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Season opening at golf course
Inuvik Golf Association hopes for large turnout at Sunday event, plans for three more holes by next year

Laura Busch
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 14, 2012

INUVIK
While the hardiest of golfers have been out swinging their clubs for a few weeks already, the Inuvik golf course is officially opening for the season this Sunday, just in time for Father's Day.

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Allison Ross, 7, hits a golf ball at the golf course Monday night. - Laura Busch/NNSL photos

Dads, other golf enthusiasts and anyone else looking to spend an afternoon outside are welcome to check out the event, which has an open house set to begin at 2 p.m. and a Dad's and 'other' tournament scheduled to tee off at 4 p.m., said Conrad Baetz, president of the Inuvik Golf Association.

"We're trying to build golf in Inuvik," Baetz told Inuvik Drum. "We know there's lots of golfers, we're just trying to encourage them to come out."

Baetz said that he's hoping for good weather on Sunday that will encourage folks to head to the golf course, adding he is hoping for 50 to 100 participants. As if to prove that this event has a target audience in Inuvik, Wayne Gordon was at the golf course Monday evening with his seven-year-old granddaughter Allison Ross an activity Gordon says the pair have taken part in at least a couple times per week during the summer for the past five years.

"We're not really good golfers, but it's fun," Gordon told Inuvik Drum. "We just come out to spend time together."

The golf course project has been in the works for about 12 years, said Baetz. It started as an area to shoot balls around, developed a fairway, a driving range, and last season opened three holes officially for the first time.

These three holes are scheduled to be the only course area open this year, though Baetz said the short-term goal is to have three more holes completed by the fall for use next year.

Since the golf course is run by a not-for-profit group, the Inuvik Golf Association, it relies heavily on donations of funding, equipment, and labour to make the course possible.

Volunteers run the club house, which is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., said Baetz. The club sells buckets or pyramids of balls for golfers to shoot at the driving range, and lends or rents clubs for use either on the course or the driving range.

For golfers looking to take advantage of the midnight sun, the golf course is officially open 24/7. However, golfers are required to provide their own equipment and clear their own balls off the driving range when there are no volunteers on site.

"It's really community co-operation that has allowed the golf course to exist and get to where it is today," said Baetz. "Now we're hoping to do a little bit better at getting people down there and showing them what we have."

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