Learn from the best

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

Who better to learn from than the best?

That's what Golf Manitoba was thinking when it came up with the idea for its inaugural players' forum, which will be held tonight at Rossmere Country Club.

Garth Goodbrandson, who serves as Golf Manitoba's director of player development, has gathered the cream of the province's crop to sit around and talk golf tonight with local amateurs.

Among the panelists are Canadian Tour pro Rob McMillan, former CanTour pro Dean North, three-time Manitoba amateur golfer of the year Garth Collings and two-time women's amateur champ Jill Hardy.

"That's a who's who of golf in Manitoba," said Goodbrandson. "This is a great thing. I'm so excited about this, and I hope people are signing up late.

"It's a great opportunity to get the competitive players or even just Average Joe golfer. They can learn a lot from it."

So if you're wondering what club McMillan decides to hit in a certain situation or how Collings stays so cool when he's winning tournament after tournament, tonight's forum provides the perfect platform for you to find out.

PANELISTS

Golfers who signed up early for the event were asked to submit a question on their registration form. The panelists won't get to see those questions beforehand.

"We just want these people answering honestly and spontaneously about what they do," said Goodbrandson. "We're going to have a few pre-selected questions and just get these people chatting about their own experiences.

"That's where everyone just learns so much more, when they just kind of sit around and talk golf."

Other panelists include former CanTour pro Bruce Bulina, and top local amateurs Judi Lidstone and Bruce North.

Tonight's event begins at 6 o'clock with an equipment seminar by RCGA national team coach Henry Brunton on the Rossmere driving range.

Brunton and RCGA national team assistant coach Derek Ingram will join Goodbrandson as the official hosts of the players' forum, which will be held inside the Rossmere clubhouse.

If you would like to attend the forum, you're asked to contact Golf Manitoba today at 925-5730.

CLINICALLY INCLINED: Golf Manitoba isn't stopping there in its effort to improve the province's golfers.

It is conducting three clinics in May that will focus on the short game, driving, and wedge and bunker play.

The women's clinics are all full, but there is still some room in the men's sessions -- all of which will be held at The Meadows at East St. Paul Golf Course.

The chipping, pitching and putting clinic goes this Thursday night, the driving clinic is Thursday, May 18, and the wedge play and bunkers clinic is Thursday, May 25.

Each clinic costs $15 or $35 for all three. Contact Goodbrandson at 925-5629 to register.

FUTURE STARS: The CN Future Links Prairie Championship is being held at Elmhurst June 16-18, and the deadline for registration is next Wednesday, May 17.

Young golfers from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec will compete in four divisions: junior boys (14-18), junior girls (14-18), bantam boys (11-13) and bantam girls (11-13).

The Prairie Championship is the third of six top-level junior tournaments that the Royal Canadian Golf Association conducts across Canada each year.

Application forms are available through the Royal Canadian Golf Association website at www.rcga.org or on the CN Future Links website at www.future-links.org.

The last time the Prairie Championship was held in Manitoba, at Hecla Golf Course, B.C. teenager Darren Wallace won the junior boys' division.

Amazingly, Wallace went on to win the Canadian men's amateur later that summer.


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