Kitchen Creek hires new groundskeeper, manager

He has the cure—or at least the experience, familiarity, and passion to get Kitchen Creek Golf Club back on its feet after a devastating season last year due to drought conditions here.
Réal Curé began his position as the new groundskeeper and manager at the golf course west of town earlier this week and said he’s ready for the challenge that lies ahead.
“It’s always a challenge with Mother Nature,” he remarked, adding he doesn’t think the weather is much different than in southern Manitoba where he is from.
Curé owned and managed the family business of Rat River Golf Club in St-Pierre-Jolys for about 18 years, where he “did everything but give lessons.”
But there he had to deal with the opposite problem of Kitchen Creek’s drought—too much water.
“We had 10 floods in nine years,” he noted.
Each time, Curé was able to deal with the challenge and get the club up and running again, but he and his wife made the decision to sell the golf course last year.
“I really missed the golf business,” he said. “I wanted to get back into it—it’s something I’m familiar with.
“And when people go out to golf, they are on vacation or out for a good time, so it’s easy to offer good service—it’s a good atmosphere,” he added.
Curé only had applied for the position of groundskeeper at Kitchen Creek but when the club’s board of directors saw his résumé, they offered him the role of manager, too.
“I’m really excited about the skills and experience he will be bringing,” said Donna Lee, who managed Kitchen Creek last year.
“He’s just what we needed.”
And Lee added the club’s water problems are behind them as far as supply, with a local water source now being used for its irrigation system in order to help maintain the greens.
The club recently received a permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources to draw water from “Bug’s Pond” and the swamp behind it.
“The pond is being dug and the water lines are being run as we speak,” Lee noted, adding being the victim of the drought severely reduced their season last year.
“We’re very optimistic this year—we have the problem solved,” she enthused.
Curé said he’s certainly going to try his best and hopes to open the club in early May.
“But it all depends on the conditions,” he stressed. “If you start too fast, you end up dragging your feet all summer. . . . We’ll open when the course is ready.”
He also said he doesn’t know exactly how much work is needed on the greens, having just started on the job.
“I know I’ve got some seeding to do,” he remarked. “I’ll have to assess the situation.”
Curé hopes to take a walk around the course by the end of the week to make his assessments and then start work on it next week.
“Priority number-one is to get the water source in place and get the golf course in good shape,” he explained. “Then we’ll provide a good service and get the members back.”
Curé admitted getting ready for the upcoming season is always a hectic time of the year. Making repairs, preparing the course, getting the pro shop organized, and ordering the food are just a few of the tasks on the list.
“Within the next couple of weeks a lot of things need to be done,” he remarked. “We were able to bring the greens back [at Rat River Golf Club] and I don’t see any reason why we can’t do it here.”
Lee acknowledged Kitchen Creek lost some members last year because of the condition of the greens, but hopes to regain the clientele this season.
“Once the members realize we’ve addressed the problems, it will bring some assurance and confidence back that we can provide the quality of golf we had in the past,” she enthused.
The clubhouse will be open beginning Monday (April 16) and anyone interested in memberships can call 274-4653 to inquire.
People also can mail their membership inquiries to P.O. Box 387, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M7.

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