It’s not often that you write an obituary for a golf course, only for it to come back from the “dead” several years later. But here we are.
In 2019 we shared the news that after more than eight decades of operations that the Norway Bay Golf Course in Bristol, Quebec would close permanently. While correct at the time, that statement is now proven false as the course re-opens this weekend (Saturday, May 21) under new ownership and vision. A circumstance that is likely to delight area residents in the Pontiac as well as those in golf architecture circles who appreciate the vaunted roots of the golf course.
To understand the significance of these news, one must understand the history of the golf course at Norway Bay GC and it’s unique place in the golf world. The charming tale of a family’s efforts to establish a business and the circumstances that brought what would become a few of the leading golf architects in the world to their doorstep is a considerable one. You can read all the details here in a previous profile we published on the property.
Now though, the important thing is a new chapter in what most figured was a book that was closed forever.
The golf course name remains, but it will be now part of a new business venture, ASTRA Estates. Under the ownership of John Edelman and Jodi Armstrong, the venture will include the ASTRA Café, ASTRA Driving Range, ASTRA Convenience Store, and ASTRA Event Centre.
The goal with the project, according to Edelman and Armstrong, is to drive tourism to the region (Armstrong is originally from nearby Shawville) and to help support the community with more services.
As for the distinctive name choice, the entrepreneurs commented, “The name came about in a few different ways. Some of you may know that Astra is Latin for stars. One of the first things we noticed when we came to the area was the difference between the sky in the city and the sky in the country. We could actually see stars, and they were breathtaking!
In addition, it was important to us to pay respect to co-owner John Edelman’s military career and to those that have served our country both at home and abroad. The original Royal Canadian Air Force motto is Per Ardua ad Astra; (translation)- Through Adversity to the Stars.“
In supplement to the nine hole golf course and the driving range, ASTRA ESTATES now includes a convenience store. Their 6000 square foot facility encompasses a café with seating for 42 people indoors and an additional 90 people on the newly renovated covered patio. Above that is the event centre that overlooks the golf course through panoramic windows and via a wrap-around balcony, and can host up to 150 people.
Says Armstrong in a release to the media, “For many, this will always be the Norway Bay Golf Course…and we will ensure that the history of this amazing place is preserved…but maybe, just maybe people will also see this as a new beginning.”