Why doesn’t the U of R have a golf team?
Article: Bram Lerat – Contributor
As the beginning of the fall semester starts at the University of Regina, many of the regular sports will pick up right where they left off. Missing from those CIS favourites and programs is competitive golf.
Golfing programs are scattered across Canadian universities ranging from UBC to Laval. With that in mind, the old excuse of not having good enough weather for a golf program seems to be out the window. Weather aside, Saskatchewan is no stranger to golf and its rising popularity. According the National Golf Foundation, Saskatchewan has the most golf courses per capita in the world. For more recent examples, none compare to the introduction of golf in the next 2016 Rio Olympics and the rise of Saskatchewan’s Graham DeLaet on the PGA Tour. These two modern examples may not be enough to start a golf program, however, with the amount of junior interest and the rise of club sports, a golf program may be a possibility.
While many universities don’t support programs due to interest, it seems that there is no shortage of it in Regina and Saskatchewan as a whole. After speaking to multiple junior golfers from Regina it seems that a golf program could not only be supported but also competitive.
When asked about a University of Regina golf team, Regina junior golfer Ryan Gilewich explained he simply wouldn’t have had a problem choosing the University of Regina over his current school.
“I wouldn’t have to move or look for anywhere else to go to school and also golf. They’d be able to make a good enough team with talent from within the city”.
Daegan Wall, another Regina golfer who golfs competitively outside of the U of R, also supported the idea.
“I think they could start a golf program because there’s a lot of talent in Saskatchewan. Some [golfers] don’t go to the U.S. to play and some that do, come back because they don’t like it here”.
It seems that overall there have been several young players in Regina alone who would be qualified and wanting a program to rise at the U of R.
Beside the stance that the junior golfers are taking on the possibility of a program, there is also the support of John Papandreos, Coordinator of Recreational Services at the U of R. Papandreos believes that because universities are so diverse with student interests and that CIS offerings are limited in scope, that golf and other club sports will be the way of the future.
“University and Collegiate Golf in Canada is on the rise and this is evident in the number of schools offering programs. It is my opinion that universities need to start to think outside the CIS ‘box’ as there are a number of other sports having national university championships with no CIS affiliation, like rowing, golf, ultimate, rugby 7’s, badminton, squash and a number of others. This is where competitive varsity club programs come into play”.
With support coming from both potential participants and sports leaders inside the school itself, it’s clear that the interest is there. Unfortunately, having golf here also comes down to funding, which may be a reason why the program does not already exist. This problem may already be taken care of in some ways.
While speaking to Dean Manz, CPGA Professional and Head Professional at Wascana Country Club, he said that not only should a program exist, but also that it would receive support from many local courses. As golf is considered a rather expensive sport today, support from multiple courses within Regina would again be a huge boost and help to a brand new program.
With support seemingly coming from all over the city, whether it be students or professionals, it looks like golf will or should soon have a future at the U of R. Hopefully, this sport pushes the boundaries of regular university athletics. Although CIS has not sanctioned this sport, support from Golf Canada, the rise of club sports and the growing popularity of golf should be enough to make a case for a U of R golf program.
Now let’s get some Fall golf going, U of R!