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Popular Lake Country golf course set to permanently close

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Popular Lake Country golf course set to close permanently
It's the last weekend for a popular golf course in Lake Country as it gets set to close permanently. Jules Knox reports – Oct 28, 2018

Golfers in Lake Country are teeing up at the Aspen Grove Golf Course for the last time.

“There’s a bit of a hollow in the community, and in my life, if this golf course is not here,” golfer Richard Issler said.

“It’s a unique course. It’s very challenging for people of all ages,” he added. “The heart has been ripped out of the community.”

The golf course was sold to School District 23, which plans to use the land for soccer fields.

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“A huge part of my life is going to be gone,” golfer John Hall said. “I come here almost every day, so for 30 years, it’s been a fixture in my life, and now it’s going to be gone. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.”

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Hall said it is the perfect course for those who are retired.

“It’s cheap, it’s easy to walk, it’s close and it doesn’t take too long,” he said.

Golfers said many laughs have been shared, and many memories have been made on the course.

“My children learned how to golf here. I taught my wife how to golf here, and I’ve got many great memories of the men’s nights here,” said golfer Jim Siegmann. “It used to be one of the best men’s nights in the valley.”

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Issler collected more than 700 signatures in a petition supporting the golf course, which he said is a money-making business.

He also presented the school district a proposal to turn the property into a multi-purpose facility with soccer fields and a golf course.

“They could offer horticulture classes to the students to maintain the golf course, and they could open up the restaurant and offer food service or business management classes,” he said.

Other options include finding alternative land for the soccer fields or keeping part of the property as a six-hole course, he added.

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“Golf courses have traditionally been quite big and expensive and time-consuming to go play, and the golf association of the United States has recognized that we’re losing people because we’re out-pricing ourselves, so they’re now downsizing with the ‘Just Play 9’ initiative,” Issler said.

“The school district and Lake Country could get on the front edge of that curve,” he added.

The original intention when the land was purchased was for playing fields and possibly an agriculture program for secondary students, superintendent Kevin Kardaal said in a statement.

“The planning and facilities committee was not in favour of the of the six-hole golf course option and wished to explore options that were proposed by District Municipality of Lake Country,” he said.

“The planning and facilities committee is willing to hear a presentation from proponents of the six hole golf course option,” he added.

The Board of Education has not made any final decisions yet, he said.

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