, 2023-04-21 18:14:12,
Last week, an April afternoon that felt more like July, I met Ralph Bauer at Turkey Point Golf Club. Or at least what was Turkey Point Golf Club.
Three years ago, Ontario Parks shuttered the nine-hole public course. Pins and tee markers were removed, benches loaded up and taken away (except for one, which somehow got missed), buildings padlocked, and a yellow gate with an ‘AREA CLOSED’ sign attached to it was erected at the front entrance.
Online, however, there is nothing indicating Turkey Point has ceased operations and there was never a mention of it by local news outlets. According to the internet, the 2,565-yard par-34 course is still open.
Ontario Parks declined an interview request but emailed the following statement:
“The golf course at Turkey Point Provincial Park has been closed since October 2019 to allow staff to focus their efforts on core areas of Ontario Parks operations, including camping and day-use opportunities, and to focus on enhanced cleaning and disinfection of facilities and high-touch surfaces because of COVID-19. Many golf opportunities exist in the local area, with eight privately-owned golf courses within a 25-minute drive of Turkey Point Provincial Park, the closest being within five kilometres. At this time, the Turkey Point Provincial Golf Course remains closed as the ministry explores options regarding the future of this area.”
Making the 45-minute drive to Ontario’s only golf course in a provincial park definitely stirred a few memories.
Turkey Point’s short par-4 ninth hole was the site of my first eagle, made when I was 10 years old. Years later, I was one of many provincial golfers who jump-started their seasons in March — and sometimes even late February — at the course thanks to its sand-based soil. Seeing it abandoned, grown over and in such a deplorable state last week was sad and disheartening.
Bauer feels the same way.
Before becoming the director of instruction at Hamilton Golf & Country Club, and long before his years as a PGA Tour coach, the PGA of Canada member operated Turkey Point on behalf of the park and Ministry of Natural Resources.
Through a Request for Proposal (RFP), Bauer and his partner, Steve Koncz, assumed the course’s day-to-day operations in the spring of 1998.
“Being the only golf course in Ontario, owned and part of a provincial park, they…
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