History

 

Original Clubhouse

Original Clubhouse

The Red Deer Golf Club was originally organized on July 03, 1919. The first course was located on leased land in what is now West Park Estates. The fairways were quite short and there were only 6 of them. Extra fencing had to be installed in order to keep cattle out.

Sheep were acquired to keep the greens trimmed. Unfortunately they also left little piles of hazard around. Gophers were also a problem as they left a number of unplanned holes.

The first course was along the Calgary-Edmonton Trail, the main highway into Red Deer. As such, there was a great deal of traffic and a lot of dust. Another problem was that some of the passersby did not like what they saw.

In particular, a number of local residents objected to seeing people out playing golf on Sundays. One angry local farmer complained to the local newspaper of “the necessity of driving my family past the Sunday golfers indulging themselves’ on his way home from church.

Other protestors soon chimed in. Two citizens wrote that “the public playing golf on Sundays is a bad example for young people. It will lead the boys into evil paths.”

By mid – September, the Red Deer Ministerial Association held a meeting to discuss the issue. A formal request was made to the Golf Club asking that the playing of golf on Sundays cease. The Great War Veterans Association was also asked to discontinue their Saturday Night Dances at the Armouries because of the late nights and rambunctiousness. Both organizations declined the request.

A snowstorm on October 08 brought an end to the first season. It was the start of a long brutal winter. The snow stayed on the ground well into May.

By then the local golfers were itching to start the second season. Whereas the Club was able to sign up 31 members in 1919, now more than 50 people put up about $10 for a season’s membership. Plans were made to eliminate the gophers. Plans were also made to find a new course location and to raise funds for a Clubhouse.

The early 20’s were hard times economically. Despite the golfers enthusiasm fundraising was tough. Finally, in the early spring of 1922, the Club had enough funds to buy the old Wilkins brother’s ranch on the north side of the river and proceed with the construction of a Clubhouse. In April 1922, the old Golf Club was disbanded and the assets were turned over to the new Red Deer Golf and Country Club.

By summertime, the 42 by 56 foot, bungalow style Clubhouse was nearing completion. Another 150 sheep were acquired to help trim the fairways. a ban was placed on dogs to protect the lambs.

The Golf Club created a stir by starting a campaign for daylight saving time in order to secure an extra hour of play.

The Red Deer Golf and Country Club held an official opening for the new course and Clubhouse on August 22, 1922 with the first Central Alberta Golf Tournament. The event was a tremendous success. Despite its controversies, golf had become an important part of community life.