The junior golf program at the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Course has long been one of the best in the province, churning out talented golfers on an annual basis.
These golfers have enjoyed success at local and provincial events, bringing titles to Estevan. Some have gone on to compete at the post-secondary level in Canada and the U.S., meaning they save some or all of their tuition money through their ability to play the game.
This year has seen current members and recent graduates from the junior program continue to enjoy success.
Estevan’s Jayden Dudas finished second in the junior men’s event at the Saskatchewan Junior Golf Championships at the Elmwood Golf Club in Swift Current earlier this month.
Competing out of the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club, Dudas finished with a three-round total of 5-over-par 221, eight strokes behind champion Josh Nagy of Saskatoon.
Dudas shot a 78 on the opening day of the tournament, but then tied for the low score of the second round with a 71, and finished strong with a 72 in the third and final round.
“I just played pretty consistent. I didn’t play that great, but it was pretty good to see everyone and play all right there,” Dudas said.
He believes he chipped the ball pretty well in Swift Current, and he’ll need to keep working hard to be ready for the next tournament.
Conditions were tough on the opening day of the junior tournament, as Dudas said he and the other golfers had to contend with 70 kilometre per hour winds.
“It’s a tough course if you don’t put it in the fairway. I hit the ball a little straighter, and got used to tournament play.”
Dudas has been part of the junior golf program for seven years. He has always enjoyed the game and the never-ending quest to get better. And he likes the interaction with his fellow golfers.
“I like seeing everyone down there. The course is nice. It’s good to be around in a good environment.”
Dudas can be found at the course every chance he gets. He’s thankful for the support he receives from head pro and general manager Amanda Minchin and others at the course.
“I’ve been playing every day and trying to get better. Playing every day definitely helps.”
He recently graduated from the Estevan Comprehensive School, and hopes to go to school on a golf scholarship eventually.
Chase Gedak was the next-best Estevan golfer at the junior provincial tournament. He finished 14th with a three-round total of 234 (77-76-81).
Ryan Chernoff was tied for 21st at 241 (85-76-80), and Hudson Chernoff was 32nd at 260 (88-89-93).
Gedak and another young Estevan golfer, Jace Carlisle, were at the Saskatchewan Men’s Amateur last week at the Legend’s Golf Course in Saskatoon. Both Gedak and Carlisle have secured scholarships. Gedak has committed to play for the University of Arkansas-Monticello, an NCAA Division 2 program, starting this fall.
Carlisle, meanwhile, spent this past year playing for Lake Superior State University in Michigan. It’s also a Division 2 school.
Gedak finished tied for 14th at the amateur by posting a 6-over-par total of 294 over four rounds. He opened the tournament with a 77, and then rattled off back-to-back rounds of 71 to ensure he would make the cut at tournament, which ran from Tuesday to Friday.
He then shot a 75 in the final round.
Jace Carlisle finished tied for 16th, one stroke behind Gedak at 295. Carlisle had a 71 in the first round, then a 76, but recovered to have a 68 in the third round to make the cut. His third round score was the second-lowest of the day.
He finished with an 80 in the final round.
Forty kids are part of the junior golf program this year. They had 60 kids between the ages of five and seven for a summer clinic earlier this year. And they had 10 older kids at a camp for those 13-15.
Woodlawn hopes to have its annual parent-child tournament on Sept. 13, and some family golf days after the Frametech Classic this weekend. Any activities will meet provincial restrictions for COVID-19.