Kenogamisis Golf Club History
During the years 1936, 1937 and 1938 Little Long Lac Gold Mines allocated funds for the beginning of surface clearing and equipment for a golf course. Through the personnel of the local mines the services of Stanley Thompson of Hamilton were obtained to design the course...
The spring of 1938 saw 110 men, teams of horses and tractors begin to clear the forest. Some of the ground was muskeg, some high and rolling. In one month they cut, stumped, slashed, filled swamp, trimmed the crests of knolls, laid out fairways, set up tees and set down greens. Play began on the course in June with 150 members. The first dance was held in a Geraldton restaurant because there was no clubhouse.
In April of 1939, a meeting of Kenogamisis Golf Club was held at "The Lodge", Little Long Lac Mine, where a Board of Governors, committees for membership, finance, greens, entertainment and tournament were set up. Fees were as follows: Single Men: $23, Single Ladies: $15, Couples: $35, non-resident members: $10, Juniors of Senior members: $5, and Green Fees: $1 (total of 5 rounds).
The motions passed were: a telephone to be installed (perhaps in the small shack behind #1 tee - the present #4 tee), a golf ball stamping machine to be purchased and an opening dance for members and guests. Mr. Gordon Bain, formerly the professional at Winnipeg and Port Arthur Country Club was hired as the first pro.
The contract for the Clubhouse was given to J.L. Lahti in June 1939, at a price of $1,250. The contract was to exclude plumbing, wiring, septic tank and painting. The building consisted of a living room (40 ft. x 30 ft.), a porch across the front (40 ft. x 15 ft.) to be screened, two dressing rooms (10 ft. x 10 ft.) and a kitchen (30 ft. x 10 ft.) at the rear of the building. Total membership that year reached 208.
A meeting of the Kenogamisis Recreation Association was held in December of 1939 at "The Lodge", Little Long Lac Mine, for the purpose of relegating to special committees, the management of Errington Arena, The Kenogamisis Golf Club, and other sports activities of Little Long Lac and District. Until this time the Little Long Lac Athletic Association had carried the management of the above mentioned societies. It was felt, by the Association that the management should be born by those who received their benefits. Three representatives were named from each of the following organizations for the purpose of discussing ways of bringing about such management: Little Long Lac Gold Mines Ltd., MacLeod Cockshutt Gold Mines Ltd., Hard Rock Gold Mines Ltd., Newmont Mining Corporation, Bankfield Consolidated Mines Ltd., and the Town of Geraldton.
A general committee consisting of the following was set up:
G. McKelvy- Hardrock Mine
R.C. Gegg - MacLeod Mine
I.R. Wilson - Town of Geraldton
J.A. Pike - Newmont Mine
N. Gillick - Little Long Lac Mine
E. Brown - Bankfield Mine
After two seasons Gordon Bain resigned as pro, and Paul Stokaluk was asked to take over the duties with Mike Slobodian to assist.
In the spring of 1940, a Board of Directors was elected and was comprised of the following Mine Managers: J.W. MacKenzie, A.A. Barton, J.M. Kilpatrick, R.J. McKelvey, and K.A. Sinclair was appointed secretary. Mr. Alex MacKenzie, Arena Manager and Athletic Director, was to act as manager of the golf club, and was authorized to make inquiries to proceed with additions and alterations to the Clubhouse up to an expenditure of approximately $2000. The secretary was authorized to proceed with an application to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario for a Club license to permit the sale of beer upon the premises. House memberships were to be made available for $10.
Mike Slobodian took over as the third Pro when Paul Stokaluk left to join the airforce. Ed Magner held the position of Club Steward in 1945, 1948 and 1949, while Jack Murray had the concession in 1946 with A. Fisher as Steward. E. A. Lyon was Club Steward in 1947 and as the Club had shown a profit the previous year, it was passed that the operation of the club be placed on a self paying basis and that subsidies from the mines be discontinued, however, for many years the Mines supplied three men to work the course.
1948 saw several improvements with the addition of a Caddyshack behind the preset #1 tee. Also, the inside of the Clubhouse was lined, awnings for the windows installed, and a rain shelter between #5 and #7 greens built. Membership consisted of 153 men, 106 ladies, 37 juniors and 34 out of towners. Etiquette and score cards were printed and donated by Mr. Dave Neill. Mr. Jerry Stykes was instrumental in making the Junior Club bigger and better.
Ernie Pulak was the new Pro and greenskeeper in 1950 with Hamilton Montgomery as Steward. A suggestion was made that the old thletic Club shacks from Little Long Lac might serve as another rain shelter between #1 green and #9 tee. Sandy Middleton was the winner of the District Amateur that year.
In 1951, 1400 seedling trees were planted around the course for beautification and also to act as a snowbreak to help prevent winter kill.
A Junior room was talked of in 1952, however it was felt that a suitable size, built onto the side of the clubhouse, would cost approximately $1800 - a cost too great at the time. It wasn't until the 1970's that the Junior room was finally added which now contains the Proshop.
Assisted by a Wintario Grant, a watering system was added in 1981 at a cost of $80,000. It provided sprinklers around each green and tee as well as in the middle of each fairway. Unfortunately when it has been dry and water has been needed for the fairways, the Club has lacked the water supply necessary to completely utilize the system. Water has been available for the tees and greens but it is hoped that this problem with the fairways will be rectified in the near future.
In 1985 the basement was renovated under the supervision of Bill Scott. The total cost was $55,000 shared by the members and a Federal grant.
In 1990/91 a major renovation of the Clubhouse was undertaken which resulted in floor to ceiling windows being installed at the front of the building overlooking the ninth green as well as a two storey veranda. The interior walls and ceiling were redone in cedar and wallboard; a new trophy case was built and the proshop expanded; the locker rooms and bathrooms were also redone downstairs and a small office added. The cost was $125,000, half of which was paid for by the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation.
To be continued...