The Smithers Golf and Country Club has introduced a new member into its ranks.
Dave Belling is the new head professional and general manager and he already has big plans to modernize the club.
“I’m trying to make it more of a 12-month facility, trying to keep the golf club itself in everybody’s minds 11 or 12 months a year,” said Belling.
“I realize that Labour Day hits and this is a big hockey town, and what tends to happen is kids go back to school, parents go in other directions and kids go to hockey or soccer and golf becomes secondary again . . . We still have a club house facility that can be used or rented.”
Belling came to Smithers in February and has roughly 35 years of experience in the golf business, working at both public and private facilities around North America.
He has worked at Fountain of the Sun Country Club in Arizona, Oak Island Golf Resort in Manitoba and St Clair Parkway Golf Club Mooretown in Ontario.
“I was always looking for the opportunity to come home. B.C. has always been home for me,” said Belling, who grew up in Vancouver.
Belling is hoping to transform the club into a year-round facility.
“My vision for the club is that two or three years down the road, we are an 11-month season, we’re active with both seasons — summer and winter,” he said.
Some of his ideas also include reinventing the junior program, hosting theme nights, Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties and establishing a winter golf school.
He has already put up an indoor hitting cage in the club restaurant that golfers can use until April.
“I want this to be a happening place to be. I want people to want to come here, whether it be for lunch, whether it be for dinner, for nine holes of golf, or to watch their kid be a part of the junior program,” he said.
Belling has also created a new program called Swing into Spring for golfers to take indoor lessons. The club will host an open house later this month as well.
To book lessons call 250-847-3591.