Get to know your Bisons: Trent Robertson

Golf team veteran

Growing up in South Africa, Bison golfer Trent Robertson was lucky enough to experience outdoor sports year-round because of the country’s warm climate.

“The winter doesn’t really exist,” Robertson said, “like, you still get some cold months where you get close to zero [Celsius] but you’re able to pretty much do everything you do here [in Manitoba] in the summer pretty much all year round.”

Robertson “played everything” from cricket to soccer to rugby and of course, golf, but the first prominent sport of his youth was actually motocross.

“I actually just happened to play golf when I wasn’t in school — like on school holidays — and I just really enjoyed it because I could just get dropped off at the course and just play every day,” Robertson explained.

Immigrating to Canada with his father and brother in 2017, Robertson stuck with golf because it was the sport with the best opportunities in his new home.

“When I moved here, usually those sports that I played back home don’t really translate to North America, like cricket [and] rugby, so I was just like, ‘I may as well just keep playing golf,’” Robertson said.

Robertson’s journey to becoming a part of the Bisons golf team partially came about due to immigration problems that sprung up after he had received offers from post-secondary schools in the United States. Former Bisons golf team head coach and co-founder of the University of Manitoba golf program Garth Goodbranson recruited Robertson to the herd.

“I had a bunch of friends who played too on the team, so I just stayed at home and played, and I’ve obviously loved it,” Robertson said, adding that he is “very happy with the way it’s worked out.”

One of the veterans on the golf team, Robertson played at the 2023 Canadian University Championship this last May at the FireRock Golf Club in London, Ont. Robertson helped the herd make the cut into the weekend, a first for the Bisons since 2018.

The team finished tenth overall at nationals and Robertson finished the tournament individually tied for 39th place and shooting eight birdies over the three-day tournament.

“It was a really cool experience and probably my favourite memory as a Bison so far,” Robertson said. “You play against all the best schools, and you play against schools that golf 10 months of the year.”

“You’ve been on grass for like three weeks and suddenly you’re at a national championship.”

The golf team’s first tournament of the fall was a fantastic outing at the Augsburg Invitational the first weekend of September, hosted by Augsburg University in Minnesota. While the team finished in a respectable seventh place in the 12-team tournament, Robertson finished tied for 18th overall with a fantastic +9,  shooting 74 and 79 in the two-days on the par 72 Majestic Oaks Golf Course.

In fact, Robertson has always held steady numbers over his career with the golf team. In his 2022 appearance in the Canada West (CanWest) Championships at the Cordova Bay Golf Course in Victoria, B.C. last October, Robertson shot +11, good enough to tie for 19th overall, and decreased his stroke count from 77 to 76 on day two of the tournament at the par 71 course.

Robertson is impressed with the young guys on the team after they finished this year’s Augsburg tournament well, and has big goals for himself this season.

“I would love to get us back to nationals,” Robertson said, “that’s always the goal.”

“The way I look at it is, if the team gets back to nationals, I probably did something good personally on the golf course.”

However, the biggest goal Robertson has set is winning a tournament.

“I would love to win a tournament,” Robertson said. “It’s been a while since we won a team event and a few of us have come close.”

The herd will have ample opportunity this season for a tournament win, with three tournaments remaining before the CanWest Championships.

As for life after hanging up the U Sports golf cleats, Robertson hopes he leaves the Bisons in a good, competitive place and would like to become a golf coach.

“I’ve always wanted to coach golf,” Robertson explained. “It’s something I always go back and forth on — whether I would do it as a career or not.”

Golf coach or not, Robertson has every intention of continuing to play the links.

“I’ll definitely keep playing,” Robertson said. “I just love competing.”