This year, the Cranbrook Golf Club is celebrating 100 years since the Club was formed. The celebrations will take place in April. The course itself opens today, Friday, April 3.
As part of the celebration, the Club is offering 50 per cent off all regular membership rates for new members. The Club defines a new member as someone who wasn’t a member in 2014.
“We’re excited for the beginning of what looks to be a great season and delighted to be celebrating 100 years since the Club was first established in Cranbrook,” Paul Whittingham, from the Cranbrook Golf Club, said.
The Club, whose slogan is the Hidden Gem of the Kootenays, will be hosting a Wine and Cheese Party on April 10.
Then on May 9 there will be a Member’s Appreciation Day.
So to mark the momentous century of the public golf course, here is some history:
On April 6, 1915, a group of Cranbrook residents met at City Hall to discuss forming a nine-hole golf course in the city. An executive was set up and the members donated towards financing the club, as well as donating supplies such as lumber for the clubhouse.
The original course was built on the land where the Tamarack Centre is now situated. The first tee-off on hole one had to be played across the highway. The clubhouse was also on the opposite side of the highway to the course. Later that was changed as the clubhouse was moved closer to the hillside and the first hole tee-off brought along with it.
The course closed in 1948, leaving Cranbrook without a course until the new one at the present location was up and running in 1951.
However, details on the closure are not well documented, and play did continue at least into 1949.
In 1915, when the Cranbrook Gold Course was getting going, there was another course already in operation, the Kootenay Golf Club of Cranbrook. That began operating in 1904 and was located in Slaterville.
In 1920, the Cranbrook Golf Club purchased 111 acres of land in the now Tamarack Mall area and laid out the nine hole course.
By 1938, the Club had listed the asset value of the course at $5,800 with a net profit of $132.79.
In 1946 negotiations had begun with BC Lands for 170 acres for a new golf course in the form of a grant.
A year later a public meeting called for a proposed new community golf course east of the city, where the Cranbrook Gold Course is currently. A second meeting two months later outlined the proposal: Land could be purchased for $280 plus $10 for a provincial grant. The estimated cost of the course was $15,000.
Three years of manual labour and donated cat time from the city was put into the course and Dr. Reid Geddes was instrumental in getting the work done.
At the end of 1951 the tax sale of the Cranbrook Golf Course went through and later in 1952 the Old Golf Course was sold to the City Dairy for $12,000.
In 1953, the new clubhouse was planned and the next year it was ready for use.
It was in 1972 that another nine holes were approved. The construction this time was done by machinery rather than manual labour and the new holes opened July 15, 1973.
A year later the club decided that it needed an addition for the clubhouse, which was officially opened on 1975.
In 1988 the club replaced equity certificates with membership certificates, since not every golfer was required to have one.