Hope Golf Club member Dennis Nam blasts his way out of the bunker on a pleasant winter day at the local course. The club's annual meeting is Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the downstairs lounge.

No rest for Hope golf enthusiasts

While the rest of Canada has had its fair share of winter weather, the ‘wet’ coast has largely been spared of the seasonal white stuff... meaning some local golfers haven’t had much rest since last fall.

By Barry Stewart The Hope Standard While the rest of Canada has had its fair share of winter weather, the ‘wet’ coast has largely been spared of the seasonal white stuff… meaning some local golfers haven’t had much rest since last fall. The Hope Golf Club pro shop is closed but the course is open for all comers. Non-members are expected to work on the honour system and pay a $15 fee for the day, $20 on weekends. “I’d say we’ve only lost a couple of weeks due to snow,” said long-time golfer and club treasurer, Larry Ortis. “There have been up to a dozen golfers that will come out at 1:00 p.m. every day on the weekdays — and the weekends pick up a bit. It’s all members, though, very few walk-ons. “Even if it’s raining, they’ll still be out there.” Snow and rain aside, frost can be a concern, as waking on frozen grass can damage it, said Ortis. “We don’t use the regular greens when there’s frost — and we’re using temporary tee boxes, to prevent wear and tear — but the frost is usually burned off by 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning.” One of the regular golfers is Glenn Henry, who moved to Hope with his wife Barbara in 1995. They came as non-golfers and got converted. Glenn was the first to pick up the sport that has become more like a lifestyle for the couple. “We were walking around town and thought ‘What a beautiful place,” said Glenn. “We came to see the golf course and Barbara said ‘You can’t walk the dog around here — so just go buy some clubs.” And that was it. Now Glenn is part of the regulars, who don’t rest their clubs when the weather turns a little wet or chilly. “I just like to get out for the exercise,” said Glenn. “It’s only a few that are dedicated all-weather golfers, though, probably only about one per cent.” As well as the exercise component of golfing, Glenn emphasized the social aspect. “When we moved to Hope, we didn’t know a soul. Directly after I joined the golf club, we got to know people. “There’s a wonderful gentleman that I golf with and his wife died a few years ago. It helped him tremendously that he had all of his friends at the golf club. It was a great support to him.” At roughly 35 per cent of the membership, the seniors are a major demographic in the local club — but the Korean community is close behind. Dennis Nam, of the Heritage Inn Motel, figures about 20 per cent of the local golf club members are of Korean descent. Ortis thinks it may be a bit more. Nam and a handful of local Korean businessmen have also been out on the course through the winter, though not every day. “If the ground situation is good and it’s not raining, we try to get out at least once a week,” said Nam, who has lived in Hope for five years and in Canada for 11. “Golfing in Korea is more expensive than here,” he added. “There are lots of courses there. Korea is world-famous for golf — night-time golf too.” The club’s annual meeting will be on Friday, February 25, at 7:00. Due to upstairs renovations, the meeting will be held downstairs. “It will be a wine and cheese event and we’ll go over the financials,” said Ortis, who figured there are 100 to 120 members paying annual green fees. “The fee structure will also be looked at,” said Ortis. “Last year, the adult annual green fee rate was $975. We’re in negotiations with some people to run the course next year as well. “It will all be up to the meeting.”

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