Inuvik’s Roads End Golf Club will improve its driving range and begin work on an expansion to nine holes with $20,000 in territorial government funding.
An entrepreneur support grant from the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment will pay to replace damaged driving-range netting, a range of behind-the-scenes improvements, and initial work on three new holes.
Currently, the course – billed as Canada’s most northerly grass-based golf club (others, such as Ulukhaktok, rely on artificial greens and matting) – has six holes.
“Our driving-range mesh is all tattered and torn from the weather,” said the club’s interim president, Steve Krug. “Those panels are pretty expensive, they are each 51 feet across by 30 feet high.
“We’re hopefully going to spend some of [the money] and rough-cut another three holes,” he added.
“They’re not going to have grass. We’re going to try to get them roughed in so that by this time next year, we’re going to have nine holes.”
The course, on Inuvik’s eastern edge, extends toward bear country and provides the occasional challenge of on-course grizzlies. (Relief of one club-length is allowed.)
Tournaments can attract up to 75 players. On any given night, said Krug, around 25 players might be expected on-course. The club operates the town’s only licensed patio.
Additional improvements will include three new driving-range stalls plus improved IT facilities at the club, Wi-Fi, and security cameras.
While Inuvik’s ski club has closed following a lack of volunteers, Krug said community support has recovered at the golf course.
“It was a bit of a challenge but there are some younger people that are looking to explore volunteering,” he told Cabin Radio.
“We do have a few paid staff here that look after the maintenance, including one full-time. And there are a lot of mechanically inclined people when it comes to fixing a broken-down golf cart, building decks, driving quads.
“If one thing stands out, it’s the corporate support we get from local businesses. It’s definitely not unnoticed: anything from a propane tank to driving the grass cutter for a couple of hours.”
The investment was announced by industry minister Wally Schumann during a function at the golf club on the opening night of this year’s Arctic Development Expo, which is hosted by the Town of Inuvik.