At the Annual General Meeting of the Estevan Woodlawn Golf Club Membership held on Monday, February 27, approval was given for the Club to proceed with the much anticipated Back Nine development as designed by Architect Les Furber
Les Furber and his company Golf Design Associates was instrumental in assisting Woodlawn with the recovery of the front nine from flood damage incurred from last year's Souris River flooding which essentially demolished the Woodlawn Regional Park and Campgrounds as well as Estevan Woodlawn Golf Club. Woodlawn operations remained closed for the majority of the golf season in 2011. Mr. Furber was able to revisit his efforts from 25+ years ago when he orchestrated the current front nine construction for Woodlawn. The new back nine plan includes elevated greens and tees which will enable the course to get itself back into play more quickly following any future flood events.
Approval for the Club to seek $1,000,000.00 in funding for this project from their financial institution was also approved at the AGM. On course flood damage was assessed at $2.6M and PDAP provided a settlement for $500,000 These funds were utilized for the rehabilitation of the front nine in 2011 which will enable the course to open as a nine hole facility in 2012. Around $117,000 remains to be applied to the Back Nine portion. At a meeting of the Woodlawn membership held in the summer of 2011, members were advised that they would be able to choose whether they wanted to donate a portion or all of the dues or request a refund. Nearly $250,000 was generously donated back to the Club by the membership which enabled them to sustain operations to the point that the $350,000 line of credit they had arranged was not accessed.
Fundraising efforts will be front and centre in order for the Club to defray the expected $1.84M debt load which will be incurred once the Back Nine Project’s costs of $1.69M are included with the current debt load of $0.5M. Efforts today have $305,500 paid toward the project which still leaves a shortfall of $380,000. There are a few elements of the project (fairway bunker development, short game practice facility, pumphouse, driving range target greens, and contingency fund) totaling $367,000 which have been identified as potentially expendable if no fundraising is achieved.
Flood damage to the Club not only affected the on course operations. The Clubhouse building’s entire lower level needed to be gutted and rebuilt. It is expected that operations from the Pro Shop, Office and the locker rooms will be ready for the spring. There will be assistance with insurance to cover off most of the costs involved with the rebuild.
The Club has also been advised that they are the recipients of $50,000 Community Grant from Spectra Credit Union which will be applied to course reconstruction.
Naming rights for the Club will be offered. The membership also agreed to a proposal that naming rights be offered for Estevan Woodlawn Golf Club similar to what the City offered for the new rink facility now known as Spectra Place. Although details have yet to be worked out, it was suggested that $500,000 may secure the naming rights for 10 years.
Five Year Memberships will be offered in 2012 as a means of securing capital for back nine project.
An Adult 5-Year Membership will sell for $4,675 and a Couples 5-Year Membership will sell for $8,850 in 2012. Should the costs of membership not meet the expected increases forecast for the next 4 years, the difference will be credited to the 2016 membership. The projected increase for memberships in 5 years is forecast to be $5,388.
Election of Executive Officers was held and newcomers Jeff Pratt and Brian Morrissey were welcomed. Currently, the following people hold these Executive positions:
President - Garth Hoffort
Vice-President - Jared Schlamp
Treasurer - Ward Tuttle
Secretary - Diane Thul
Greens & Maintenance - Chris Davidson
Pro Shop - Jeff Pratt
Clubhouse - Cindy Cull
Member at Large - Brian Morrissey
Club Captain - Cory Prokop
Ladies Rep - Sherry Quirk
Junior Rep - VACANT
Past President - Jim Wilson
The Club needs to fill the position of Junior Representative. Historically, the Jr Rep has organized the Wednesday morning junior events as well as the Rondeau Cup - Estevan Mercury Scramble, the Parent-Child Tournament and EWGC Legion Junior Tournament. Although this is one of the busier portfolios on the Executive, it is also the one that has the most willing helpers. If you are interested in assisting the Club by becoming the Junior Representative to the Board or are interested in assisting with any of the mentioned events, please contact President Garth Hoffort. For now, events will be managed through the Pro Shop.