Over the coming months leading into the 100th season at Glenboro Golf & Country Club, I will be taking you through the decades that have moulded the rural Manitoba golf club into one of the top 9 hole golf courses in North America. This information comes from numerous articles and first hand accounts from long time Glenboro Golf Club members. The fourth part, "Building for the Future" chronicles the 1980s and 1990s where the executive of the golf course made major decisions to set up the golf course for a bright future for generations to come.
Part 4 – Building for the Future
Moving into the 1980s Glenboro Golf & Country Club found themselves in fantastic financial shape as the course improved vastly in condition due to the installation of grass greens and full course irrigation through the past decade. This popularity was accurately represented in tournament participation with tournaments frequently seeing 150+ participants even in less than favorable weather conditions.
With improved infrastructure on the golf course featuring this full irrigation system, Glenboro found themselves in search for someone to take care of the grounds as they did many times over the years. The golf course had been through many different, quality individuals over the years but that turnover was about to end in 1982 when Bruce Anderson applied for the position. Bruce took over as Head Groundskeeper at Glenboro Golf & Country Club that year and so began the longest tenure the golf course would experience in that position. Bruce was a staple at the club for 35 years giving the course a consistent, quality product every year and should be complimented for his tireless work over those many season and the challenges faced in the harsh Manitoba conditions.
With their man on the grounds in place and business booming, the board members once again set their eyes on a way to once and for all improve an area of the club that they felt was lacking and constantly attempting to improve, the clubhouse. Even though there had been many improvements made to the existing clubhouse that had stood since 1960, it was evident to the executive of the day that if the course were to prosper well into the future an investment into a new clubhouse was necessary. There were reportedly long debates on the size, layout and location of the new clubhouse but eventually the current location was decided upon when someone put up a picnic table on the hill overlooking the now 9th green & fairway. The view sold it and today you can see why.
In spring of 1987 construction began on a 2,280 square foot, 2 level clubhouse for the golf club with many local businesses chipping in to see the project come to fruition. A grand opening was held on August 23rd, 1987 with many provincial & local political members in attendance. To officially open the clubhouse one of the founding members G.M. “Bay” Smith cut the ribbon held by Allen “Friday” Frederickson and Elvina Jamieson, both siblings of another club founder, Fred Frederickson.
The decision by the executive proved to once again be a brilliant one. The clubhouse became popular not only with golfers but community members as well. The clubhouse was utilized for bigger and better golf events, anniversaries, corporate events, social evenings and retirement parties. The spacious patio overlooking the golf course provided a spectacular view where a number of fairways & greens could been seen and provided and intimate view of the green on the home hole where golfers could be applauded for their heroic shots and heckled for their misfortunes.
The end of an era for the old clubhouse was marked by a large fire training exercise conducted by the Glenboro Fire Department. The structure that comprised of the old Patricia School and a number of additions stood from 1960 to 1987 next to the present day 2nd tee box.
In the first executive meeting following the successful opening of their clubhouse, the Board of Directors comprised a long term plan for improvements to their golf course. The first portion of this plan was a tree planting program in 1989 which saw 50 trees be transplanted from Spruce Woods Park to the golf course. These trees all still stand to this day, including the spruce trees between 2 & 3 fairway, behind 6 green and of course, the large grouping in front of the clubhouse that jut into the 9th fairway. The next improvement was to the greens themselves. Although there is no documentation of exactly what was done, Allen Greer explains that the greens were expanded from their original size in a number of areas. Additions included a large expansion of the 7th green and the upper tier of the 9th green along with many others in 1991.
These green expansions must have been well received by golfers as come early 1990s there were a number of under par rounds shot for the first time and course records broken with relative frequency. In 1991 the first under par round since the installation of the new grass greens was shot by Ed Leonard who shot a 2 under 68 on September 15th, 1991. This was matched by Murdock Makenzie of Shilo on June 16th, 1993 and would not be topped until another milestone event hit Glenboro Golf & Country Club 4 years later.
In 1997 Glenboro celebrated their 75th season. On a weekend where 284 golfers enjoyed the beautiful rolling hills of Glenboro Golf & Country Club, Roy Wallis spoke of the history of the course, its reliance on volunteer efforts and the bright future it had ahead of it. Sitting in the crowd listening was 98-year-old G.M. “Bay” Smith, the only living founding member, nodding in quiet, matter of fact agreement whenever the mention of volunteer efforts was expressed. When asked about the changes to the course over the years Mr. Smith responded by saying “I can remember when it looked like nothing more than a home for jackrabbits”. To top off a weekend of beautiful weather and golf, Jamie Stone of Minnedosa shot a 3 under par round of 67 to set a new course record that has stood for 25 years and counting.
Approaching the turn of the century Glenboro Golf & Country Club had themselves a new clubhouse, 9 beautiful holes, and a continually growing and supportive membership base from not only Glenboro but the surrounding communities of Baldur, Belmont, Cypress River, Holland and Wawanesa. A long, long way from the field that only looked suitable for jackrabbits 75 years earlier.