The game of golf was introduced to our area of Cobalt and Haileybury, when a charter was issued in July 1921 and the name of The Haileybury Golf Club Limited was established. The land on which the club currently exists was identified, and with the financial help provided by a successful prospector W.H. Wright, land was prepared and adapted using the natural hazards, rolling hills and exquisite panoramic views to construct a nine hole course.
The closest courses were in Renfrew and not too many residents knew the rules or technique of the game, but with the help of Eric Blackwell, a proficient golfer, both the course and the members benefited from his experience.
Playing the game was the priority. Course management was secondary in these early days. While our club now maintains the course with modern greens keeping equipment, it was not unusual in 1922 for a flock of sheep to be seen doing this very task.
Resident membership was limited to the shareholders of the club living within 10 miles of the property. If one owned more than one share you were able to nominate playing members on those extra shares. Non resident membership attracted miners and business people from the region, and soon the numbers reached over 100. An old shed on the property was used by the lady members for their Wednesday teas, which was subsequently moved closer to our current clubhouse to house greens keeping equipment. New accommodations were deemed necessary, and plans for the new clubhouse were passed and built in 1926, and the facility was officially opened with a formal invitational dance. Weekly dances were subsequently held at a cost of $1.00 per couple. The orchestra for the evening cost $5.00. Other clubs were springing up within the region, in Timmins, Cochrane, North Bay and the like, and soon inter -lub matches were organized, with the forming of the Northern Ontario Golf Association. In 1926 Haileybury was the site of the first N.O.G.A tournament.
By 1930 there were great changes to the membership. The closing of the mines in Cobalt, and of course the great depression took its toll on the membership and the conditions of becoming a member, based on your shareholding were relaxed, as a “temporary condition.”
It wasn’t until years later that the actual by- law was amended to formalize this reversal.
All photographs courtesy of and copywritten to The Haileybury Heritage Museum.