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Putting at a career on the greens

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People are often drawn to life in the Valley for many different reasons and with their arrival, they bring their talents and a new perspective on things to the community. Swan River Golf and Country Club
(SRGCC) General Manager Clint Weir has done just that. He brought his golfing talents and expertise to the Valley and has helped the SRGCC transform.
Weir’s passion for golf began at an early age and was heavily influenced by his parents. “I originally grew up in Wangi Wangi, New South Wales, Australia and I started playing golf when I was quite young,” said Weir. “My parents were golfers and my dad started a junior program called the Cadets. There were a lot of good golfers that came out of that program that year I was in it. Nathan Green made the PGA Tour. I also have a younger brother who golfs and is quite good. The four of us used to golf every weekend and play in tournaments all over the state.
“I was seven years old at the time when I played in my first golf tournament. I used to ride around on my dad’s buggy when he went golfing and I would have a golf club in my hand. 
Every now and again he would let me take a shot when he was playing at the club on a Saturday. I really got into golf as I kept getting older. I made the District team, the State Championships and placed top
five in that. "I was leading my home club in the Club Championships when I was 15 by four shots," he
continued. "The last round of the tournament I got a little nervous and had a bad day, which led me to lose confidence in myself. At that point, I took up other interests in my later teen years.” After losing confidence in his golf game, Weir decided to embark on a new adventure that would allow him to serve his country and see more of the world. 
As he matured, he found himself drawn to golf again. “I joined the Navy when I was 18 years old and was in it for seven years,” said Weir. “I spent a lot of time overseas and then I met my wife while I was in the
Navy. I resumed playing golf during my first year in the Navy. I started playing a fair bit again and played on the Navy golf team at the National Championships where we played against the army and the air  force. I still didn’t recognize my passion for golfing until I moved to Canada and got out of the Navy.
“I didn’t have a trade coming out of the Navy because I was a Communications Sailor working with radios and Morse code. When I got to Canada, golfing was all I really knew, so I began looking into what it would take to become a Golf Professional. I took the Professional Golf Management (PGM) Course at Lethbridge College and that is when my career really took off in golf. I didn’t realize how good I could’ve been as a golfer until I was in my course and then I started playing a lot.”
Weir started gaining his confidence back when he won a scholarship tournament for his program. Little by little, he began to play in more tournaments and started working at golf facilities, which allowed him to improve his skills and abilities. 
“There was a scholarship tournament for the PGM course and students played to win the $1,500 scholarship,” said Weir. “In my second year there, I shot 64 and was leading by 11 shots and shot 73 the next day, winning the tournament by 15 shots. 
“I won a few tournaments while I was out there and played on the Deep South Tour in Lethbridge and was Second on the Order of Merit. I continued to play in tournaments all over Calgary and Lethbridge.
I was also working at a golf teaching facility that allowed me to practice my skills a lot while I was going to school.” 
Weir didn’t stop there when it came to golf; he wanted to make sure he had more than just the education behind him. “Upon completion of the PGM course, I had to do an apprenticeship through the Canadian
Golf Professionals Association (CPGA),” said Weir. “I had to follow a bunch of certain criteria and then write a six hour exam at the end of it. Once I met all those requirements and completed them, I became a Class A Professional in the CPGA.
“In 2007, I had to do a playability test at Alberta Springs. I had to do shoot a certain score to become a professional golfer.
I shot 72 and 73, and got in by 10 shots. Then I became a golf professional and could play for money. I never played in any big tours but competed in Club Professional Tournaments.
I never considered going on tour for I had a young family and it was too much travelling and not that easy to win. A lot of these guys wind up living out of their car in hopes to win a tournament.” 
From there Weir began his career in golf management and worked under some very prominent and successful golf professionals.
He learned a lot from them over his time working with them. 
“I worked at Valley Ridge in Calgary for one year then my family and I moved to Lethbridge and I worked at Evergreen Golf Centre,” said Weir. “I was working under Dean Spriddle, who was the National Women’s Golf Coach and Trent Matson is now the National Director for the Maple Leaf Junior Tour. In 2009, we came back to Manitoba and I began to work at the Swan River Golf and Country Club.”
Weir has spent most of his working golf career in the Valley working for the SRGCC. He has seen it through some of the roughest times and watched it grow into its more successful years.
“In 2009 the course was just nine holes and then in 2010 we opened up the back nine,” said Weir. “It drove up membership and then we had a couple of years with lots of rain in the Valley.
It made it a couple of tough years to golf the new nine because it was too wet on the grounds.
“As far as the club goes, I love this club and have been here 10 years now. I’m very passionate about this course. I’ve gone through the early struggles here and watched this course become successful. This really has motivated me over the years. When COVID-19 hit, I was worried I wouldn’t have a job but, instead, we’ve seen some of the most phenomenal results as a golf course and now this year we’ve done even
better sales-wise. My job now is to make sure we keep maintaining this going forward.
Being able to do so many things here at the Swan River Golf and Country Club has made it a rewarding career and now we can plan for the future. This makes me really happy to see the progress we’ve been
able to make.” 
Weir is also taking up coaching and teaching youth on the game of golf. He has been working with a promising young local on her golf game.
“I’m assisting a young local golfer, Crystal Zamzow, and she won the Manitoba Juniors last year,” said
Weir. “This year she placed in the top three and she’s got a bright future ahead of her.” 
Looking back Weir has a lot of great memories about playing golf, but the one that sticks with him the most, brings him back to his roots. 
“My favourite memory growing up was playing golf with my family,” said Weir. 
“There were a lot of things that I did and played in at a high level as a junior, but when I look back on it, I didn’t realize it at the time, but golfing with my family was fun and enjoyable, not too stressful.”