The St Charles Country Club in Winnipeg was founded in 1904 and Donald Ross redesigned its 18-hole golf course in 1919. Alister MacKenzie came along a decade later to add another 9-hole layout and this was named the North nine with the original course designated as the South and West nines.
As you can imagine, club members at St Charles are rather proud of the fact that their 27-hole complex bears the unique architectural stamp of two of the greatest golfing architects on the same property.
Norman Woods renovated the West course in 1954 and, when the club celebrated its centenary half a century later, this layout was renamed the Woods nine, the North course became the MacKenzie nine and the 9 holes on the South were changed to the Ross nine, each named in honour of the designer responsible for the 9-hole circuit in question.
One of only two courses in Manitoba to host the Canadian Open, which American Johnny Palmer won in 1952, St Charles Country Club was chosen in more recent times to host the 2010 Canadian Women’s Open – when the MacKenzie course was used as the front nine and the Ross layout was used as the back nine – and this event was won by Michelle Wie.
Cameron Gray, Club Manager at St Charles, kindly provided us with the following article relating to recent work carried out at the club:
“Mike DeVries was the club's consulting course architect from 1999 to 2009.
During his time at the club there was no major changes to the course – rather recapturing several greens that had shrunk over the years, re-contouring of fairway and green surround cutting patterns, tree removal where necessary, bunker work to recapture a MacKenzie and Ross style, the construction of a short game practice area, extensive drainage work on the Mackenzie and Ross nines and reshaping of some to the drainage swales to effect the movement of water.
And over those years, lots of discussion and consideration for what improvements may be made to our third nine – the Woods Nine – to make it more equal to the outstanding caliber of the Ross and Mackenzie nines.
We are now working with Nicklaus Design to continue
planning for the Woods nine.”