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Black Bear Ridge Founder & Designer Brian Magee Passes Away

The man behind the creation of the Black Bear Ridge Golf Course has passed away. The news came courtesy of the club on their social media (see message below) that their leader, Brian Magee, passed away peacefully on July 17th in the town where he elevated the level of many things, including golf – Belleville, Ontario.

A fine golfer in his own right, and once a regular competitor on the Golf Ontario circuit, since his Black Bear Ridge golf course opening in Belleville, ON opened about fifteen years ago, many every day golfers became acquainted with him.

Magee could often be seen sitting on the porch of their pro shop, and extended many invitations to those passing by to sit for a chat.

“My first memory of Brian was having an intense discussion about the difference between a golf club and golf course,” says Flagstick Associate Publisher Scott MacLeod. “After that we had a great rapport and enjoyed many conversations over the years on golf, business, photography, and much more.”

“He always mentioned that designing Black Bear Ridge made it a legacy for him, and I think it is fine one that shows a lot about his character. He was so proud of the work, and rightfully so. He had an appreciation for a lot of things in life and I know he will be missed. We extend our condolences to all his family, friends, and colleagues.”

— Notice from Black Bear Ridge on Mr. Magee’s Passing

We are very sad to announce the passing of our founder, golf course designer, friend, and boss. He was a true gentleman of the sport and his contributions in golf will live on for a long time. He had an affect on everyone he met, and he spent time with everyone who ventured up to visit the club. He will be missed by all the members, guests and staff and we thank him for giving us the opportunity to help make his dream come true. Rest in peace and swing easy.

Brian Robert Boyd Leger MAGEE (August 12, 1943 – July 17, 2020) Brian passed away gently on July 17th, 2020 in Belleville, ON. He was loved and will be deeply missed by his wife Susan, his two best accomplishments, children Brendan (Kelly Magee) and Diana (Jonathan Klinkhoff), and his grandson Jack.

He lived his life fully, filling it with days on the driving range and endless buckets of balls at Rosedale Golf Club, long hours on the Restigouche river battling Atlantic salmon in the “million-dollar pool”, hunting with friends and colleagues at Nicholson Island, and weeks under the Florida sun in Lost Tree Village. He was the proud designer and owner of award-winning Black Bear Ridge Golf Course (his second-best accomplishment). He had a vision for a beautiful parkland golf course, and he would have been delighted to see it continue being used and enjoyed. He was unfailingly generous to those around him and always quick to joke. We are forever thankful to his long-time assistant Anne Beers for her unflappable support of him throughout his career and during his failing health.

Thank you to Bill Kerr and Greg Fach for their tireless work in keeping the golf course as he had dreamed it. We also want to express our gratitude to the team of nurses, PSWs and physicians at the BSTU for the kindness and attentive care they provided in his last months. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Behavioural Support Transition Unit (BTSU) at the Belleville General Hospital (bghf.ca) or a charity of your choice would be appreciated. “It’s a good night for sleeping.”

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