Sports

Prince Rupert Golf Club preparing for year of transition

After being hit hard by the departure of ex-president Dave Tough and the retirement of club pro Moe Hays and Pro Shop manager Pam Hays, the Prince Rupert Golf Club is on the rebound for their 2014 season.

Operating with a $25,538 loss from last year and a leaky roof to deal with, the club is treading new ground.

"It's a transition year for us," said general manager Judy Fraser last week.

"We're certainly hoping to increase membership, but the support from our (current) members has been really good as far as paying early. It's a real learning curve."

As of last weekend, the club had 84 members signed up for the season, down from 163 last year. But the Prince Rupert Golf Society, the new operators of the club, have a plan. The signs are there for a rejuvenation, says Fraser, including a financial contract with the City.

"We had a very good meeting with them last Friday. The executive made a presentation and it was well-received by councillors so we expect to have an agreement shortly. I think the next meeting is April 14, so we expect to have that signed shortly after that," she said.

The roof will cost approximately $20,000 to fix. Fraser said the club is setting up a donation account with the city and contributors can claim a tax receipt for their generosity.

The society, made up of the members of the club and an executive committee headed by president Fred Hainstock, bought some Pro Shop stock from Hays' sellout last year, including balls, tees, gloves and other paraphernalia.

To attract more youth members to the greens, the club has lowered the yearly cost to approximately $100 for 15-and-under members and are offering two-for-one green fees on Mondays and ladies nights to get women who don't normally hit the links to get out and try their hand at it.

With February's Fundraising Dinner and Loonie Auction, organized by Fraser, the club raised close to $9,000 from items such as jewellery, suitcases, driving passes, plane trips and boxing and fitness lessons. The general manager is already seeing some growth outside Prince Rupert's borders as well.

"We've definitely had a lot of calls from out of town like Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers," explained Fraser.

"Their courses aren't open so they're all chomping at the bit to get golfing."

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