But Ernie Funston’s dream could not have shone brighter than it did on July 27, when the club celebrated its 40th anniversary with a round of golf commemorating the event.
Information provided by the club states Mr. Funston saw the need for this recreational facility in 1969, so he engaged 100 people to donate $100 to start up the course.
He obtained the piece of land that is now the golf course, borrowed equipment from the Ministry of Transport, and rallied volunteers.
With a tireless effort, a three-hole course was opened in 1971.
With basically the same volunteers, an additional three-holes were added in 1973.
In 1976 Mr. Funston was killed in an aircraft accident. Because of his dedication to the course, and mourning the loss of a friend, the club decided to add three additional holes, to make it a nine-hole course – naming them Funston Fairways.
Keith Penny was a founding member of the club, and he remembers the early days well.
Mr. Penny said once it was established that the project would go ahead, Mr. Funston obtained land from the Ministry of Transport to build on.
Clearing the land wasn’t the easiest task. Where yard upon yard of grass fairways and greens now lay, Mr. Penny remembers low growing brush, small birch and willows.
He said everyday there would be a number of volunteers working equipment and clearing land.
“To pull something out of Labrador land like this, it’s something else." - Keith Penny, found member of the Amaruk Golf Club
All the work was done with dedication.
Through it all, Mr. Penny said the wives of the volunteers deserve the biggest plaque.
“They must have sworn on this place over and over again because this is where we would come after work,” he said.
Eventually the work was done. It might not have been to standard with the PGA, but it was theirs.
“The original three-hole fairways and greens were sand. The biggest job was trying to get the seed to take in the sand,” he said.
Mr. Penny said there was a lot of digging up ground and a hit or miss when it came to getting the seed to grow.
“It took a lot of experience and a lot of seed, but eventually it got done,” he said.
Although Mr. Penny no longer resides in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, he returns every year, and makes sure he gets at least one round in on the course.
He still can’t believe the transformation the course has taken over the years.
“To pull something out of Labrador land like this, it’s something else,” he said.