The Nakusp Golf Club was the place to be on July 17 as members invited the public to come out and help them celebrate the club’s 50 years in operation.
Balloons lined the driveway, from the entrance to the parking lot. More were strung up along the outside patio, some with the saying “Happy 50th.”
You couldn’t have asked for a better day to celebrate. The weather was perfect. It was sunny and warm, but not humid, and a warm breeze was in the air.
Golfer’s coming into the clubhouse were given an opportunity to enter their name for a chance to win one of many door prizes, including hats, golf bags, and free passes.
Three shotgun starts were available, 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. A shotgun start is one that has players on every hole. An air horn is sounded, and everyone starts at the same time, which helps keep things consistent and moving along smoothly.
It was a good turnout for the event. About 110 golfers showed up for the celebration, with another 30 or so non golfers coming to the club as well. Many club members were pleased with the turnout.
“I think it’s good,” said Merv Exner, president of the golf club. “There’s enough interest to have a club.”
Exner thinks part of the reason the club has remained popular over the last five decades is because the members are interested in keeping families and younger generations involved and many families were at the celebration, bringing kids both young and old to take part.
Many appreciate how the golf club is reaching out to the community to keep residents coming back.
“With the type of population that’s here, they have a strong base, but they need to ensure that base turns over to the next generation,” said Ryan Willman. “Events like this help get them into the love of the game.”
Willman brought his daughter Neveah out to the driving range to practise her swing. He said he and his family are always looking for things they can do together, and this is something this whole family can enjoy.
“These golf courses take so much work and so much love and you can see that it’s the people who love the game that really drive the course and keep it here as a viable operation for community members,” he said.
While there were many people in attendance, one notable absence was Burt Drysdale, chairperson of the committee involved in getting the celebration together. Drysdale passed away suddenly about two weeks before the event.
“Sometimes we have to take a deep breath and stand back, and mourn for a few weeks, and then we can see if we want to have a tournament in his honour, or have a plaque, but we’ll do something for Burt, no question,” said Exner. “I can’t say enough as to the importance he was, not only because of his golfing background, but he was just a great person — a great guy.”