation for myself, but not only myself, my whole family golfs,” he said. “My kid grew up on the golf course, it’s just a great place for them to be – a great place for anyone to be.”
Hill said now the golf course isn’t just a recreational facility for golfers, but also an integral part of the community.
“It’s also a meeting place for lunch, we’ve hosted dinner theatres here, provincial meetings, all kinds of things in the facility.”
For the future of the club, he said they’ve been busy.
“We got a new management team this year and they’re doing a lot of promotion. We’ve been very successful with some big tournaments, we just had the Broncos Memorial Tournament on the weekend, we had a Co-op Management Tournament on Monday. Really catering to these large tournaments is something we want to be able to do.”
Hill said that in order to do that they’ve increased their fleet of golf carts this year and are looking at doing on course changes to help with drainage issues.
“There are always things going on. The main thing we want – and it has kind of been our motto this year – is meet me at HGC, just to let people know we’re not just a golf course, we’re a facility that’s open to the public.”
To celebrate the 75 years in their location, the HGC held an anniversary party to celebrate on Aug. 28. The celebration included a meat and cheese platter and cake with beverages at old-fashioned prices, as well as a ceremonial tee off followed by presentations and a social hour featuring the unveiling of a 75th anniversary photo.
The ceremonial tee off had one of their oldest club members, Mike Sowtis, as well as young golfer Jack Unrau. Unrau is three years old.
“Golf is a lifetime sport. Certainly when Jack was teeing off, I was thinking of the first times my sons teed off and they were all golfers here – our whole family is. We’re all still enjoying it and we’re hoping to still be enjoying it when we’re Mike’s age.”