The greens are groomed, the fairways freshly manicured and the fleet of new power carts fully charged in preparation for Fernie’s 100th year of golf.
The Fernie Golf Club officially opened Thursday.
The club has undergone a number of changes over the winter, including a new name and logo, and food and beverage contractor.
“We try to open a day or two before the weekend to help iron out any bugs that we might have as far operations go,” said general manager and head pro, Max Sherwood.
“If last year is an indication and the way the forecast is, I expect we will be very busy.”
Golf course staff have been busy removing snow from the 18-hole golf course after a late winter, which delayed the opening of other courses around Canada.
“We’ve been really blessed with all this warm weather that made things dry up really quickly and the course is in really good shape for this time of year,” said Sherwood.
“Earlier in the spring we get on the greens with snowblowers and remove all the snow from them, and some of those greens have two or three feet of snow that we then put it off to the side and that allows the greens to get a headstart on drying out.”
The club has a new logo featuring the legendary Ghostrider, which can be seen on the face of Mt. Hosmer at certain times of the year, and has dropped “country” from its name.
It also has a fleet of new power carts and a new restaurant operated by local catering company, Cooks Catering.
The Cast Iron Grill launched last Friday and will open from 6.30 a.m. until late every day of the year to cater to the hordes of hungry golfers and visitors to the club.
“We’re very excited about the kind of work they’re going to do,” said Sherwood.
“We are building a wedding ceremony site adjacent to the clubhouse that will provide Fernie with another location to have a ceremony and reception in one very convenient place with a fabulous view and great dining.”
This year marks 100 years of golf in Fernie and the club will celebrate with a week of events in July as well as membership deals.
It has been steadily growing over the past two years and currently has 265 members.
“Golf started in Fernie in 1918,” said Sherwood.
“It was only a few holes at that point then it grew into nine holes then it didn’t turn to 18 holes until the ’80s. We’ve had a very coloured past and we’re quite proud of it.” As part of its 100th anniversary celebrations, the club is offering free junior membership to golfers aged 18 and under, and up to $250 off new memberships.
“We want to make sure we’ve got lots of good membership coming up and interest in golf, and it’s the least we can do to help encourage that growth,” said Sherwood.
He described the course as “very walkable”.
“It’s in a mountain setting but in a very level playing field,” he said.
“The fairways are nice and manicured, fairly wide open, level, there’s no blind shots, so it’s a relatively forgiving golf course for all ability levels, then the way we set it up can be a challenge for the more accomplished golfer as well.”
Anyone interested in learning more about the game of golf can organize a lesson with Sherwood or Kenny Maki, who are both registered with the Professional Golfers’ Association of Canada.
The golf course is located on Fairway Drive. Visit Golffernie.com for more information.
All tournaments listed below are open to the public except where noted. All dates and times are subject to change. For full details, tournament rules and information, please contact the pro shop.
Tuesday 15th: Ladies’ opening, 6 p.m. shotgun, format TBA
Wednesday 16th: Men’s opening, 5 p.m. shotgun, best 3 of 4 net
Sunday 27th: Junior open, 12 noon start, individual tee-times, stroke play
3rd-7th: 100 year celebrations
Tuesday 3rd: Ladies’ league event
Wednesday 4th: Men’s anniversary event, 5:30 p.m. shotgun, four man team – lone wolf
Thursday 5th: Tony Servello Senior Open, 10 a.m. shotgun, stroke play
Saturday 7th: 100 year celebrations, including 12 noon shotgun, format TBA
Sunday 29th: Adult/junior team event, 3:30 p.m., individual tee-times, team, alternate shot
Wednesday 8th: Men’s special, 5 p.m. shotgun, four man team, blind nine holes
Saturday 11th: Doubles tournament (formerly He/She), 1 p.m. tee-times (tentative), two-person Scotch ball
Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th: Club championship
Sunday 23rd: Ladies’ closing, 1 p.m. shotgun, format TBA
Sunday 30th: Men’s closing, 12 noon shotgun, modified net stableford
Sunday 7th: Ironman open, 12 noon shotgun, format TBA
Monday 8th: Turkey tombstone, 12 noon shotgun, tombstone format