Some of you may (or may not) be aware that this golf season marks the 35th Anniversary of Pheasant Run. While not steeped in the long history of some of Ontario’s oldest golf facilities, 35 years is certainly worth celebrating. I am using this post to recap some of the history that exists and/or has taken place here over those 35 years;
- The original 300 acres was purchased for around $300,000. In today’s monetary value that number would be in the $860,000 neighborhood using the purchasing power calculator.
- While current value of the property isn’t known. Development of the land is highly unlikely as all 300 acres lie on a protected tract known as “The Green Belt”.
- The original 18 holes included Highlands 1 connected with Uplands 2-9, and Midlands 1-5 connected with Highlands 6-9.
- The original 18 opened for play in 1980. The additional 9 holes construction began in 1989
- For those of you who have met (or worked for him) the owner Gord Evans. He was always full of surprises, this included showing up with a trunk load of chain saws and proclaiming “we are building 9 more holes”.
- The designing architect was Rene Muyleart for all 27 holes. Though a dispute between Rene and owner Gord Evans resulted in Rene walking away before the last few holes were completed on the third 9 holes.
- Of the 30 greens (27 holes plus 3 practice greens) 7 are made up from a pure sand mixture and the remaining 23 are “push up greens” from material cultivated from the property.
- In the 35 years of existence, I am only the second Superintendent
- The property was originally permitted for a “cottage”. When the township found out what was really taking place, the penalty to the club was to pave part of Warden Avenue (main road into the course)
- During construction, the only phone (a party line in the pre cell phone days) on the property was nailed to a tree at the end of the driveway.
- The driveway was only paved to the parking lot originally. Once the dust from the screenings on the drive back/from the turf facility bothered Mrs. Evans was the rest of the driveway paved.
- The drive from the gate to the shop is just over 2kms (1.25mi)
- There are close to 5kms (most paths are also 6ft wide) of interlocking brick pavers used for the cartpaths and clubhouse areas. They are a great/unique looking part of the course, but, they are also a lot of work to upkeep.
- The golf scene for the movie Fever Pitch (2005 Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore) was shot on Highlands 8 tee here at Pheasant Run.
- The golf scenes for the movie Welcome to Mooseport (2004 Ray Romano and Gene Hackman) were shot here as well. Midlands 2,8 and 9 were used for the scenes.
- The golf scene for the HBO short series The Company (2007 Chris O’Donnell and Alfred Molina) was shot at our driving range.
- The equipment that comes with these movies would encompass our entire maintenance facility. As a small perk our crew were able to get free meals from their catering trucks!!
- Though we have hosted numerous provincial qualifying tournaments. The only provincial championship hosted here was the 1994 Ontario Juvenile Boys Better Ball.
- We also played host to the 2013 PGA of Ontario Playing Ability Test. Only 6 players that day were able to score 161 or better in 36 holes of golf.
There are a lot more stories I’m sure and many of these will makeup this season on the blog. We are slowly ramping up our preparations for the 2015 golf season. There’s just one problem right now, the weather!!
Here is Midlands 8 on Friday;
While the snow is mostly gone on Highlands 4, the cart path to get there is a skating rink;
Turf conditions are so far, so good on all accounts. And we are looking forward to a very busy spring, especially with our 35th anniversary opening rate of $35 (cart and taxes extra). Fingers crossed for some warmer weather, and hopefully it won’t be long before we can get the new golf season rolling.