History Walk: Big Dreams Were Helped By Kanata Area Golf Club Members

Ben Babelowsky painting of original Kanata clubhouse

The Kanata Golf & Country Club, now owned and operated by ClubLink and located in the West end of Ottawa, Ontario, will be celebrating 50 years of operation in 2018.

Joe McLean and Ted Smale are presently researching the history of the Kanata Golf & Country Club from its start in 1968. Their goal is to produce a 50th Anniversary book on the Club in 2018.

The gentlemen passed on some tidbits from their research, resulting in this little tale.

CANADIAN GOLF FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS

When the Kanata Lakes Golf & Country Club was purchased by ClubLink in the fall of 2006, a change was made in the way the renamed “Kanata Golf & Country Club” was to be operated. Basically, all aspects of the Club including tournaments and social functions would be run by the ClubLink Directors of Operations and the golf professionals.

This new procedure meant the Club no longer required input from the Member’s Association Boards and Directors who had run the member’s activities from 1968 through 2006 in coordination with owners Teron, Campeau and Genstar Corporations.

The Member’s Association had accumulated $18,000 through the years (word has it that some of the proceeds may have been generated from a beer-dispensing pop machine) and the outgoing Board had to decide what to do with the funds. After a General Member’s Meeting where numerous suggestions were made for the funds about how the funds would be utilized, it was decided to create a Kanata Lakes Golf & Country Club Scholarship Fund with the Canadian Golf Foundation.

The Canadian Golf Foundation would select the recipient of the scholarship funds based on their criteria.

Among the recipients of Kanata Lakes Golf & Country Club Scholarship funds was then Carleton Golf & Yacht Club Member Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ontario, who went on to attend Campbell University in North Carolina. Brad would eventually turn professional and is now a member of the PGA TOUR.

Did Fritsch know the vending machine story? Turns out that answer is no. When we informed him this week his response was to be expected, “Ha! That’s funny.”

Another recipient of the Kanata members’ generosity was Jan Dowling from the Newmarket area. The Bradford Highlands member was the Canadian Women’s Amateur Champion in 2002 and would attend Kent State University in Ohio. Dowling is currently the Head Golf Coach for the Women’s Golf Team at the University of Michigan.

Little did they know it but a generous membership at one golf club, and a beer machine, helped them get to where they are today.