The Golden Golf Club is 25 years old. To celebrate, they’re offering the community a free day of golf on May 17th, their birthday, along with a BBQ and cake. The celebrations start at 2 p.m. at the Golden Golf Club Clubhouse and all the club asks for is a donation to the Golden Food Bank.
“It was the community that built this course,” said Patrick Chury, General Manager of the club. “It never would have happened without their vision and support and this is one way we can show our appreciation.”
Chury emphasized that the Golden Golf Club is far from a “development” type course that we see so often in the Kootenays, and that’s what makes it so special.
From the 1930s to the 80s, locals created and operated a number of unusual venues including a small par three course in the area of the rodeo grounds, a five hole course near the present airport and the beginnings of a nine hole course near the present ball diamonds.
But the Golden Golf Club grew its official roots in the 1980s. In October of that year 50 attended the first meeting held at the Lodge. Roger Ross, Don Gill, Fern Appleton, Bruce Jennejohn, Harold Parkinson, Harold Holland, Louise Jackson, Owen Brown, Forrest Roemer were elected to the board.
Later that year, both the Kinsmen and Lions Clubs donated $10,000 towards a feasibility study. It wasn’t until 1983 that government funding was secured for construction of the first 9 holes.
It was May of 1985 that the first seed of grass was planted and that same fall the club opened the course for play with nine holes, designed by Bill Newis, and no facilities.
And the cost to play? $6
It wasn’t, though, until May 17th, 1986, that the Golden Golf Club held its formal opening, offering guests a round of golf, a wine and cheese reception and a dinner and dance. The back nine holes were designed by Les Furber seven years later.
Fast– forward to the 21st century. The Golden Golf Club has become a golfing destination in the Kootenays. Score magazine even ranked it in its top 100 Canadian courses.
In 2009, Jim Matheson, a sports writer for the Edmonton Journal, wrote that the Golden Golf Club is a “visual and affordable treat.”
“It’s tough to overlook the magnificent scenery, the greens are wonderful, tiered on the back nine, and there’s lots of water to skirt around,” wrote Matheson. “It has a homey, small town feel to it.”
New initiatives for this year include an “All You Can Play— Everyday” deal, allowing golfers to return to the greens that day for free after they complete their 18 holes.
Chury explained that the Golden Golf Club has gone through a “philosophical change” this year with memberships, allowing anyone from anywhere to become a member for the same low rate.
The club is also working hard to expand the Junior Golf Program and continue to give back to the community.
So come celebrate history next Tuesday, May 17th with free golf, lunch and cake—quite the way to welcome the warm, spring weather..