By Ewa Chwojko-Srawley
The Briars Golf Club, founded in 1922 by local enthusiasts, is still a community-driven organization full of fun with a laid-back feel.
“For decades, many families have played a significant role in our success,” said Bil Trainor, the club’s President.
“Our membership is at an all-time high, with residents, cottagers and guests enjoying the challenge and beauty of our course. We take pride in our growing reputation for excellent playing conditions and a friendly atmosphere.”
Although the club, located on historic Hedge Road, is not a part of the Briars Resort, their histories are closely intertwined.
It all started with a tragic event. In 1920, the Sibbald family, owners of the Briars Resort as well as extensive farmlands, lost their herd of cattle due to disease, leaving their pasturage empty.
After meeting with local golf lovers, the Sibbalds agreed to lease them 65 acres, which became the club’s first nine holes.
The nine-hole course designed by renowned golf course architect, Stanley Thompson, was later expanded to the 18-hole championship course we have today.
Over the years, the club has attracted many celebrities, including award-winning broadcaster Peter Gzowski.
In 1985, the Briars hosted the first Peter Gzowski Invitational. The PGIs were subsequently played across Canada, raising more than $15 million for literacy.
In 2013, another significant event, the Canadian Senior Amateur Championship, took place, putting the club on the national stage.
After one hundred years, the club is thriving.
General Manager, Frank Campanelli, credits it to “a sense of belonging and community feel.”
“The biggest asset we have is the members. We have many ‘generational’ members, a testament to how the Briars represents more than just a golf club; it’s about relationships and lifestyle,” he said.
The club’s story forms a significant part of the history of Georgina. If you are an explorer of Georgina’s past, reach for the recently published book, “One of Stanley’s Best: Celebrating 100 Years” by Rick Young. It’s full of facts, anecdotes, and delightful stories.
See you on the first tee!
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