It was in 1913 when a group of local sports enthusiasts came together to discuss the possibility of Penticton having its own golf course.
Nine years later, their dream came true when the Penticton Golf and Country Club was officially formed. And on Saturday, June 11, the course’s century-long relationship with the community was celebrated with a historic birthday party.
“I want to thank everyone who has participated in all of the events that have taken place at this golf club and the millions that they have raised for charity,” Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said in front of the club’s members.
Among the groups to get behind the club in its early days was the Kettle Valley Railway, who insisted that the creation of the course would attract more tourists to the South Okanagan.
It’s those stories from the early 1900s that Guy Dow wanted to acknowledge at the club’s 100th birthday party on Saturday.
“They were thinking about bringing tourists here over 100 years ago and I think it’s just fabulous that we can all be here and celebrate today,” the course’s general manager said.
“Definitely the longevity of the course makes me proud but also the community spirit that we’ve seen for so long.”
Dow has managed the Penticton course since 2016. Before that, though, he was a member for over 25 years.
The same can be said about Penticton councillor Campbell Watt, who also proudly calls himself a member of the club.
“This golf club is a community,” Watt said. “I can say that I’ve learned so much from those I’ve met here…respect, responsibility and community. Those lessons have never left me and continue to guide me today.”
Members and the public alike were invited to take part in the festivities, with food and brewery tents set up behind the course’s pro shop.
Course photos from the last 100 years were posted both inside and outside of the club to mark the occasion.
The club will also take part in a simultaneous golf event on June 16 in recognition of the other courses around Canada that are celebrating 100 years of operation in 2022.