Golf course still up to par

December disaster at the seventh hole behind them, Ladysmith Golf Course going full speed ahead

Al Endicott lines up a putt from the edge of the ninth green on the Ladysmith Golf Course last week.

Al Endicott lines up a putt from the edge of the ninth green on the Ladysmith Golf Course last week.

The Ladysmith Golf Course lost its creek crossing at the seventh hole in December due to a failed culvert.

But that’s all that has changed.

The Ladysmith Golf Club wants the community to know it is safe, open for business on all nine holes, and still offering one of the most affordable, fun, short-course golfing experiences on Vancouver Island.

“There’s a lot of negativity,” Ladysmith Golf Club tournament director Don Ross said. “Some people think the course got destroyed. People are not coming out and we’re noticing it.”

Golfers can still hit across the seventh hole gorge as they used to. To get back to their ball on the seventh green, they have to double back to the fifth green crossing.

“We’re open all nine holes,” Ross said. “You’ve just got a little extra walking.”

The club still offers nine holes for $14 and 18 holes for $20. That’s pretty tough to beat for an hour or two of entertainment, but so far this spring, the customers are staying away. One recent Saturday, they had four paying customers.

The big issue, according to Ross, is getting the word out to remind people of everything the course has to offer.

“We’re going to look at rates and we’re going to look at promotions. Our target is seniors and youth. In between, they are going to the bigger courses.

“We would promote this as a social, family-friendly course. There are no wait times and you can play any time you want to. You can do it on the spur of the moment and you don’t have to call for a tee time.”

The course uses an honour box to collect green fees in the evenings, something Ross admits gets taken advantage of. That makes it tougher for the non-profit society that operates on a $65,000 annual budget to make ends meet.

Long-term, no decisions have been made on how to deal with the seventh hole crossing. Short-term, the town will adjust the footbridge on number five to allow for the passage of greenskeeping equipment. It has also removed all the soil excavated from the creekbed.

The regular women’s (Tuesday) and men’s (Thursday) morning events continue to operate, with new golfers encouraged to join. Call 250-245-7313 for information.

Or show up any other time for a round with family and friends, whether you’ve never played the course before, or have been away for a long time.

“All we’re trying to do is to get something that says we’re fully operational and safe,” Ross said. “We’ve got it all figured out.”