LABRADOR WEST, N.L.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
A walk around the 18 holes of the Tamarack Golf club is the evidence of the hard work that’s been done to bring the club to where it is now, from the days when it opened in 1968.
The original course was located at what was then the edge of Labrador City, long before the Harrie Lake subdivision or the newest housing development in the area near Tobin’s convenience store.
There were close to 170 participants for the recent Merchants tournament and the many celebrations over the weekend of Aug. 11-12.
The celebration of 50 years began with a social on Aug. 10.
Through the evening old friends met up and stories were shared about the great times and camaraderie at Tamarack.
During the evening the Aurora got to speak with many in attendance.
Cluney Blandford said, “I remember golfing at Tamarack in 1967, that’s when there were only three holes finished.”
The club with nine holes opened at that location in 1968. Blandford continued golfing when Tamarack moved to its present location in 1973. It expanded to 18 holes in 1990.
Dennis Langdon, club treasurer, has been golfing for more than 40 years. He said the club is run by a committee and is volunteer heavy. They have more than 200 members, and an active junior program with 45 young golfers involved.
The course was built by the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC), and the clubhouse by Wabush Mines.
“We now have the mandate to take care of the facility and maintain it and promote it,” Langdon said. “The dedication of the volunteers and the community support helps make it such a viable club.”
During the evening, Labrador West MHA Graham Letto also commented that the dedication and support by Langdon was a tribute to the club’s success. The crowd rose to their feet and gave Langdon a rousing round of applause.
Langdon is quick to point out that Tamarack was chosen Golf club of the Year in 2013, and that two employees were also recognized by the Newfoundland and Labrador Golf Assocition.
Club manager Pat LaCour was named employee of the year in 2013 and Sally Snow received the same honour in 2017. Langdon says there are few facilities this far north that can match what Tamarack has to offer.
Those who were there for the tournament certainly agreed. There were many who returned for the 50th anniversary and those who return year after year for the masters.
Rocky Hodge, formerly of Labrador City, now lives in Orlando Florida. He says he started golfing when he was about 20 and moved to Halifax in 1993, then to Orlando.
He’s been coming back year after year.
“I know the course, the winds, the course is gorgeous, and of course I get to visit with family and friends. Here there is a passion for golf and the friendship is the icing on the cake,” he said.
Sean Flynn left the area in 1998 but now lives in Ottawa he’s been coming back for 25 years.
“It’s a good course and I get to visit family and friends, and enjoy the amazing hospitality and friends.”
Gary Jenkins and his son Tyler, who now live in Fredericton, N.B., and Robbie Parsons of Kingston, Ontario, nodded their heads in agreement.
Meanwhile many of the locals who have been golfing for years — among them Alf Parsons, Rocky White, Lise Boucher, Kay Blundon — heaped the praises on the club, the volunteers and the staff.
LaCour, the club manager, has been with Tamarack for 33 summers.
“There is a satisfaction working here, watching the progress of the club and the patrons, seeing the younger golfers in their junior program now here with their children, I should have kept a journal,” she says.
She says she was glad the club paid tribute on the weekend to the many who supported the club over th years, and recognized long time members Fred Blundon and Bob Wellon who passed this year. Wellon was known for donating a TV as a prize each year, and his family continued the tradition this year.
Alf Parsons, who's been golfing more than 40 years as well, says he takes pride at meeting up with golfers like Tyler Jenkins who was in the juniors program and who returned for the tournament.
The social evening ended with a chance to show a side of the club some in town may not know about. They have an amazing kitchen. They serve breakfast and lunch every day, and have Friday specials like cold plates, jiggs dinner, lasagna and many more mouth-watering temptations, and there is always good food for tournaments and banquets.
The overall winners of the two day Merchants were Al Pike of Tamarack Golf club of with a two day score of 148 and Kanani Davis of Amaruk Golf club of Happy Valley-Goose Bay with a two day score of 165.
While the big 50 celebrations are over there are still tournaments planned until the end of September. Full details can be seen at the clubs website www.tamarackgolfclub.ca. There’s still lots of time to golf and enjoy the food and hospitality, and be part of the 50th anniversary.