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Glendale History


During the late 1950’s a group of Jewish businessmen joined together to form the Glendale. In 1959 the Club was registered as a non-profit entity and in 1960 opened nine holes on 160 acres of land that was originally intended to be a housing development. In 1961 the second nine was opened.  A few years later the nines were subsequently switched to the order in which they are played to this date.

A struggle in the beginning, the early Members stuck together to make the project work. Under the guidance of Lloyd Thompson, the Club’s first President elected in 1959, and the craftsmanship of architect Norman Woods, a student of the legendary Stanley Thompson, a strong Board of Members was assembled who secured the initial financing and volunteer network and the work pressed ahead.

Due to a rough financial start the early Members personally backed the operations of the Club as they were determined they were not going to lose everything they had worked for.   Led by Daniel Podersky, a Vice-President when the Club opened in 1960, ten Members used their businesses and/or homes as collateral when the bank was threatening to foreclose on the Club.  The Club decided to issue more shares and was fortunate enough to attract Ernie Afaganis, and ultimately the then very popular Par 27 competition, which was televised weekly from our 13th green. The increased exposure was of great assistance to the Club and more and more people became aware of what a great golf course it was and shares started to sell at a steady rate.

Once the operations became more secure, the grunt work of a new golf course still needed taking care of. And again, the Members didn’t let Glendale down. In the early days Members would spend their evenings helping plant trees and paint fences.  Since then the Club has undergone many subtle changes keeping in mind architect Norm Woods’ ultimate goal of placing each fairway in such a way that maturing spruce trees would give golfers the impression they were the only players on the course. In 1979 the golf course architect firm of Thomson, Wolveridge, Fream and Associates were hired and submitted drawings and the 1st Tee/Putting Green, fourth, fourteenth and seventeenth greens were re-built. In 1987 the 7th green was rebuilt completely by the Club staff. In 1990 Sid Puddicombe & Associates were hired to construct the Practice Area. After winning the Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship held at the Club in 1992, golf course architect Graham Cooke developed a renovation master plan for the entire golf course. After the 1995 golf season renovation work began on a few tee complex expansions. Over the next 7 years work was completed that included bunker reconstruction, addition and/or expansion of tees, additional mounding in selected areas, drainage installed in chronic wet areas, three water hazards filled in, some fairway reconstruction and two more greens rebuilt; seventeen and the putting green. In the fall of 2003 the driving range tee was renovated to include a grass tee area and the range netting expanded and heightened to accommodate increased distance through technology advances. In the fall of 2004 construction began on an irrigation holding pond system allowing the irrigation water to be treated and a new pump station. Also included at this time was the reconstruction of the twelfth green and part of the fairway, construction of back tees on twelve, seventeen and eighteen, cart path re-routing, partial service road re-routing and expansion of the water hazard between thirteen and sixteen. As part of the Long Range Plan voted in by the Membership in the Fall of 2007 all bunkers were re-built and in subsequent years distance was added some of the holes and shorter tees were also constructed.  The Clubhouse was also completely renovated.

The Glendale hosted its first major event in 1967; the Alberta Open and attracted such notable players as Moe Norman, Stan Leonard and Wilf Homeniuk.  The event was won by an amateur from Calgary by the name of Keith Alexander.  In 1971 the Club hosted the Alberta Amateur Championships which was won by another Calgarian; Doug Siverberg. The Club also pioneered the present day Alberta Senior Championship in 1973 with the event quickly becoming more and more popular the Alberta Golf Association took it over but still held the event in alternate years at the Glendale until 1986.  In 1983 the Club first came into International focus when the British Commonwealth Ladies Team Matches were hosted featuring the top female golfers from Australia, Great Britain, Canada and New Zealand.  In 1985 Lee Trevino was brought in to participate in an exhibition match where he promptly went out and shot a course record 64 with never having seen the golf course prior!  In 1990 the Junior America’s Cup, attended by 17 four player junior girls teams, was hosted with the team from Southern California taking the title.  In 1992 the Canadian Mid-Amateur Championships were played with world renowned golf course architect Graham Cooke winning in an extra playoff hole over then current Club Champion Frank MacKenzie.  Mr. Cooke was so impressed by the course he asked to work with the course’s long range plan committee to undertake their next renovation.  His company has been contracted to develop drawings for every change done since.  In the flavour of marketing the course as was done when the “Merrry Mex” played John Daly was brought in for an exhibition in 1993.  Although he impressed everyone with how far he could hit the ball; accuracy was an issue and Mr. Daly failed to break 80.  1998 saw the first time the Glendale hosted the Canadian Tour when the Telus Edmonton Open was hosted.  Brian Kontak won the event in a one-hole playoff and not soon after the word spread through the Canadian golfing community of the course’s layout and conditioning and the Club found itself on the top 100 golf courses in Canada for the first time.  On the heels of a such a successful Mid-Amateur the RCGA returned to the Club in 2000 bringing the Canadian Amateur Championships which saw Han Lee defend his title and then turn pro the week after to play in the Canadian Open.  The Club’s reputation resulted in more and more high profile events being played; 2002 saw Matt Daniel win the Telus Edmonton Open, 2005 James Love won the Alberta Amateur Championship and in 2006 Stephen Gangluff won the Telus Edmonton Open. The Club was considered for hosting the LPGA for the 2007 CN Canadian Women’s Open, and although unsuccessful, it showed how well respected the course is in the view of the governing bodies of golf in Canada.  The Canadian Tour will return instead and the 2007 Telus Edmonton Open was the fourth time the event was contested at the Club.

To date the Glendale has had only five Head Golf Professionals; Nick Melvin,  Don Buchkan who was replaced by Sandy Robertson in 1979, Peter Robertson who succeeded his father in 1996 and today’s Head Pro Greg McGarry who returned to the Club in 2005.

In the spirit of long standing relationships with their key personnel, the Club has had only seven Golf Course Superintendents; Pop Brinkworth, Lockey Shaw, Bill Ward, Ron Bradley, Dave Whitell, Daryl Asher, and current Superintendent Chris Prodahl.

The eight General Managers of the Club include Stan Franklin, Stan Stewart, Fred Palmer, Ed Orrit, Gary Douglas, Wayne Walling, Gordon Beckwith and since 1997 Craig Rusnak.

With 465 shares all held privately, completed completed projects for both the golf course and the Clubhouse and the City of Edmonton moving ever closer to the Club’s borders the future could not be brighter for the Glendale!