I completed a couple of Highway 5 courses last year and this year and there is much more for me to see in future golf seasons. Completing this list brings me to the town of Carberry. To find their golf facilities, head south of town on PTH 5 off the Trans-Canada Highway, past the famous McCain Factory. As the tree line begins to form, look for the signs for Carberry Sandhills Golf & Country Club on the west side of the road.
Be careful when you first turn into the parking lot; Look left and right along the busy train tracks you cross. Locals say there are trains every day. A small cargo passed while I was playing my Saturday afternoon round.
This course is north of Spruce Woods Provincial Park and the region is famous for its sandy soil. This sand was left behind by a glacial river delta that formed over the region many moons ago. The sandy soils are good for potato growing and apparently for golf courses. The greens and fairways here are in great condition, and the sand traps have some of the finest sand texture in Manitoba.
A large oak tree stands in the middle of the fairway on hole 2 at Carberry Sandhills Golf & Country Club.
Hole 1 offers a taste of everything you will experience during this course. The narrow fairways have a hilly topography. The greens are large, smoothed out and anything but flat. The natural bush running along the fairways is very dense, consisting mainly of large mature bur oaks and poplars. Finally, the conifers planted, mostly spruce, are large, mature and sometimes positioned intentionally to add a challenge.
Hole 2 is a long par 5. It has an oak tree for 250 yards, basically right in the middle of the fairway. This tree is unique, but its large canopy and position on the fairway can present unexpected challenges on your second shot. Hole 3 has fewer hills and waves than most fairways. However, if you play with people who are allowed to use the red tee marks, there is a significant gap between them and the white marks. When playing honors, it may be best to let those who play the white tee shots hit first.
At the next hole, a hilly fairway comes into play again. So much so that there is a tower next to the tee that you should climb to see over the ridge and assess whether or not your group can tee off safely. Once you get going this hole has one of the nicest greens on the course. Going to five gives you the first of two par 3s. This one has some of that famous sand that’s trapped right in front of the green. Six is the second par 5. This long hole is a slight dogleg to the right. It’s a bit wider than the previous fairways, but it has a lot of rollers. Your green here is large but slightly elevated and sloped.
Behind the spruce trees to the left of the fairway at the ninth hole, you’ll likely see a windmill with the club’s name on its wings.
Hole 7 is your second par 3 and it is a close offering. A precise shot is required to avoid losing your ball in a heavy tree growth on either side. Hole 8 plays downhill and gives the illusion that you are playing a clear dogleg to the left. As soon as you come off the tee you will reorient yourself and see that the green is relatively straight in front of you.
Finish your round on a par 4. The white and blue tees are quite elevated compared to the red on this one. You will also notice some of the main features of this club. Behind the spruce trees on the left fairway you will likely see a windmill with the club’s name on its wings. A little further afield you are likely to notice some caravans as this site also offers camping! which is something to consider if you love golf and hiking. Many golf courses and trails are just short drives from this location.
The club has a decent fleet of carts. The clubhouse is a good size with a full menu and drink service and I recommend getting some of their fries. Contact carberrygolf.ca for tee times.
Out on the back nine
Ryan Desjarlais is a high school physics teacher who wants to shed some light on rural gulf. This summer he is offering a different rural course every week.
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