New nine-hole course takes shape on Canada-US border

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley
  • Lovely Golf Course

    Work got underway in October 2014 and is scheduled for completion next year

  • Lovely Golf Course

    The layout for the course was put together by six local golfers

  • Lovely Golf Course

    The course lies to the north-east of Emerson, on the Canadian side of the border with the US

A new nine-hole golf course is taking shape on the Canada-US border in the town of Emerson, Manitoba.

A three-hole course was built by the town’s residents 40 years ago, but was forced to close due to flooding.

“While most communities would simply shut down and admit defeat, we decided to relocate,” said Wayne Arseny, a member of the project’s building committee and a former Mayor of Emerson. “The government only provided us with a small flood incentive, and due to costs, hiring someone to build us a new one was totally out of grasp. So a small committee of five individuals was formed, each of us having some personal expertise to add, but none of us having a background in building a golf course.”

A group of six local golfers drew up the course’s layout, the elevations, the greens shapes and contours, the drainage scheme, and the irrigation layout. The final plans for the course were drawn up by Jacques Rollier, as one stipulation from the Canadian government when the committee sought to move the course to a non-flood area was that an architect drew up the plans.

“We had our plans looked over by a university graduate of golf course design and maintenance,” explained Bob Felsch, a member of the course’s committee. “He looks after a major course in Winnipeg, Manitoba. ‎Jacques drew up the plans to satisfy the government.”

Work got underway in October 2014 and earth moving has now been completed. The course’s greens are shaped, and landscaping is currently being finished before irrigation work begins.

“We are in the Red River Valley and it is very flat,” said Felsch. “Elevation change over the entire area was less than three feet. The central item is the irrigation reservoir. It measures approximately 3.25 acres and is 14 ft deep. We landscaped the course with the soil we removed to build the reservoir. Five of the nine holes are over, around, or beside the reservoir.”

The course’s clubhouse is yet to be determined, but the committee is hoping to acquire a nearby abandoned railway station.

“We want to move it, refurbish it and create the historical ambience of a clubhouse which would fit into the historical theme we want to create,” Arseny said.

Work at Emerson is ongoing and is scheduled for completion in July 2016.

“We will now have a course that will not flood, will be quite challenging from the 2,900 yard tees, has a par of 35‎, and that we can proudly say that the residents built,” added Felsch.

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