The St. Marys Golf & Country Club is located on the edge of St. Marys, Ontario, a small picturesque community of almost 7,000 residents where the Thames River meets Trout Creek. The club officially opened on July 1, 1932, after the formation of the club in October 1931 and the subsequent purchase of the property we are on today. While the grounds were initially surveyed in 1927 by Fred Lofft and Stanley Thompson, a shortage of local golfer (only 30 in town) delayed the next steps. Only a nine-hole golf course at the start, green fees for 18 holes were 50 cents on weekdays, 75 cents on weekends, or one dollar to play all day. Under private ownership since 1993, the golf course has been continuously upgraded. In 1994, we rounded out the golf course to the 18 superlative holes we have today. Designed by David Moote, of Moote & Associates, the new layout utilizes the rolling St. Marys topography and maintains the degree of difficulty of the original course, by adding two ponds to the two creeks already in play on the golf course. We have upgraded the golf course into one of the best semi-private facilities in Southwestern Ontario by adding paved cart paths, planting more than 500 trees, building a waterfall feature, redesigning the 17th green and 18th fairway, and regularly updating sand traps. The golf course has been highly rated in numerous newspaper and magazine articles, has become the home course for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. We have proudly hosted many Ontario Golf Association (OGA) events, including a qualifier tournament for the Ontario Amateur.
We believe in regularly reinvesting in the Club to improve the customer experience both on the golf course and on that special day in our banquet facilities. The work we have already done has made a huge difference to the people we serve, and being a leading golf and banquet destination in Southwestern Ontario means continuing that trend. Our next large project involves modifications to the clubhouse to truly make our wedding and banquet facilities spectacular. In addition to interior upgrades, a bank of windows will provide guests with a panoramic view of the golf course. We are also constructing new, naturally scenic locations that will add charm to the wedding ceremonies we host. These changes, finished early 2014 have allowed us to provide a superior and complete wedding package. On the golf course, both bunker improvement and tree relocation programs continue. The systematic reconstruction of our bunkers improves drainage and upgrades the sand quality. In addition to the trees added to the course this year, we have plans to move hundreds more trees from our nursery to holes 4, 5 and 6, with additional trees behind the hole 18 tee block to improve safety, scenery and playability. The 20-year Plan includes golf villas overlooking the valley and expanded wedding and banquet facilities, which were completed in 2014.
No discussion of the future would be complete without acknowledging that what happens on our 150 acre golf course affects the environment. Our golf course itself is a crop, providing significant environmental benefits:
The root system and thatch filters water and rain to prevent erosion and run-off of soil into waterways.
Our turf area absorbs carbon dioxide, ozone, hydrogen fluoride and releases enough oxygen to meet the needs of more than 10,000 people.
Our turf area has the equivalent cooling effect of 6,500 typical whole-house air conditioners without the power requirement.
For all of our course's environmental benefits, it is not natural for grasses, even special turf grasses, to be cut as short as they are. To maintain the fairways and greens in a condition that golfers expect requires the use of special fertilizers and pesticides. We strive to apply these chemicals as responsibly as possible, meeting or exceeding all environmental regulations. St. Marys Golf & Country Club is a fully registered member of the Golf Course Program with the Ontario Integrated Pest Management Accreditation Program, part of the IPM Council of Canada. Read more about our environmental program.