It’s not going to be the next Augusta National, but Squamish developer Doug Day promises it’ll be cheap and natural.
With no development moving forward and the District of Squamish mute on a proposal for a donated park, in March, Day is opening a nine-hole “bush golf” course on the southern portion of the former Garibaldi Springs Golf Course.
Two years ago, the council of the day put the brakes on Townline Ventures Squamish’s Ltd.’s proposal to rezone portions of the 18-hole golf course into 180 small lots, leaving 80.6 acres to the community as park.
With the development dead in the water, Day has been coughing up cash to maintain the grounds. At $14.99 a round, he hopes to cover the cost of cutting the grass.
“The greens won’t be manicured,” Day said, noting that means no fertilizer or watering. “The main thing is that people that are interested in getting into golf can go out there. If they want to practice their putting skills, they can go somewhere else.”
The operation will be run out of a kiosk adjacent to the former clubhouse. It will be a walking-only course, with people either carrying their clubs or using hand carts, Day said. He plans to leave the course open almost year-round, closing the holes only when there’s snow on the ground.
If the project isn’t feasible, Day will have to close it down, he noted. One thing is certain: The property will not return to its intended use as an 18-hole golf course, he said. Economically it doesn’t work, Day said, noting the last owner lost approximately $800,000 on the business.
All golf courses help the industry, Squamish Valley Golf Club general manager Brian Avey said.
“Any time you can get more people exposed to the sport, the better,” he said.
What Day plans to operate is very different to a normal, manicured course, Avey said. The greens won’t be what golfers are used to, but such an operation may be a good venue for juniors trying the game out, he said.
“It’s a different demographic,” Avey noted.
Jared Sissons, Executive Suites Hotel and Resorts manager, said it’s too early to comment on the proposal. Resort officials would have to know the exact details of the project before they could promote it, he noted.