My wife and I spent the past week on a road trip back to my old stomping grounds in Saskatchewan. Beth had never been to my hometown before, so I was excited to show her around and give her a taste of the small town life. My hometown of Kamsack boasts a bustling population of about 1,800 people, and is a three hour drive from the closest city.
We made a pit stop along our ten hour journey to Kamsack to spend a couple of days at Last Mountain Lake near Regina, where my sister, brother-in-law, and their two little rascals have a rustic lakefront cabin. We took a couple days off of golf and enjoyed the relaxing cabin life, and got to spend some quality time with our niece and nephew.
View of Last Mountain Lake from the cabin at sunset:
Uncle Josh hanging with his nephew Lennon:
Story time with Auntie Beth:
With our batteries recharged from the relaxed cabin life, we surged into Kamsack ready to take in the sights and play some golf. I took Beth for a walk to show her the town, and 30 minutes later she had a pretty good handle on it. We didn’t waste much time before getting out on the links, starting out with the local 9-hole muni, Riverside Golf Course. Riverside will always hold a special place in my heart as it is ground zero for my golfing journey. I started out here as a kid chasing my Dad around with plastic clubs and balls as he played the course. My earliest golf memory was trying to hit the plastic balls back and forth over bunkers, and when I did, I felt like a king.
The course has changed since then. A couple of the bunkers were replaced with water hazards to reduce daily maintenance. It now boasts just ONE bunker, on the island green of the par-3 8th hole, which I helped build during one of my several years working there during high school.
It had been almost 10 years since I had teed it up there when Beth and I showed up. For the most part, it looked the same, and brought back a lot of great memories. There have been some additional changes though, such as the par-5 3rd hole, which is now the longest hole in Saskatchewan at 666 yards! It’s a beast, to say the least. I made a smooth 6 playing it into the wind the first time.
I also got a chance to play the Riverside Men’s Night with my Dad — something we used to do on a regular basis. We had a blast getting back out there, and had the chance to team up with my old bosses who are still holding the fort down out there. We hit some memorable shots, but went home empty handed in the prize department. However, the experience was a win in every other department.
We also branched out and played Madge Lake Golf Resort a couple of times, located just 15 minutes from Kamsack in Duck Mountain Provincial Park, where I was also employed for a summer during university. It is not a very long golf course, but it is carved through dense forest, making it unforgiving off the tee and has small domed greens which put a premium on accuracy. If you don’t like bunkers, Madge is your course, as it doesn’t have any.
Yours truly on the par-3 3rd hole:
My game wasn’t spectacular during the trip, but I got it around fairly well and fired a couple of rounds in the 70’s at Madge Lake, while still donating a few balls to the forest. It just felt great to get back out and play golf where I grew up playing.
The par-3 12th hole:
Looking back on the par-4 14th hole:
Throw in some great hospitality from my Dad and Stepmom, catching up with some old friends over beers, and taking a car load of fresh garden vegetables, homemade soup and perogies back home, and it was a successful trip.
It had been far too long since I made a summer trip back home to Saskatchewan, but the beauty of going home is that once you’re there, it makes you feel as though you never left.