In March 2001, I waited anxiously for the first issue of Fairways to roll off the press. As you may recall, it was an oversized publication (15 ¾” x 11”) and contained lots of large images. Our focus was on golf in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding Southern Ontario region. Hockley Valley Resort was on the cover. I took that first issue to the Toronto Golf & Travel Show and gave them out to anyone that would take one. I may have even stuffed an issue or two into someone’s bag when they weren’t looking.
The reaction was very encouraging. A lot of, “What’s this?” but if they hung around long enough for an answer, most liked the concept and were more than happy to share their own views on everything golf. While that first show was intended as a launch for Fairways, it turned out to be a great learning experience for me too. I found out how passionate golfers are about the game, the courses they play and where they like to travel. I’ve been listening ever since.
Since that first issue, we’ve showcased hundreds of golf courses, local tournaments, travel destinations and new equipment; done interviews and profiles with amazing people; covered controversies both big and small; and seen dramatic changes in the golf industry. In twenty years we saw the decline of print and the emergence of the digital age; also, a major recession and now a pandemic. Tiger Woods has been the dominant player on the PGA Tour for most of that time.
It’s been an incredible journey and through it all we’re fortunate to have worked with great writers, awesome designers and wonderful partners. I’m not going to name them all now but over the course of the year, we’ll be highlighting some of their work and acknowledging their creative genius.
So, what’s next for Fairways Magazine?
Not sure if there’s another 20 years in me but more of the same hopefully and always a few new wrinkles. So far, it’s been a blast. To our sponsors and advertisers, thanks for your support. And to all of you, thanks for reading!
People on the Move
Chris Neal, Executive Professional, from the Toronto Hunt Club to Summit Golf & Country Club. Dustin Kerr-Taylor, Head Professional, from Bayview Golf Club to Beacon Hall. Padraig Kelly, Head Professional, from Toronto Ladies to Coppinwood. Boris Uvakov, Executive Professional takes over as General Manager at Brampton GC. Jamie Steedman promoted to Head Professional at Toronto Ladies. James Clark takes over as Head Professional at Muskoka Bay Club. Ken Lane, Head Professional, moves from ClubLink’s Caledon Woods to King Valley. Andrew George, Head Professional, from ClubLink’s Station Creek to Diamondback. Mike Ward takes over as Head Professional at Kedron Dells. Trevor Marko, Head Professional, from Diamondback to The Lake Joseph Club.
Thanks to the PGA of Canada for these latest moves. If you know of someone who moved into a new management position at your club recently in any department (Pro Shop, Clubhouse, Maintenance), please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
We used to have a section in the print version of Fairways called Divots. It was a catch-all for short pieces, comments and questions. I’m going to make it a regular part of my Around Town column and I welcome any ideas or information you want to share.
One of the topics that is garnering a lot of attention these days concerns municipally owned courses. Many of them have been underperforming and city councils are under lots of pressure to sell or close them. It’s happening in Brantford, London, Thunder Bay and several cities out west. One of the arguments that proponents of course closings employ is that golf is an elitist sport, and the land could be utilized for larger numbers participating in other activities. Maybe. But too often it seems that green space gets turned into housing or another shopping centre.
In that same vein, we saw this week that another group has come out against the plan to turn Glen Abbey into a massive housing development. In case you had forgotten, ClubLink plans to build 3,200 residential units and 121,000 square feet of office and retail space on the house that Jack built, the site of 30 Canadian Opens and the spot where Tiger Woods made one of his top 5 shots of all time. We Love Oakville has joined the fight and is making their views heard to MP’s, MPP’s and local council. You can read more about it HERE in the Oakville Beaver. Personally, I love Glen Abbey and hate the thought of it closing.
Finally, while we’re on the topic of land use, I read recently that the Top 5 selling vehicles in North America are all trucks and SUV’s. It’s pretty obvious anytime you’re out and about that the larger vehicles are dominant. My question is: when will they repaint the lines in parking lots, which were designed 20 years ago or more to accommodate compact and sub-compact cars?