Special Grand Opening on Sunday, June 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
by Pat Payton
That's the first word management wants people to say when they see the refurbished and expanded banquet hall at the St. Marys Golf and Country Club. The banquet hall now features a "stunning" view (facing north) of the par 4
No. 10 hole and beyond. "It's a substantial re-investment in our facility," said Matt Staffen, the new director of operations at St. Marys G&CC. "My dad's (co-owner Rob) vision was hoping that people would say 'wow' when they first saw the facility," Staffen says. "Every time we see somebody walk in, it seems to be the first thing they say. So we've kind of used that as a theme.
"We want people to be very proud of the building and their community we live in; to be recognized as a modern, new state-of-the art facility. Our goal is to hold special events there, such as weddings, business meetings and golf tournaments. We want to have our customers experience the sheer joy of golfing or holding a special event at one of Southwestern Ontario's finest golf course properties with the goal to become the destination of choice in our area," adds Rick Fifield, General Manager and a co-owner.
The golf club will now be able to hold weddings and special events, accommodating up to 180 people. (Previously, the facility had a capacity for about 150 patrons). The architect for the project was Terry Marklevitz, of Stratford, with
construction under the supervision of Paul Bender, of MTH Contracting. Hosting weddings is something the course is really trying to promote right now, Matt Staffen notes. "It's kind of the direction we're going. We are actually calling (the
banquet hall) the Wedding and Event Centre. And we're going to try and attract more golfers as well." Another feature soon to be completed is a venue to accommodate outdoor weddings at the golf course. "It will completed by the end of May or early June," he said. "It will be a wedding and ceremony area." The construction project also included an
elegant "bridal suite" where brides and her attendants can enjoy the day and prepare for the wedding ceremony.
Co-owner Dave Courtnage has developed a new digital state-of-the-art media centre for the club including digital signage and two video projectors that will enhance the experience for both weddings and business meetings.
Ashton Kelly, wedding and special event planner, will begin her new position with the club in early June.
A special Grand Opening for the newly-refurbished facilities and a bridal open house will be held on Sunday, June 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is also now wheel-chair accessibility on both levels of the clubhouse
after the club installed a new $17,000 wheelchair elevator.
Joins family business
Matt Staffen, meanwhile, officially started Apr. 1 in the family business after completing his MBA at the Ivey Business School at Western. Staffen will help develop the strategy and the vision of the facility as director of operations, working with Rick and Kellen Fifield on "new marketing strategies" for the golf course. It's another "exciting change" as the golf club is focusing on the next generation running the business -- Matt and Kellen. The ownership group has a 30-year vision for the club operating under the philosophy that they hope to be recognized as "a dedicated group of local
citizens who invested their time, money and energy to create one of the finest golf facilities in Southern Ontario that has been a benefit to our community by attracting tourism, residential development, industry and
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London native Len Foran, a long-time junior golf instructor and Ryder Cup player at the St. Marys Golf & Country Club has passed away.
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