Fairview Mountain Golf Club celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2000 and the course is one of the top public facilities in Canada. But it was not always so.
Back in 1926, the Minister of Lands presented Sandy McPherson and a number of other locals with two hundred upslope acres below the old Fairview mining camp, which previously had been the domain of range horses, cows, coyotes, bears and snakes. Originally called the Oliver Golf and Country Club, its gullies and gulches were transformed into nine holes as the early members fashioned the wasteland for their own sporting pursuits.
As one person recalls, “The people wanted a course, but no one had any money. The entire project was done with volunteer labour and nine members volunteered to keep the course in shape. We smoothed those sand greens with an improvised broom fashioned from bits of carpet tacked on to a stick. And because we had no water, the ground was like iron in the dry years, so it was almost impossible to sink a tee.”
In 1949, sufficient funds were raised to construct a clubhouse. In 1970, an irrigation system was installed as volunteers laid hundreds of feet of pipe and, for the first time in its history, the club gained grass greens and fairways! In 1985, after 60 years as a nine-hole course, the club proposed a five-year plan to turn it into an 18-holer. The course was reconfigured slightly, an extra nine holes and a driving range were added, plus the clubhouse was renovated, thanks in part to a provincial grant which covered a third of the cost.
Fairview Mountain as it is in the new millennium is mountain golf at its finest, offering dramatic elevation changes, generous, open valley holes along with some tight, tree-lined classics. The 4th, a 497-yard par four, drops 75 feet from tee to green with out of bounds on the right, so keep to the left of the fairway for safety. The 5th, a 615-yard par five, then rises 80 feet from tee to green so take a club extra for the approach shot.
Played it again this summer. Truly a great course. No weak holes. Always in great shape. Tons of high value shots and the greens were rolling beautifully as always. Only downside is that in the heat it is a very challenging walk.