Clubhouse viewed from west side. Photo Circa 1920.
George Cumming, considered the “Dean of Canadian Professional Golfers”, and the winner of the Canadian Open in 1905, the pre-eminent Canadian golf course designer, of the early 20th century, was commissioned to design the original, 9 hole, Sault Golf Club in 1919. Built at the boundary of the City—on an area of swampy marshland, drained by ditches and Clark Creek (with some elevated areas of ice age morainic material). The original first and ninth holes played across, what is now the busy thoroughfare of Queen St. The original first tee can still be seen East of the clubhouse. In 1920 Cumming then partnered with his protégés, the Thompson brothers, Stanley and Nicol, to create The Thompson, Cumming and Thompson golf course design group. Stanley Thompson is widely regarded as the foremost designer of golf courses that Canada has ever produced. In 1952 Stanley Thompson redesigned the original Cumming 9 holes and added a further 9. Sault Golf Club was his last course design prior to his death in 1953. The course was completed by his brother Matt Thompson.
Historic Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club:
Created By Canada’s Foremost Golf Course Designers
By Dr. John Marrack
The Sault Golf Club has kept the Stanley Thompson feel, routing, style and design philosophy. It has been modernised sympathetically to produce a pleasant, playable course, with 4 or 5 tee decks, which can be enjoyed by all player abilities and be easily walked.
The first, eleventh and twelfth greens are those built under the direction of Robbie Robinson.
The fifth, eighth and fourteenth were built under the direction of John Gall.
The second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, ninth, tenth, thirteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth built by our greens superintendent, Gil Edwards, under the direction of Les Furber.
The fifteenth and sixteenth are unchanged original 1952 Stanley Thompson greens.
Ponds have been added on the second, eighth, thirteenth and seventeenth holes aid drainage and also to make the course more interesting.
Many course upgrades have since taken place: the addition of an irrigation system in the early 1960s, and some greens redesigned, by another great Canadian course designer (and Thompson pupil) Robbie Robinson, in the 70s.
In the 1980s a massive increase in golf play and the introduction of new machinery that could produce much shorter grass heights caused some of the older greens to become unmaintainable. This forced, then greens superintendant, John Gall, to rebuild some greens and fix drainage problems. This piecemeal replacement of problem greens led to unacceptable and unplanned play disruption. John designed and rebuilt Greens 5, 8 and 14. It is a testament to his skill that these greens, for the most part, have stood the test of time. John Gall went on to become Greens Superintendent at St. Georges Golf Club, Toronto, another Stanley Thompson designed course, for 17 years.
To lessen disruption in play the club developed a master plan for green reconstruction, drainage and ponds, under the direction of Les Furber, of Golf Design Services, a Robert Trent Jones pupil (Jones was trained by Stanley Thompson). Because all alterations, repairs and new construction have been executed by designers trained in the Stanley Thompson ethos the golf course you see today, essentially retains the original layout and feel as designed by him.
Although a relatively short course—less than 6800 yards from the back tees—Thompson’s routing made the best use of Sault Golf Club’s small acreage. Holes with the prevailing wind have doglegs and hazards that preclude the use of a driver from the tee. ‘Into the wind’ holes are longer. The strategic use of water hazards, ditches and Clark Creek make the course interesting and gives a feel that it plays closer to 7200 yards.
Golf Course Superintendent
Click on the hole to open a detailed rendering.
Plan for SGC redesign - 1972
The course has hosted several Canadian Professional Golf Tournaments, most recently in 1999 and 2003. The former (1999) won by Aaron Oberholser, who rose to Top 25 on the PGA tour money list in 2006, and the latter (2003) by Mario Tiziani. Also, in 2008, the Sault Golf club hosted the Canadian men’s senior amateur championships, won by Graham Cooke.
The Sault Golf Club was originally a private club. It was then chartered as a not for profit, member owned, corporation in 1939. Since that time the Sault GC has been a semi private club, welcoming visitors on a daily green fee basis. The original, 1919, clubhouse over looks the St Mary’s River. In 2013 the clubhouse underwent a comprehensive renovation, so that it may remain open for 12 months of the year. It now provides elegant, affordable, dining and banqueting in a picturesque setting, and is open to the general public. Reservations are recommended.
Our practice facilities include a driving range, a putting green, and a pitching range. These facilities are available for members and guest golfers.
DRIVING RANGE has 12 bays, and targets at 100, 150, and 200 yards. It also includes a practice sand bunker.
PUTTING GREEN presents an opportunity for golfers to practice a series of breaking and sloping putts before teeing off.
PITCHING RANGE, located next to the clubhouse, offers 10-, 25-, and 50-yard targets and sand bunkers for practicing the short game.
Several membership categories are available to golfers.
Inquire with the Secretary or the Head Golf Professional to find the membership category best suited for you.