Golf Thunder Bay’s Municipal Golf Course:
Nice Place To Play
by Scott A. Sumner
On a sunny hot August afternoon it was fun to play Municipal Golf Course with Tom Forsythe, Director of Golf, Golf Thunder Bay. Tom has been in this position for 9 years now starting here in 2003. He grew up in New Brunswick and this is his second trip to Ontario previously working at Cataraqui in Kingston as well as at Highland Links of the Maritimes as GM. Highland Links is consistently known as a top 10 course in Canada and top 100 in the world. It is right out on the ocean where you hear, see or feel the ocean on all 18 holes according to Tom.
“ We have made a few changes in some of the operation of our three courses totaling 45 holes -Chapples, Strathcona and Municipal over my years here. An adult membership is about $1400 taxes included for all three golf courses which is a good value. Daily fees are about $28 to $40 for the courses. There is usually a minimum of 27 holes available at all times. Our memberships have declined a little bit but that is probably a factor of the economy and losing some of the jobs we have lost in Thunder Bay. It is a pretty good bang for the buck.” states Tom
“ It has been warm this year although the spring was cooler. It was a normal year in the spring but we were a month late in starting this year compared to last year. We opened the 18-hole courses in mid May and Municipal early May. We had some winter damage on the two 18 hole courses and had to replace three greens at Strathcona. I had a good idea in November when we had three days of mild weather and then a flash freeze which is not good for the greens. There was less snow cover on the city courses so it didn’t absorb the rain as well then,” said Tom Forsythe. “ The hot weather impacts the play level as people don’t come out to golf as much. Once we get above 25 Celsius the play level drops although I enjoy the hot weather.”
At Municipal the fairways have been good with the rain we have had according to Forsythe. Also the greens were rolling well during our game. “ It has been a pretty good season at Municipal. On the weekends we see younger people coming out. In the week the older folks can walk the course that they enjoy. It is also easier to get on the tee boxes and greens here and there are golfers in their 80’s still playing here. We had a good start in the spring and the staff have been doing a pretty good job here keeping the greens rolling well,” said Forsythe.
“ At Municipal it is a shorter length course so you are hitting a lot of wedges into the greens. It is a good course to practice on. The greens are small as well so they aren’t easy to hit. It gives you some confidence here and is great for seniors and beginners. If you haven't tried us you should do so. ”
It was fun to make some pars and a birdie at Municipal. It is a great confidence booster to be able to hit your utility wedge into the greens instead of a three wood that happens at my home course quite often. Tom and I had a great match that ended in a tie. The last hole proved to be
a challenge for me when I was stymied behind a tree on my second shot into number nine.
After your relaxing golf game the Municipal clubhouse has a great deck or cool inside area to relax and enjoy a cool drink of vitamin water or your choice of beverage.
New this year at Golf Thunder Bay are 50 new Yamaha golf carts placed on the three courses. They are a nice comfortable cart. They were able to install windshields at no additional cost on all the carts due to the strength of the Canadian dollar.