Grand opening of Manitoulin Golf draws packed house for celebration

A celebration and fish fry for the grand opening of Manitoulin Golf in Gordon/Barrie Island was held this past Saturday evening. Employees of Manitoulin Golf are displaying the new course maintenance equipment that was bought this year by the course’s new owner, Manitoulin Transport. From left is Karly Newton, Scott McDougall, Merv Lewis, Nat. Pearson, Cheryl Deeg, Stephanie Carlisle, Brenda Pakkala, Myrna Thomas, Dave Carr and Arthur Pummell.

GORDON-BARRIE ISLAND – A celebration of the grand opening of Manitoulin Golf, which coincided with the annual fish fry, saw the course clubhouse packed with patrons this past Saturday evening. 

“Good evening and welcome to our official grand opening for Manitoulin Golf, and our annual fish fry dinner,” Scott McDougall, general manager of the club, told the packed clubhouse. “As you all know, the club (formerly Manitoulin Island Country Club) changed ownership (with Manitoulin Transport purchasing the club and also changing the name of the course).”

“The current owners not only recognize this operation is an important tourist attraction, but is an important asset to the area,” explained Mr. McDougall. “Having this facility here is for the better good of everyone in terms of providing recreational and fitness opportunities, and they have made a significant investment with the purchase of new course maintenance equipment and upgrades to the clubhouse in the form of new air conditioning in the dining room area, new lighting and painting the walls. And there are also more projects planned to provide for having this golf course around over the long term and for the benefit of all ages in the future.”

“I also want to mention that we now have a large selection of good rental clubs available for the beginner golfer,” said Mr. McDougall.

He pointed out as well, Bert Woestenenk had dragged the ski trails this winter and noted that it is the hard work of volunteers that provide this additional recreational feature at the venue. “We are looking for anyone who is interested in taking over the leadership and coordination of the ski trails.”

“Next year’s annual fish fry dinner will double as the 40th anniversary of the golf club,” said Mr. McDougall. “We will be commemorating this anniversary with many events and activities. Art and Jane Pummell have collected many photos and news clippings over the years, and Tom Sasvari has indicated he is going to be putting a book together on the history of the club. If anyone has any pictures, stories or statistics they can share for this and the anniversary that would be very much appreciated.”

The club has a new website, manitoulingolf.com, said Mr. McDougall.

“We would like to say thank you to everyone who came out tonight for our dinner, and hope that you enjoyed the entertainment with music provided by Peter Nelson here this evening,” continued Mr. McDougall. “Any many thanks to Drew (Purvis) and his son Nick for cooking the fish here tonight and Myrna Thomas (clubhouse manager) and the serving staff, who always do a great job.” 

“This event here tonight didn’t have anything to do with actually golfing today, but we would like to recognize the course maintenance crew, led by Dave Carr (course superintendent); the course looks great,” continued Mr. McDougall. “I would also like to recognize Gary Tipper and John Gordon who have been doing a little extra volunteer work this season.”

After the fantastic meal, several prizes were drawn off that had been donated by J.D.’s Gardens, Maple Ridge Farms, The Inn at Gore Bay, Occasions and Manitoulin Golf.

The sale of the Manitoulin Island Country Club to Manitoulin Transport officially took place November 30, 2018.