Richard Kroeker


Scotswood Links

Elm Creek, Manitoba

During a major downturn in the economy, a farm machinery dealer in the small prairie town of Elm Creek was losing his life’s work due to high interest rates and the inability of farmers to make payment on their purchases. Rather than declare bankruptcy or trying to foreclose on neighbours, he made the decision to turn marginal land: a prairie slough and small seasonal stream he owned, into a community golf course. We did an inventory of equipment and labour owed him by area farmers, and an inventory of local scrap materials. The clubhouse building was a salvaged WW 2 surplus sheet metal maintenance shed from a training airfield nearby, bought for one dollar, repaired with auto body maintenance technology, and altered with available material. The local farmers were pleased to be able to make payment in kind with their time and equipment during the growing season. A nine-hole golf course was successfully designed and completed, bridging over the hard times. It was built with no outside financing through the involvement of the whole community. The golf course has since expanded to 18 holes and continues to be run successfully by the grandchildren of the original builders: Scotty Sisson and Peggie Sisson (née Wood).