It has been an absolute honor and pleasure to dive into the humble beginnings of Glenboro Golf Club and educate myself and others on how GlenboroG&CC came to be the gem we are proud to call home today. In the first four installments I brought you the first 80 years of history through the eyes of those that were there to see it, achieves and personal documents chronicling the history of our club. In the final part I will discuss the final twenty years through my eyes and those that grew up with me on the rolling Glenboro fairways and why we hold Glenboro Golf & Country Club in such high regard.
Almost two decades ago I picked up a golf club for the first time on the first tee at Glenboro Golf & Country Club. I have zero recollection of that shot but I can only assume it was as successful as a Toronto Maple Leaf playoff run. What I do remember is despite my horrific skill level and being a detriment to the pace of play on the golf course, members and friends encouraged me to keep playing and keep trying. The older members of the club recognized the significance of having young kids around the golf course, it was a sign of health for the future of the golf course. So, they made the course as inviting and accommodating as they could for young juniors like myself. This was my first taste of the beneficial culture of Glenboro Golf Course. The course became a second home to kids like myself. Parents felt comfortable leaving their child at the course with little more than their clubs and enough money for one of Gaby Sholdice's chicken bacon wraps. I cannot thank the staff and members enough for this hospitality and understanding.
Members of the club did not just tolerate myself and other juniors lugging our bags around holding them up, they helped teach etiquette and how to play the game properly. Our junior program lead by volunteers offered tips to help us all improve as well as fuel a little competition between us. This is the same junior program I mentioned began over 60 years ago and still runs to this day. It was not rare to be invited to join some members in their rounds during which they would offer advice, whether it be good or bad. To this day I personally still use a very similar grip to what Ed Vertz told me to use when I was 14 years old, I like to think it has worked well for me and I have since taught it to countless other beginners. The golf course was not only a second home but gave myself a second family as well.
For one notable past member of Glenboro Golf & Country Club, the golf course provided a venue to bond and grow close with his own family and friends. Some of Josh Wytinck's fondest memories at GlenboroG&CC are not of beating me (quite handily) like I thought they might be, but rather of the rounds with family and the friendships created on the golf course. "Golf helped create some of my fondest memories, early morning rounds with my brother, dad and grandpa, my mom driving me to endless tournaments and the lasting relationships between friends. None of this would have been possible if the course wasn't here or as accessible as it was for us. The staff and members never treated us poorly and that only strengthened our love for the game and being on the course". This is truly indicative of how unique and beneficial the game of golf is. A multi generational sport that provides common ground for individuals to bond and be active together even if they are separated by 60 years on their drivers license. This is never more present than at Glenboro Golf & Country Club.
The golf course was not only a welcoming environment, but the course itself is so uniquely beneficial to shaping a young golfer's game. Dylan Thornborough grew up much the same as myself, Josh and others. Getting dropped off in the morning, picked up in the evening and doing that on repeat for the summer. Dylan molded himself into a great golfer on the Glenboro course, eventually playing successfully at the College & University level in Lethbridge and much of this success he accredits to the design of Glenboro. "Forgiving fairways but small greens make it easy to learn the game but a challenge to score well." Dylan says when describing the course. These aspects truly make a golfer improve their short game and if you can hit greens in Glenboro you can hit greens most anywhere as they are some of the smallest to will find out there. "I have been fortunate enough to travel and see some of the best courses in the world, but there is something special about the quaint little 9 hole course that many drive right past." says Thornborough. "From the opening par 3 to the drivable 9th and all the unique shots in-between, there is something for everyone in Glenboro". I could not agree with these sentiments more. Glenboro is such a forgiving golf course yet despite the high quality of players who have walked the barely over 3,000 yards of fairway, the course record is still just 3 under par over 18 holes speaking to the difficulty and natural defenses of the course.
My passion for golf grew so large growing up in Glenboro that when it came time to do something for a career, I began looking into how I could incorporate my love for golf into that career path. Eventually I landed on the Golf Management Program in Lethbridge and became a golf professional. Today, I am the Head Professional and General Manager of an 18 hole facility in Minnedosa, Manitoba. I would not be where I am today in my career without Glenboro Golf & Country Club, its staff, its members and its founders. I am far from alone in feeling that Glenboro shaped my life and career.
Josh Wytinck went on to play golf in University, win a National Championship with University of Manitoba and play golf at the highest level in our country on the Mackenzie Tour. "End of the day, I wouldn't be where I am today without golf and I know golf for me would not have been the same if I did not grow up in Glenboro." - Josh Wytinck
Dylan Thornborough also parlayed his golf skill into a University career in Lethbridge and actually played against Josh in one of the Canadian University Championships. Gaining an education through golf and forming more relationships and contacts playing the game, golf lead Dylan into his career path today. "It really was the foundation that shaped my life." Dylan explains when trying to put into words the effect golf has had on his life and career, "Now with a family of my own, I am trying to instill to my children the values and lessons that playing this course taught me as a child. If only Glenboro was a little closer to Lethbridge."
These statements about the profound effect golf can have on an individual's life are echoed by so many that I have spoken to in my generation and others. If the Glenboro Golf & Country Club has had an effect on this many people that I have come to know in the past 20 years, how many have been positively effected throughout its 100 year history?
Glenboro has now put me in a position to be on the right side of history in the game of golf and repeat what so many before me have done to make small clubs like Glenboro and the game of golf as a whole successful. I am very excited to take part in a celebration of Glenboro's 100th season this July and to remember & thank those who molded the club and it's culture into what it is today. I am very proud to call Glenboro home and to be but a small part of this club's rich history.
Cheers to 100 years and many, many more at Royal Glenboro.