When the course first opened in 1907, it was just five holes. It was quickly expanded to nine including two holes – one in and one out – that crossed what was then the High Shore Road. These original road holes reflected the spirit - as well as conveniently, the traffic – of the day. While in modern times, we celebrate the quirkiness of the Road Hole at St Andrew’s, back then the road was just considered part of the layout. There was very little traffic on the road – it wasn’t Highway 49 then and there was no bridge that connected to a modern Expressway. To prevent accidents, one of the players in the group would have to act as a lookout to see if there were any oncoming vehicles before the others would hit their shot over the road.
By the 1950’s it was quite apparent that the days of hitting golf shots over public thoroughfares were coming to an end. In 1953, Fred Purcell was hired to be the golf pro at the club and with the unconditional support of the board and membership at the time, a new nine-hole layout was planned. Through hard work and perseverance, Fred completed the job so that it was ready for Opening Day 1961. In the late 1990’s the course was expanded and modernized to its current state with Golf Course Architect Steve Ward skillfully weaving in nine new holes to create the feel and challenge that we experience today.
The Club Championship has been ongoing for decades, almost since the inception of the club in 1907. The original trophy was donated by HB Bristol, the proprietor of one of Picton’s most distinguished department stores in the 1930’s. The current trophy is appropriately named in honor of Fred Purcell and has been awarded since 1976.
The list of champions is long and distinguished. A few stand out; Donna Walby, ladies champion 18 times; Leo St Denis who won the men’s championship nine times over 31 years in four decades and Lou Garrison, who won three times and then turned pro on the Senior Tour. Lou won the Senior Canadian PGA Championship and moved on to the Senior British Open, shooting a 69 in the first round before losing to eventual champion Gary Player. Recent Women’s Champion, Casey Ward has had great success in some prestigious Canadian Amateur events. Last year’s Men’s Champion, James Pero comes from an accomplished local golfing family. James’ father, four-time club champion Mike Pero, had a distinguished NCAA All- American career at Miami of Ohio University before moving on to the pro tour. Mike currently helps out the club by running our Junior program.
In our one hundredth and tenth season, it’s worthwhile to consider those who have come before us and through their efforts have built the reputation of golf in the County. Many of the older members are only too willing to share anecdotes of their proud memories of the club and the good times that have endured throughout the years.
In just another week, we will have our chance to add to Picton’s golfing lore. Make your presence felt and add to our heritage by participating in, or witnessing, our 2016 Club Championship. Please sign up in the Pro Shop or on the sheets posted on the Men's and Women's bulletin boards.
As we celebrate our championship weekend, let’s all raise a glass on the deck in spirit to the grand history of this venerable club. Join us in remembering those who came before and cheer the new champions that will carry our proud traditions of sportsmanship and fun into the future.
Countdown to the Summer’s End Golf Day & BBQ…….
Only 8 days left to register – deadline is Sunday August 14th and spots are filling up fast. Register your 2-Person team at the Pro Shop soon. Don’t miss out.
The Eric Reynolds Summer’s End Golf Day & BBQ is Sunday August 28th
1pm shotgun start.
Just $40 for members and $75 for non-members.
Everyone welcome - No handicap required.
This 2-person fun team event will consist of 6 holes SCRAMBLE format, then 6 holes BETTER BALL format, and the final 6 holes ALTERNATE SHOT format.
This Fun, Friendly, Great Golf Day finishes with some wonderful prizes & a delicious BBQ! Click here for more details.
Need more information on what's happening at The Club?
Click to visit our website, www.pictongolf.ca
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Picton Golf & Country Club
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