Tired of trying to book one of a limited number of tee times at the local golf clubs, John Obritsch and Ronald Algee decided to build their own course. In 1966, they purchased approximately 100 acres of land on the Old Guysborough Road, and by 1968 they had 9 holes in play.
Early History of Goffs' Airlane Golf Club
The new course was built on farmland formerly owned by James and Ida Ledwidge. The farm had been in existence since the mid-1800s and consisted of a large house, two barns, a garage and two large sheds. All but the farmhouse was demolished during the first few years of construction on the course. The farmhouse, located behind the 1st green, continued to stand until it was destroyed by fire in the late 1970s. This house had a long history as an inn, boarding house, stagecoach stop and a post office. Today, the only indications that a farm once stood on this property are the old rock walls that can be found on the 1st, 3rd and 4th holes.
In order to get the course operational as soon as possible, the original 9-hole course was built primarily on open farmland. While this allowed the club to keep building expenses at a minimum, it resulted in the holes being crowded together. As time went by and the course became more popular, it was evident that the present layout was unacceptable.
In 1993, the decision was made to redesign the layout making it more user-friendly. Two new holes would be cut out of the woods to replace the old #8 and #9 holes. This change would result in a much less congested course, an increase in length, a change in the par from 35 to 36 as well as creating room for a putting green and practice area. With the completion of these holes in 1997, the course design was dramatically improved.
In 1997, Ron and John formed two holding companies in which their sons became shareholders. Their sons decided to continue with the improvements started by their fathers. In 1999, construction began on a new green and tees for #7, and was completed in 2002. An aging clubhouse also received some attention during these years. A new pro shop was built, the roof was re-shingled, panelling replaced, a partial foundation built, siding and windows installed, and a new deck added.
Plans for further improvements had to be put on hold when Hurricane Juan knocked down hundreds of trees around the course. The next two years were spent cleaning up debris and fallen trees. At first it seemed like the course was devastated by the storm but in the long run it thinned out the heavy brush, making it possible to make recovery shots from off the fairways.
Varying Levels of Challenge for Golfers
Improvements to the course resumed in earnest in 2005. It was decided to move the 6th green to a new location to help alleviate problems caused by the close proximity of the 5th and 6th fairways. The new green was enlarged considerably and a pond was added to the hole. With the opening of this new hole in 2007, a new level of challenge was added to the course.
In 2010, construction began on our signature par 3 hole. It would replace the old #2 hole which ran along the Old Guysborough Rd. Replacement of this hole was necessary to replace an aging green, and move the hole away from the adjacent road. This change would require a renumbering of the course layout as the new par 3 would become the 5th hole.
Recent Upgrades to Our Golf Course
In 2014, upgrades continued with the addition of a new pond at the corner of the dogleg on the 3rd hole making it a true par 5. Fortunately, during all this construction, there has been little disruption of play. Our next project will be to lengthen the 2nd hole (formerly the 3rd hole) with the construction of a new white tee adjacent to the old 2nd green. The approach to the 2nd green will also be widened to accommodate the increased length on this hole. 2020 will see the opening of a new #1 green adding approximately 15 yards to the overall length of this hole.
You would expect the cost of playing this course would have increased dramatically over the years with all these improvements. However, you will find this is not the case. Our course is one of the more affordable layouts in the province. It was built with the intention of keeping golf affordable to the general public, and with that in mind we hope to continue making improvements in the future.
Call Airlane Golf Club and join us as we build a great golf experience together.