Fore!  Score and no parking on the green area

Fore! Score and no parking on the green area

Golf is an opportunity for participants to meet and socialize while feeling happy and frustrated around the same time. It is a game subject to many rules, many of which are unwritten and revolve around etiquette towards others who enjoy the game.

Having said that, do you remember the time one of these unwritten rules sparked controversy in the letter to the local newspaper’s editorial column?

In July of 1980, a newcomer to golf decided to take part in a round of golf with a few friends, when they inadvertently made what is considered a “spurious mistake” in the golf world – they drove their buggy onto the green.

The writer of this letter received what he called a “blast” from a veteran golfer about the folly that was committed. Concerned by the situation, the author wrote a cautionary tale for other newcomers to help them avoid a similar welcome.

A letter to an editor’s column that was supposed to warn fellow newcomers to the sport about an unwritten rule was met with rebuttal a few days later. He urged people to “be familiar with the basic rules and etiquette for a particular sport” (Salt Star, July 22, 1980).

The letter expressed support for the response imposed by the veteran golfer on the newcomer, given “the time and expense involved in getting a golf course in good condition” (Salt Star, July 22, 1980), being more extensive than the maintenance of other golf courses. Sports facilities. Which was definitely a comment on the previous author’s joking “Tennis, anyone?” To finish submitting to the editor.

Golf courses are demanding not only for maintenance but also for development and implementation.

Our town’s original track, The Sault Ste. Mary’s Golf Club was conceived in early 1919. The committee involved in selecting a venue for the city’s first golf course narrowed it down to two locations.

The first was at Moore’s Point, which was examined by the participants, and demonstrated that the course “is possible to prepare … with makeshift greens” (Sault Star, May 28, 1919, p. 1). He was seen as a ‘perfect model [location]of good sandy formation, which [would] Allow play at all times” (Salt Star, May 28, 1919, 1).

However, many elements had to be considered before the committee could proceed with the project. It is estimated that the club would have cost $20,000, and despite proper routes to potential golfers to be transported to the venue, improvements may have to be made to accommodate future club members.

In the end, the organizers enlisted the advice of Mr. Cummings, an expert in course development, to give his opinion. If you play golf in Sault Ste. Mary Country Club, Mr. Cummings apparently “approved of … Wilson’s property on the waterfront in the eastern part of town, and said he had no hesitation in recommending it a local first-class outpost” (Salt Star, June 19), 1919, p. 1).

The site we know today has the same “sandy nature”, however, the Queen Street site offers more diverse terrain, wooded areas, and member access to the path through the water.

Soon after Mr. Cummings approved the property, it was purchased by investors after negotiations were postponed to ascertain whether club members would be able to “secure the water cut” (Sault Star, July 4, 1919, p. 1), adjacent to the course itself.

After completing the purchase, the above mentioned golf expert visited in order to plan and present the scheme of the course itself.

Fast forward to April of the following year, membership nearing two hundred years, and Cummings recommended Pat McCormack, who oversaw course construction, to be president in the inaugural season.

It seems as if there is a lot that goes into developing golf courses as seen on the April 13, 1920, article titled A Golf Club Begins with a Good Course.

“A great deal of draining and clearing had to be done, including deepening and widening the creek that meanders through the property,” the article’s author wrote.

The development of any golf course requires a great deal of effort, which does not end after it is opened to its members. It takes, in this case, that McCormack and his lieutenants maintain the integrity of the course for golf enthusiasts.

Fortunately, Salt City. Marie has four golf courses to enjoy during the limited summer season, including the aforementioned Sault Ste. Mary’s Golf Club, Crimson Ridge, Silver Creek and Root River Golf Club.

Anyone for a round of golf? We’ll just have to make sure our wagon doesn’t park on the green.

Every week, Sault Ste falls. Mary’s Public Library and Archives provides SooToday readers with a glimpse into the city’s past.

Find out more about what the public library has to offer at and find more Do you remember this? columns here.

2022-06-06 12:00:00

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