With a new club pro and the course set to open, the Rossland Trail Country Club at Birchbank is in fine shape to tee up its 90th year.
Despite one of the wettest March’s on record, the Birchbank course is coming around nicely and will open this Friday, as local golfers get ready to swing into another season.
Calgary native Denis Bradley is the fresh face in the pro position at the Birchbank course, bringing over 30 years experience, and a unique skill set that will add another dimension to the club.
“He (Bradley) brings some good experience that we haven’t necessarily had in this area,” said Birchbank manager Kelly Rintoul. “Dennis comes not only with the experience of a head pro, but also the custom fittings expertise that the area will benefit from.”
In the winter, Bradley spends his time in the southern USA custom fitting golfers for clubs, putters, wraps, and ball fittings for a variety of manufacturers from Ping to Taylor Made and Titleist. His knowledge is extensive and his connections with the best names in the game has already added Ping to the Birchbank pro shop and is looking forward to more.
“We’re going to have our demo-day the Wednesday after the May long weekend. We have all the manufacturers out here at Birchbank; Ping, Calloway, Taylor Made, Titleist, Bridgestone, we can do all custom ball fittings that way . . . that’s our biggest day,” said Bradley.
The scratch-golfer plays over 100 rounds of golf in the winter but reserves the summer for instruction and to help others improve their swing.
“You hit the ball and find it, it’s not that tough of a game – you put a white ball on the green and into a hole,” laughs Bradley.
Simple indeed for some, but for most, a few lessons won’t hurt.
“(There will be) lots of teaching, junior camps, junior clinics, I’ll do lots of stuff with them to get them involved and make sure people have the right products, equipment wise.”
The Rossland-Trail Country Club at Birchbank celebrates its 90th anniversary with events planned for the summer to recognize the milestone.
As far as course conditions go, according to course superintendent Greg Kennedy, the greens did experience some ice damage over the winter but he is confident that they will return to their excellent pre-winter conditions once spring weather conditions prevail.
“Greg’s done a great job for all the tough conditions,” said Bradley. “He’s brought the research, I mean he taught for years, so he knows what happens and its a big deal for us, and a big plus for the club to have him here.”
The driving range opened Tuesday and the course should be ready to go in time for the long weekend on Friday, said Rintoul.