Posted On: Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Stone Tree has announced plans to re-open its 18-hole golf course near Owen Sound.
The club has hired Bill Stewart as Director of Golf and General Manager and the goal is to get the course open by the spring of 2018. There is also a possibility of it opening in late August or early fall of 2017 if growing conditions are favourable.
Major work on the irrigation system and a complete rebuild of all 18 greens are among the challenges.
“It’s going to be a big challenge but I’m looking forward to it,” said Stewart, who has extensive experience in the golf industry, including 8 years as general manager of Lethbridge Country Club.
His plans for the course include making it more player friendly with wider fairways and tee boxes and shorter rough.
He also wants to create a welcoming environment for junior golfers and women and will set up a golf academy using the club’s driving range and practice area.
He is in the process of hiring a course superintendent, who would begin full-time work by March.
The club is also using a drone to film the course as it is now and then post updated drone videos on their website as work on the course progresses.
The course was closed in the fall of 2015 after the owners - Balnar Management - decided to sell the entire property, which includes a banquet and fitness facility and apartments to the north of the golf course.
The property was purchased on May 31 by local businessman Jeff Mundle and his wife Lane McMeekin then the golf course land, fitness centre and banquet facilities were sold to Lori Vulcanescu and Gordon Fawcett of Georgetown on July 29.
The Georgian Apartments were not part of the deal and remain under the ownership of Mundle and McMeekin.
The apartments are on an 8.2-acre site that consists of 52 bachelor units and 23 one-bedroom units.
When the property was sold to Mundle & McMeekin, a condition of that sale was that it would not be sold to a golf business or operator. However, the new owners say there are no legal issues preventing them from re-opening the course.