Golf season returns

Markham golf clubs looking fore-ward to season of golf

After a winter in the rough, the green is finally here, which means golfers can tee up at a variety of local golf courses. It was a late start for the season, but most of Markham’s and York Region’s clubs for Canada’s most played sport opened to the public between mid-April and early May.

For Bushwood Golf Club, the Reesor Rd. course whose name is inspired by the course at the centre of the 1980 Bill Murray film, Caddyshack, even a delayed spring was still welcome.

“I think last year the ice storm just put people in a bad mood and we had really tough conditions, but this year, with the extreme cold, the courses are still opening in great condition, so I think people are eager, happy and really ready to get out here,” said Mary Evelyn, managing director of Bushwood Golf Club.

This sentiment was echoed by Tammy Secko, Angus Glen Golf Club’s director of marketing.

“After a long winter, it certainly gets people riled up for golf,” she said. “Our South Course is looking really beautiful, and the grand opening of that course is this year, so we’re pretty excited about that.”

The club’s south course will play host to golf events for this summer’s Pan Am games. This season also marks the 20th anniversary of the Kennedy Rd. golf club and conference centre.

“There’s a lot going on in 2015,” said Secko, adding that numerous upgrades, including the opening of Canada’s first Nike Pro Shop at the club have gone into preparations for the games and long-term goals for Angus Glen.

Bushwood has also been looking forward with some changes for this year.

Days before Bushwood opened, the club’s new fleet of “fabulous,” energy-efficient 2015 golf carts arrived from Augusta, Ga., the first fleet upgrade in seven years.

Other refreshes at the course include new tee decks for private lessons and the club’s driving range.

A change about which Evelyn is particularly proud is the introduction of the club’s new superintendant, Leasha Schwab, an appointment that has secured an all-women management team at Bushwood.

Schwab replaced the former superintendent, who took a job in North Bay.

“Our service manager is female, (Schwab) is female, I’m female, our bookkeeper/accountant is female, and we have a female teaching pro. We’re full-fledged female management, so look out,” joked Evelyn. “I’ve grown up in a man’s world, but let me tell you, I’m going to get shot by the guys in my industry, but you get a lot more attention to detail (with female management.)”

Evelyn’s fun-loving attitude towards golf is what she says sets Bushwood apart from a lot of other similar clubs.

“We’re a fun golf course,” she said. “We’re not big on rules. We really let people have a lot of fun. We encourage people to kind of step back from traditional golf. Golf is changing in trying to attract younger golfers. It’s a very relaxed, homey atmosphere here.”