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.
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.
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.