Did you know the Nakusp Centennial Golf Course is in its 45th year? Well, it’s true. In 1967, a Centennial grant got the course started and it’s been flying ever since.
That fact, along with several other chestnuts, came straight from course manager Jim Draper. Draper is in his fourth year at the course as manager, and loves it. He and I chatted after the recent 2012 Men’s Tournament took place.
“We’ve had a really busy day today,” Draper told me over the phone on Tuesday, August 21, “Golf carts in and out all day.” Still, the manager took time to answer a few questions:
ALN: When does the golf season end at the Nakusp Centennial course?
The clubhouse closes after thanksgiving weekend, but we leave pins out for members. George the groundskeeper keeps it open until the frost sets.
We don’t have any business really after the thanksgiving weekend.
ALN: Who uses the course more, locals or tourists, and are the locals members or drop-ins?
Besides our membership, which is around 200, we get a few locals, but it’s mostly visitors who drop in.
ALN: Do you offer packages or promotions with other local businesses and other golf courses?
We’ve tried in the past [to co-ordinate with other courses] but we’re so isolated we don’t get the tour business like elsewhere. The golfing crowds who do the tours, they stick to the more heavily pop areas that have more golf courses.
We do have packages through Halcyon, the Leland, and Riders’ Retreat
ALN: Does the course have tournaments, lessons and courses?
We have about 13 tournaments a year. We host a few business tournaments, there’s a big tournament in September by the Leland, the Legion tournament, the Bodell tournament in July (it was the 5th annual this year)…In May, there’s the BCGA Zone 1 Jr., and the Annual Ladies and Men, the Derbyshire which hosts 63 players, the Yanow family invitational on August long weekend.The Dr. Norm Lea Ryder Cup is coming up this Saturday, August 25.
We’re open to any business who would like to do a tournament. We offer golf, a drink cart, and the restaurant would plan a special meal.
We’re always open to anyone who wants to book a tournament.
Burt Drysdale is our resident pro; he gives one or two lessons a week.
ALN: Does he give them to locals or visitors?
I know for a fact that there are visitors to town who see the poster here that Burt gives lessons, and they book one.
The Junior Program is really big. It’s five weeks in the spring in May and June.
ALN: How many years have you been the manager, Jim?
Four years. I hope to continue, my contract up for renewal.
What keeps you coming back?
I’ve worked in the business all my life and I couldn’t imagine not doing it. Golfers are a friendly lot; people come up here to have a good time. It’s an upbeat environment. There’s nothing not to like about this work.
“This year we’ve had three hole-in-ones: Elaine Rogers, Sharon Nishida, Dave Hanson,” said Draper.
I’ve heard that a hole in one is a dubious honour because it means that you’re supposed to buy a round of drinks for everyone at the course.
“That is the case,” Draper said, confirming the story.