Birchbank golf: New look on board

Pro Dennis Bradley commits, AGM adds four new board members.

The Birchbank Golf Course held its AGM last month with some new and familiar faces taking on added responsibility.

Club pro and director of golf Dennis Bradley will return with an extended five-year contract, while his wife Margo will assume the role of food and beverage manager.

“She has been working as a food and beverage manager at a course just outside of Calgary,” said course manager Kelly Rintoul. “She brings years of experience in the food and beverage business and the golf business.”

The management structure has changed slightly with Dennis taking on the role of director of golf operations in addition to club pro duties, Margo as food and beverage manager, Rintoul as business manager, and Greg Kennedy as course superintendent.

“The way we’ve done it is what use to be a General Manager has been divided between the two of us (Dennis and Rintoul),” she said. “A chunk of those responsibilities are  mine under the business manager and some of those are going to be Dennis’.”

Meanwhile the executive received four new members as Mark Brown, Bill Clark, Rob Drezdoff, and Ray Masleck were voted in by acclamation.

“I think we’ve got a really good mix,” said Rintoul. “They’ve got some really good business backgrounds. I think we’ve got a really strong board.”

It was a difficult season for golf courses last year, as heavy rain wiped out most of May and June, and it was no different for Birchbank.

“We had a really, really challenging year from a weather perspective. The golf business is also really challenging, and all of the courses, and not just in our area, are really struggling. The challenge is to get people out golfing, especially younger golfers.”

Rintoul and the executive are hoping to get young people involved by encouraging families to take up the game.

“One thing we’re really going to be doing is to work to target families,” she added. “In the old days, the husband would come out golfing Saturday morning and he didn’t really care, but now unless he can do something with his kids he’s not going to come out.”

So far the early-bird membership drive has proven very successful. Would-be-members were given until the end of October rather than January to purchase their memberships, and could pay it over a six-month payment plan.

“We got significantly more than we did last year, which is very positive.”