Ardmore Golf Course in North Saanich is going on the market this week for $3.45 million.
It is the latest of four locally owned golf courses to be sold or to transition into a different use in recent years.
“We’ve talked about it on and off. We didn’t really want to sell it. We loved having it in the family,” said Teri DuTemple, spokeswoman for the family that has owned the course through three generations. But selling the 47-acre golf course at 930 Ardmore Dr. made the most sense, she said.
“We all have careers or are retired. A lot of us don’t live in the Victoria area.”
The property is in the Agricultural Land Reserve and designated for golf course and related uses. It has a nine-hole course, with alternate tees allowing golfers to play a second nine for an 18-hole course.
The family said in a letter to golf course members that they made the decision with a “heavy heart . . . This decision did not come easily, and for our family signifies the end of an era.”
“We are saddened that we are faced with this decision, however hopeful that a new owner can provide the ongoing care and attention that both the course and the dedicated membership deserve.”
“There were tears. It has always been our home,” DuTemple said.
She spent her early years in a small cabin of about 700 square feet, with one bathroom, located on the property.
“It was my parents and my five siblings and me, all living in that little cottage,” she said with a laugh. “It seemed huge when we were kids.”
Her father took care of the course while her mother ran the pro-shop.
Robyn Wildman, real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, said the property has already generated interest from golf associations.
The site includes a clubhouse with a pro-shop, kitchen, bar, lounge, a liquor licence, a maintenance area with sheds, a barn and the cottage. The kitchen is not in use and caterers are called in when food is needed. Special events, including weddings, are held on the site.
George DuTemple, Teri DuTemple’s grandfather, bought the course from Alan Steamship as a family business for wife Alice and sons Ronald, Barry and Wally. Ronald is Teri DuTemple’s father.
“The boys learned farm chores as well as golf course chores, taking on duties such as milking the cows and picking, cleaning and repainting balls for resale,” states the Ardmore Golf Course’s website.
“The farm and course ran simultaneously, and prospered, with the pro shop selling balls, tees and clubs alongside farm fresh eggs, milk and butter that Alice made in her washing machine. She was very proud of her washing machine rig for making butter in 15 minutes, and would show it off to members and customers often.”
As time passed, various family members worked on the property, including Wally DuTemple, who managed it starting in the early 1970s. He enlarged a reservoir, installed an irrigation system, and bought donkeys to graze the slopes around the reservoir, the website said.
“The donkeys soon became part of Ardmore’s history in their own way, as a cart was built with seating for two with golf bags that would be pulled behind a donkey from hole to hole, thus introducing Ardmore’s first golf cart.” In the 1980s, the course layout was changed to what is currently in place.
Ardmore has seen membership numbers increase since Glen Meadows Golf and Curling Club changed hands in December, Teri DuTemple said.
The Criddle family turned a sheep farm into the 131-acre Glen Meadows at 1050 McTavish Rd. After 53 years of ownership, they sold it after failing to win approval for a subdivision plan. A pay-for-play system has been brought in. The future of the six-sheet curling rink there is unknown.
The now-closed 27-acre Royal Oak Golf Club, 540 Marsett Pl., with nine holes was sold to a numbered company. Its current owners are evaluating their options.
And the former Prospect Lake Golf Course is now under a 25-year-lease to the non-profit Power to Be organization, dedicated to helping people with disabilities. After 40 years, Cedric and the late Dorene Steele decided to step away from running the course in 2015.