Sturgeon Valley in The 1980's "The Continuing Evolution of the Course"
In the late 1970's work began to sell the remaining shares to get to the optimum number of 279 shareholders. The share price was set at $1,500 and proved to be a tougher sell than first anticipated but by 1981 the shares were sold and the Club was set to move forward with a full membership base and a new golf course.
On September 18, 1981 the new course was opened. Members, quests and many others who had figured in the building of Sturgeon Valley, were invited to enjoy golf on the new layout. This new course, complete with a fully automatic watering system, sand base greens and numerous hazards moved Sturgeon Valley to rank among the top local golf courses.
Replacing the remaining older dirt greens started in 1984 with the construction of a new 6th green (which was built behind the original green) and redevelopment of the 8th green in the original location. In addition to this work, board member Martin Kachuk worked with Ducks Unlimited to build a dyke along the right side of the 4th fairway to prevent flooding. In exchange for this work the Club set aside land on the river side of the dyke as a nesting sanctuary for ducks. What made this project special was the price - no cost to the Club.
1985 was the Club's 25th Anniversary which was a wonderful celebration and also introduced a new golf tournament to raise funds for cancer research while having fun on the golf course. The "Fighting Cancer from the Fairway" started as an initiative from the PGA of Alberta and clubs from all over Alberta held tournaments. While other clubs no longer have this type of tournament, Sturgeon Valley continues to run a tournament annually and in 2006 the Canadian Cancer Society recognized the contribution the Club has made. It is estimated that in 24 years of holding the tournament the Club has raised over $100,000.
One major highlight for the Club was the hosting of a celebrity golf tournament in 1986. Hollywood came to raise funds for Shining Light / Child Abuse Charity and the tournament was a great success and lots of fun for the players and the public that came to see the stars. The Stars included Tom Posten, Fred McMurray, June Haver, David Doyle, Robert McCloskey, Leslie Nielson, Jack Kruschen and Mickey Jones.
The 9th green was relocated in 1987. The green was moved back approximately 40 yards and a water hazard was added on the left side of the fairway and left side of green. Bunkering in front and behind protected a small domed green. The river on the right added additional concern for approach shots.
In 1989 a project was started to replace the 2nd and 13th greens improving two short par 4's that had problematic greens. The pond on the right side of 13 was expanded and brought into play on the approach shot and to get material for the green construction. It was also decided to build new tee decks on the 14th hole and new back tee on 15. When the old greens were removed the fairways were re-contoured and excess materials were moved to the 9th fairway which was also reshaped and drainage was installed to address wet fairways. The holes were opened in early 1990.
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