New Assistant Golf Professional At Whitewater Golf Club: Chris Gardner
by Scott A. Sumner
Chris Gardner was born and raised in Dryden, Ontario and started playing golf at the age of 6. The 28 year old is happy to come home and be the new Assistant Golf Professional at Whitewater Golf Club in Thunder Bay
“ I started playing golf at age 6 with my father and grandfather teaching me the basics of the game. I never had any lessons but practiced as a junior everyday from 6am to 6pm and then even picked up the range balls,” said Chris.
In his early 20’s Chris decided to attend a golf educational program at Professional Golf Management, Niagara College. The 3 year course includes many aspects of the golf industry from swing fundamentals, running tournaments, accounting and the pro shop including purchasing and merchandising. Chris has a passion for teaching and supervising. He also completed the Marketing Program at Confederation College so has business courses on his resume.
“ My first job was picking up range balls and working in the back shop at Eagle’s Landing course in Dryden. I was at the Fort William Country Club as well for 3 years.” said Chris who then went to the Fairmont Banff Springs to work for two years. “ It was paradise out there in Banff. Very busy every day from 6am to 6pm with many very interesting people playing there such as Justin Trudeau, the Mayor of Banff, many NHL players as well as PGA player Stephen Ames.”
Last summer Chris worked at Muskoka Bay Club where he knew the Head Professional and which was a little bit closer to home before starting this season at Whitewater Golf Club. “ I have known Head Professional Matt Simmons for a few years and Whitewater has always intrigued me as a premier course. My parents have played here and home is where my heart is so I am tapping into Whitewater and partnering with Matt,” said Chris. “ I think the future bodes well for us. Matt can’t do it all himself so I would like to relive Matt of some of the stress and watch over the pro shop. I also enjoy teaching, especially junior golfers. The PGA of Canada provide us with coaching certifications and I can teach juniors now. It is all part of the job.”
In the past Chris has qualified for the Ontario Amateur held at Whitewater Golf Club and knows the course well.
“You can compare Whitewater to the good courses in Southern Ontario. It is a great facility with a great practice range and golf course. You can’t get any better in Northwestern Ontario. This is the place to be.” smiles Chris Gardner.