Tag: Family Business

Spring is Here

This afternoon I was feeling sorry for myself. I think its because I have had too much time on my hands. It is nice that the weather is warming because I’m not sure how much more being in my house for weeks at a time I could take. I have a question for you. How many times can you do a project, wash a dish, clean your yard, binge watch Netflix before things start to get monotonous? I will tell you, about 3 weeks worth.

With it warming up I thought I would get out of the house grab a few golf clubs, a bucket of balls, my camera and tripod, and my Dad’s gator and go for a drive.

As I got down to hole 11 Dad’s gator started acting funny. It would start but was sputtering right away. The only way I could keep it running is by choking the crap out of it while I pumped the gas. I shut it off and could not believe my bad luck. I started to feel sorry for myself again. But then I thought, I was not going to let this circumstance get me down. I would walk back to my truck and take pictures along the way, trying to make the most of the situation I found myself in.

I felt bad because our Superintendent Aidan was going to use it tomorrow when he and the guys remove the tarps off of our greens. I also flashed back to the times when I worked for my Dad and would break something or do something wrong. I love my Dad, and he has mellowed a lot over the years, but ask my brothers he has not been the easiest boss to work for. ha ha.

As I made my way closer to my truck I opened my eyes and really took in what a beautiful evening it was. The temperature was perfect, the sun was starting to set, you could almost taste the fresh air. My annoyance at getting stranded, my boredom, even some of my worry started to slip away. Its amazing what getting out in open space and a little exercise will do for someone. One of the great things about living in Canada, is that we have a lot of open space available for us to use.

I made it to my truck and home, but as it gets later in the evening I am starting to think about how I am going to tow the gator in to the shop before my Dad gets up. Its probably an easy fix or at least covered under warranty, but I’m sure he will still give me a hard time. The joys of working in a family business I guess.

I saw something funny earlier today. Myself Aidan and Dad were working in the shop getting our Pro Gator going. When my Dad was moving his truck he decided he didn’t want to make ruts on the path by the shop and decided to “giver” up this hill by the shop. He ended up making worse ruts on the grass.. I looked at Aidan and said to him, ” You know, if me or you did that we would be in supreme shit”. So true. But Dad has worked hard to get what he has today. It is his show. He can do what he wants when it comes to his things. Much respect toward him.

Dorchester Ranch Golf Course looks to have wintered well, and we are very excited to begin work on getting our course in as best shape as possible to start the 2020 golf season.

I know we have a lot of customers wondering when we are opening. As you can see from the photos in this blog, if we were let, we probably would be opening this weekend coming up. My hope is that we get to open sometime in May. I would like to think for sure by June. But as you know, during this time it is hard to say things with certainty.

We appreciate our loyal customers at this time. Without you we could not operate. You are what drives our engine so to speak, and we would like to thank all of you for thinking of us during this time, or in the future. We are still here and we are thinking of you. We are planning and getting ready to open and can’t wait until that time.

The beginning

And so it begins. Such a grand statement for something I may very well struggle to do with regularity. But it is a start, and all journeys have to begin somewhere.

I write this as I sit in my Mom and Dad’s winter home in Mesa. My parent’s are the reason I have become who I am, and the reason I currently work in the golf industry.

Griff Jones Birthday

Gord and Lil Dorchester both came from humble beginnings. Lil was raised just outside of Ponoka daughter of Griff and Pat Jones. Lil would say that her upbringing would be focused on family and community centering around the Zion church. Gordie came from farming and cowboy roots. He would say his upbringing would be rough, tough, centering around the farm and the sport of chuck wagon racing.

Dorchester Family

Gord was heavily involved in the sport of chuckwagon racing during the summer months. He had worked as a jail guard, a stone mason, a cabinet maker, a carpenter among other things. Mom worked as a secretary, as a bank teller and raised 3 boys prior to beginning her career in the golf industry. For many of their early years, mom and dad were very poor and had to budget down to the penny. When they started their own business they made good use of these skills and were able to succeed in their business because of this.

Gordie took up golf relatively late in his life. His father in law started buying him clubs One by one over time. Eventually he and his friend Bob started golfing regularly. Grandpa Tom had given our family 80 acres of treed land close to the Battle River Valley. When dad started clearing the land in long narrow strips for farm land I’m sure people thought he was crazy. What people did not realize was he had a vision, a dream that would change our lives forever.

Dorchester Golf Club opened its doors to the public on August 17, 1986. Gord and Lil had taken a huge risk to start this endeavor. Beginning as a basic 9 hole golf course, it was only possible because of immediate and extended family labor, having an uncle who had a golf course construction business, as well as a large bank loan. My parents took a huge risk to follow their dreams. It is this entrepreneurial spirit that has built our country into what it is today.

And here we are, 32 years later. We have an 18 hole championship course that is beautifully perched on the lip of the Battle River Valley. Mom and Dad are retired, and myself, my brothers and our families are tasked with keeping the torch alit. At times it can be a heavy mantle, but I would not change it for the world.

Hole #9

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