Club History

The first Olds golf course of which there is any memory was started in the 1920’s by some local bankers.  It was a nine hole sand-green course, about one mile south of town on the east side of the railway tracks.  When some of the ardent golfers moved away it was no longer used.

The second course was developed in the late 1930’s on the south side of 54th street, south of the log clubhouse.  The land was low and while it was fine in the dry years, in the wet years of the 1940’s nature took over.  In 1941 Keith Thomson, as president, was assisted by an executive consisting of James Murray, Dave Dunlop, Charlie Becker, Sam Reiber and Robert Moore.  But even those stalwarts could not save the low lying golf course from the ravages of nature and in the wet spell around 1943 it became a grassy slough.

Later there was a third and more successful attempt.  In 1945 the Golf Club was negotiating an agreement for land use with the Agricultural Society, which resulted in another more durable nine hole course.  Twenty-six acres was purchased from Mr. Guitard, with money put up by Mr. O. R. Hedges.  By using the land purchased from Mr. Guitard, use of the Agricultural Society land, and some town land, a short nine hole (2600 yards) with sand greens was developed and it was used for a good number of years up to 1974.  Part of the property that was used contained the race track, and when events involving the track were held there was no golfing.

Discovery by some local men of an unused log cabin in the western forest led to the owner, Calgary Box Company, granting permission to dismantle the cabin and bring it to Olds.  The Council donated a site in the park at the south end of main street.  A work party, organized by Cp. Dave Dunlop, hauled the logs to town and rebuilt the two room cabin.  It was constructed, equipped and furnished entirely with volunteer donations of labor and goods.  On December 7, 1941, the Community Club House was proudly declared to be officially open and the occasion was celebrated with a dance.  Since that time the Club House has served a Scout Hall and Golf Club House; it has also been the scene of countless meetings and social gatherings.  The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #105, also used this facility to hold their monthly  meetings for a short period of time.

During the summer of 1958 the ladies club held a cleaning bee, painted the windows, made curtains, had tables and benches made, and painted all of the chairs the Asmundsons had given the club from the Victoria Hotel.  Elvie Erickson, the handy man around the grounds, built cupboards in the small kitchen.  This made it possible to serve lunches at eh Men’s and Women’s Tournaments.

Town improvements, including street paving, forced taxes up and the Golf Club found itself in a losing situation financially.  Newcomer golfers were more discriminating and preferred to go to Carstairs or Innisfail rather than play on the flat course with sand greens.  There was little potential for improvement on the site and it became evident that a move was inevitable.

In 1974, The Olds Golf Club asked the Town of Olds to have the club’s property rezoned form Open Space to Residential I.  It had been defeated in Council and then tabled pending the arrival or presence of all the Councilors.  The matter was brought on to the floor for discussion despite the absence of Councilors John Dahmer and Bob Armstrong.  This time it had a new twist as secretary F. Colvin read a new proposal from the golfers asking that the north, south and west boundaries of the property be rezoned.  The balance to remain open space.  Councilor Windsor introduced the Towns general plan to support the Olds club argument.  This plan shows the whole area devoted to housing.  Mr. Bordon Arthur of the Red Deer Planning Commission informed Council that the projected 10 year growth of the town was about 800 people and that there were six areas available to accommodate this growth.  He listed the areas and there capability of looking after an estimated number of people.  He told Council that it had an obligation to look after the total development of the town not “one package at a time”.  He also suggested that the town should purchase the golf club property, and was told that these negotiations had been underway but there was wide variance in the appraised value given the town and what the golfers think their property is worth.

Mr. Arthur also told council that the majority of the new units built in Olds in the last tow years were multi-family accommodation adding that this was the national and international trend.

Tom Jensen introduced a motion that calls for the golf club to submit a development plan for their property based on a row of lots on the north, west, and south of the property with no lot to have direct access on 57th Avenue.  Council approved the motion with Councilor Bob McFadyen opposed.

In 1974 the executive of the golf club began to look for land outside of the town of Olds to build a new competitive course.  In late 1974 the Club bought 160 acres two miles east and one half mile north of Olds.  This was acquired from Stewart Wond and Chick Miller for $60,000.00. It was not possible to 0proceed with development of the course for awhile because of difficulty getting approval from the County of Mountain View so the land was rented out to be farmed.

In June 1975 the golf course which existed in the town of Olds was sold, part to Meren Holdings and part to the Town, for a total of $91,000.00.

The east half of the new purchased land was summer fallowed in 1976, surveyed and mapped.  A 3321 yard nine hole grass green course was designed by Gary McCullough, Plant Science Instructor at Olds College.  Development commenced.  A good well was drilled, dugouts were excavated and greens built up.  An irrigation system was installed for tees and greens.  In 1978 the fairways were seeded and the greens were seeded in the spring of 1979.  A very attractive clubhouse was built with two levels (1,440 sq. feet), and a 10 x 80 foot L-shaped deck on the south and west sides.

The project was a fine example of our democratic style of getting things done.  There had been volunteer help and loan of machinery from the town and country.  There were many jobs – picking rocks, raking greens, pulling weeds and painting the club house.

The total outlay was about $300,000.00.  Arrangements for financing had been in the capable hands of Ralph Maybank, who had devoted a great deal of time.  There has been a tremendous response from the town and country, with over $60,000.00 raised from donations, non-interest bearing debentures and advertising.  the club received some local funding help from a matching grant for $124,000.00 to help with the debt.  the debentures were repaid over a ten year period.

Special credit must go to President, Dutch Weir, who spear handed the drive for a fine nine hole grass green course, giving unstintingly of his time, strength and money.  Dennis Remillard, who accepted the President’s chair again, and Duke Ellenton, building superintendent for the clubhouse, also deserve credit for their enthusiasm and great contributions of labor.  The official opening of the course was held on July 1, 1981.  (President’s Report March 22, 1982)

A list of the people who volunteered during this time are on a plaque hanging in the club house.

In 1989 the executive put forth a proposal to the membership of a proposal to build an additional nine holes.  Meetings were held to debate whether they should be built on the land to the west which the golf club owned or buy the quarter section to the south.  It was finally decided that the nine holes would be built on the land which the club already owned.

An agreement was signed between Western Golf Projects Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta and Olds Golf Association to design and construct a new 9 hole addition to the existing golf course in April of 1989.

The golf club needed additional funding, so a proposal to issue Member Certificates was put forth to the membership, and $500.00 Membership Certificates were offered and those who purchased these received a reduced yearly membership.

A loan of $584,000.00 was arranged with the Alberta Treasury Branch.  The Town of Olds guaranteed the loan indebtedness of the Olds Golf Club to the Alberta Treasury Branch.

With the new nine holes being ready for play in 1991 the executive had to have some type of facilities at the new number one hole.  Three buildings were purchased on January of 1991 at a cost of $18,000.00.  One building 35′ x 50′ was to be the new tournament house, and the two buildings 24′ x 38′ were for a pro-shop and locker and club storage.

The club house was left in the original place until such time as money was available for moving it or building a new building to take its place.  At this time a club house fee was charged to each person taking out a membership so that the club house would be used.

The course was completed and ready for play in the late fall of 1990.  The official opening was held on June 23, 1991 with Mayor Bob Armstrong and M.L.A. Roy Brasard cutting the ribbon.  Ralph Maybank, a long time member and past treasurer of the golf club was the first to drive his golf cart through the ribbon cutting area on to the new 18 hole course.

In the spring of 1992 some members loaned money to the golf club so the club house could be moved to the area where the other buildings were located.