2015 was an fun, interesting year for the golf industry in our area of St. Marys, Stratford and the rest of Southwestern Ontario. A wickedly cold winter turned into a beautiful start to the golf season when we opened in early April. A quick turnaround from minus 30 to plus 15 happened in a matter of weeks and the golfers were out on the golf course with smiles on their faces. Well at least before their first swings anyways!
We celebrated our first annual Member’s FREE spaghetti dinner in March, while our Club golf tournaments and Mixed Nights had strong attendance for a second straight year. The Glow-in-the-Dark Golf, I AM CANADIAN and Hockey Night in Canada Mixed Nights were some of the bigger hits of the summer. And later this month, we are back with the Backwards Scramble on October 17th where golfers get the chance to play the golf course BACKWARDS! Our Men’s and Ladies’ leagues, meanwhile, had strong attendance once again from both members and public players, resulting in a fun, (semi) competitive environment for everyone involved. We are always looking to this program and encouraging those already golfing to get their friends out for the 2016 golf season! And remember, you don’t need to be a golf member to join our Social Golf Leagues...
Superintendent Sandy and her team did a great job of maintaining the golf course for yet another season and the golf course conditions at the Country Club, right into October, have been some of the best! The greens are rolling true and the fairways and rough remained green throughout the summer. The only hiccup was the release of water from Wildwood dam that left a major section of the course under water for a week straight. A wet June turned into a beautiful July and August and the sun was shining at great golf temperatures for our members, public golfers and golf tournament attendees through the end of September - a true bonus! Now Sandy and her team turn to getting the course ready for next season, with still some to get out and golf now!
Whoever said that golf is dying couldn’t be more wrong! The arrival of superstars who made their stamp this year was unbelievable, with players in their 20s winning 24 of the 47 golf tournaments on the PGA Tour. And according to the Globe and Mail, there has been a different world number one golfer for six consecutive weeks! The “Big Four” in tennis is turning into the “Big Four” in golf with the likes of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day, taking over the PGA Tour. They are making us love pro golf again and spend more time in front of the TV every Sunday.
On the women’s side, Canada’s own Brooke Henderson won her first golf tournament, the Cambia Portland Classic, at the ripe age of 17! Brooke, who hails from Smith Falls, Ontario is destined to become a golfing great. Not to put any pressure on the young golfer, but we think she could the biggest thing for Canadian golf since Mike Weir won the Masters back in 2003, over 12 years ago.
We see golf as being in a good place. After a few years of difficult times, we anticipate the golf industry is making a come back, at least at our golf course here in St. Marys. With the number of youth golfers in our Kid’s programs this year hitting over 90, we are working to help make this happen. We believe in the future of the game of golf and are doing everything possible to get more local kids into the game. Our new General Manager Matt, who starts in January, alongside our resident pro Len and Pro Shop Manager Kellen, are focused on continuing to make the game of golf fun for kids into the 2016 golf season. It might sound cliché to say, but kids are the future. We need to continue to make the golf course a fun, non-intimidating place for beginners to join the game.
Weddings at the St. Marys Golf & Country Club hit a record number this year after our renovations in spring 2014 and the addition of our Wedding & Event Manager, Ashton. We also welcomed Sous-Chef Joe, from Joe’s Diner in Stratford, who under the leadership of Head Chef Jason is helping lead the way with our fantastic wedding, banquet and event menu, in addition to our standard kitchen menu that continues to improve with weekly specials for our Men’s and Ladies’ Leagues. We focus on providing the best value and a #dreamwedding for all of our brides and grooms. We are expecting another big year for Christmas parties, and other events in our Wedding & Event Centre over the next few months.
We are also hosting two festive Pub Nights on Friday, October 9th for Thanksgiving and Friday, December 18th for Christmas. Pub Nights, featuring local musicians, have been a huge hit this summer and we plan to back next summer for more live music!
This winter, we have further plans for capital expenditures both around the clubhouse and out on the golf course. As a strong community asset, we are focused on continuous improvement and reinvestment into both our people and our amazing facility. We thank you – our local customers – for helping make this a fun place to golf, dine, socialize and to celebrate life and to celebrate marriage.
We look forward to seeing you over the Fall and Winter seasons for various events, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas Pub Nights, before seeing you back for the Early Bird Membership Drive on March 5th, followed by the golf season starting in early April.
The St. Marys Golf & Country Owners & Staff