Balfour Golf Course back nine sold to rec commission

The Balfour Recreation Commission voted last Wednesday to purchase the back nine holes of the course for $1.2 million.

Golfers tee off on the 18th hole at Balfour Golf Course. The back nine holes were purchased last week by the Balfour Recreation Commission.

Balfour’s golf course is now under one ownership.

The Balfour Recreation Commission voted last Wednesday to purchase the back nine holes of the course from Osprey Ridge Golf Estates Ltd. for $1.2 million.

The non-profit society had previously owned just the front nine holes. Over the last 10 years, Balfour Golf Course through the BRC has leased the back nine from Osprey Ridge and operated the golf course.

For a community owned golf course leasing has presented an uncertain future while incurring unnecessary costs along with the associated problem of difficult long-term financial planning created by such an arrangement.

Late last fall interested representatives of the BRC, the Balfour Golf Course and Osprey Ridge started meeting with the intent of reaching an arrangement that would allow both parties to negotiate an agreement of purchase and sale. With much hard work an agreement was reached that provided for the back-nine property to be transferred to the BRC on behalf of the golf course.

With no down payment, Osprey Ridge Golf Course Ltd. will carry the mortgage on the property amortized over 25 years at a rate of three per cent per annum.

The mortgage term is 10 years. It is only with this type of mortgage arrangement that this very small community golf course is able to purchase the property, which is fully developed as a nine-hole golf course and immediately adjacent to the nine holes owned and operated by the Balfour Golf Course.

Approximately 70 per cent of the BRC membership was in attendance Wednesday. The vote was 88 per cent in favour to purchase the property.

Twenty-five years ago a group of community volunteers had a vision to build a golf course.

Through a land grant from the provincial government, thousands of hours of volunteer labour, donated equipment hours, in some instances their own money along with borrowed and begged materials and supplies they built a great nine-hole course designed by Les Furber.

The back nine is also a matching design by Furber, the result of another forwarding thinking vision by the owners of Osprey Ridge and in particular one of their principal share holders, Ron Lang.

Today the little community of Balfour is one really important step closer to ensuring the future of its 18-hole golf course. And somehow all who now live in the great little spot have a terrific, well-loved golf course.

All of which is thanks to those who had a vision 25 years ago. Thanks to every one of them. This wouldn’t have happened without you.

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