Revelstoke Golf Club looks to future

Revelstoke Golf Club open for summer; planning for future with several possibilities.

From left: Ben Doyle

From left: Ben Doyle

The Revelstoke Golf Club is planning for a future that could see the course taken over by a private company or stay in the hands of its members.

The City of Revelstoke and the club are preparing to issue a request for proposals to see if any private companies are interested in taking over the club’s operations.

If that doesn’t work out, they are also working on a five-year strategic plan that would lay out ways to move forward and address issues — such as the future of the clubhouse.

“We’ll see if we can get any bids, and if not it will be status quo and run by the golf club as it’s been for the past 90 years,” said Dean Jackson, the club’s golf pro.

The golf course opened last Wednesday, Apr. 20, on a sunny day, and members were coming and going from the shop as I talked to Jackson about what’s happening this season and in the future.

Jackson said they delayed the opening in order to ensure the course was “in the top shape the Revelstoke golfers are used to.”

On the 18-hole course, there are few changes.

The club has a new superintendent this year, Franz Unterberger (who is of no relation to the Revelstoke Unterberger family.) They will working on top dressing the fairways this year and three greens got new sod.

The club is continuing with its usual array of special events. Tuesday is ladies day and Wednesday is men’s day. The Senior’s Open returns and the Labour Day Classic is back for the 86th time. It’s the longest running open amateur tournament in the province.

A junior camp takes place July 4–7. The club has hired Chance Beardsworth as an assistant pro this year to give youth lessons.

The club is also looking at hosting several local days, where a round of golf and lessons will be $10 each. It’s modelled on the local days run by Revelstoke Mountain Resort this past winter. “I thought it was a phenomenal idea what they did,” said Jackson.

Off the course, the club is working to resolve outstanding issues and are simultaneously looking for an investor to take it over, while crafting their own five-year plan if it remains in the hands of the club.

The terms of the RFP have not been made public yet and need to be approved by council before it goes out, said Alan Mason, the city’s director of economic development.

Meanwhile, the club is looking at plans for the course’s various buildings and facilities, which are in need of replacement.

“We’re working with Selkirk Planning & Design to create a vision of the property – every building on site – for the long-term plan of the facility, which is pretty exciting,” said Jackson.

Notably, the future of the clubhouse is a big question mark. Jackson said they are considering taking a page out of the proposal by Citrus Capital, the venture capital firm that looked at taking over the club last year, and building a new clubhouse by the river.

“That would let us open up for weddings and host conferences,” he said.