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Major overhaul at Willows Golf and Country Club will mean fewer holes

Click to play video 'Fewer holes at revamped Willows Golf and Country Club' Fewer holes at revamped Willows Golf and Country Club
WATCH ABOVE: An ambitious overhaul of the Willows Golf and Country Club in Saskatoon is about to get underway. Meaghan Craig reports – Dec 23, 2016

An ambitious overhaul at the Willows Golf & Country Club will see fewer holes in play next season.

For the first time ever, the clubhouse will close this week for a major revamp during the winter months.

“At this point we’ll be going to a seasonal clubhouse, so it we’ll be closing from December through April,” Brad Zurevinski, general manager of land development for Dream Development in Saskatoon, said.

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By next spring when the course reopens, golfers will need to get back into the swing of things with nine less holes to play on.

“The reason why we’re going to 27 from 36 right now is largely due to the maintenance issues related to the islands greens and what we’re trying to do is retool and use those resources to better operate on our existing 27-hole course,” Zurevinski said.

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Membership rates will remain the same and most tournaments held at the course will still fit into a 27-hole format.

Synergy 8 said as their annual charity golf tournament grew in popularity, they made the move to the Willows because it was a bigger course.

“We’re off the course in under five hours with a full 288 golfers, which is almost unheard of,” Synergy 8 board member Troy Davies said.

“Our celebrities are blown away by the customer service and the way that the course is handled when we’re there so it’s been good.”

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With six weeks before planning begins for their 2017 tourney, fewer holes could ultimately result in less revenue, leaving Synergy 8 to scout out other options.

“I know in the past there have been ways around this for us. As long as it doesn’t go down to 18 holes then we’d have to look at moving our tournament elsewhere,” Davies said.

There is no confirmation on how many Willows Golf & Country Club staff lost their jobs or were laid off in the overhaul.