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I have noticed that we have quite a number of present members who left the Burin Peninsula many years ago to begin a career or to find work to support their families. Some left to go for a couple of years while others knew they would be gone much longer. But home whether it was Marystown, Grand Bank, Garnish or Fortune was still in their minds and they wanted to return. There were many factors in their life decisions to return to the Burin Peninsula but for them one of the reasons they did come back was Grande Meadows Golf Course. So for that reason I thought it would be interesting to hear a little bit about each of them.

Below are a few of the stories of where life took those golfers. Thanks to all of you for sharing. There are still a few others who would fit this group and I can add to the story anytime. If you know of someone who you think would be interested in being included please have them get in touch with me.

Steve Douglas

Steve raising the flag for another season.
Steve left home in Grand Bank in July of 1964 and joined the Canadian Army at Camp Petawawa, Ontario. He served on 6 different bases in Canada and as well he served in the USA, Africa, Middle East, 2 tours in Germany and 3 tours in Cyprus. Steve was in Germany when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. He returned to Garnish in 1996 and applied for a golf membership at Grand Meadows where he had to wait 4 years for a membership. Steve was a member of the Baden, Germany course which at that time was classed as the noisiest course in the world as we were next door to the fighter jets. He was also a member of Twin Rivers Golf Course in Petawawa, Ontario. Each summer Steve and his wife Gloria spend 6 weeks in NB and Ontario where they golf at 6 different courses. According to Steve, “Grande Meadows is my favorite as the members are so friendly and not pushy on the course. Our staff is second to none.”

Thank you Steve for you service to our country and congratulations on a great career in the Canadian military.

Most mornings you will find Steve enjoying 9 holes with his buddies Art Cluett, Tom Riley and Wayne Noseworthy and if you are golfing later in the day you will catch up with Steve and his wife Gloria enjoying a round.

Gary Smith

Gary left Creston South in 1975 and headed to Labrador City where he spent the next 39 years. He worked for 32 years with IOC as a Millwright and the other 7 years working as a Millwright Instructor with College of the North Atlantic. Smith returned home to live in 2014 and became a member of Grande Meadows that same year. Smith says, “I played Grande Meadows a number of times while I was on vacation and it was one of the factors for moving back to this area.” He continues, “ Grande Meadows has to the best value golf course with regard to membership cost and length of the playing season. I paid more for a membership in 2014 for Tamarack Golf Club in Labrador City than I paid for this year and am getting 2 ½ to 3 months extra playing time.” Gary who plays in all the Grande Meadows tournaments has a solid golf game and is especially consistent when he get near the green. He is a great supporter of the club and can be found most days on the course with playing buddies Mike Russell and Bob Banfield.

Geoff Buffett

Geoff left Grand Bank in March of 1999 and settled in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. It’s an hour south of the twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul and is well known as the home of the Mayo Clinic which is often ranked the #1 hospital in the world. It was also home to one of IBM’s larger facilities where Geoff worked as a Senior Systems Analyst in the Information Technology field for 15 years. He spent a further 7 years with a couple of other companies doing contract work.  Not bad for a fellow who left to go for 2 years and ended up staying 22! Geoff returned home in March of 2021 and became a member at Grande Meadows in the summer of 2021.

While living in Rochester golf became a big part of Geoff’s life. He had a membership at a couple of courses and teamed up with 7 of his friends to golf at least a couple of times a week – on the weekend and Men’s Night. Geoff made many friends through golf and was fortunate enough to be invited to watch the Ryder Cup in 2004 and 2016. And being a true Newfoundlander he brought several of those friends back to Newfoundland for a visit as well as a couple of rounds at Grande Meadows.

As for Grande Meadows Geoff says, “I love the course … when I can stay out of the woods. -:) Down in Minnesota, for the most part, the courses were more forgiving when going left or right as you could often still hit your ball. Whereas here the woods seem to devour my stray hits. I love the events, the tournaments, the men’s league, the best balls, the people. It would be awesome if it had 18 holes. But given that it does not, I appreciate how the tee boxes for holes 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 give those holes a different starting feel to them between front and back. It’s a beautiful course, challenging and fun to play.” He does, however, have one little complaint, “The golf carts need to be faster! :-)”

Geoff is a regular competitor in the Men’s Night as well as the other tournaments we have and is a great supporter of our course. He can usually be seen at the course playing with his father, Bill or in weekend events with his mom, Lillian or one of his many aunts and uncles.

Calvin Brenton

Calvin left Marystown in 2001 after working over 20 years at the Marystown Shipyard in the Design Department. He worked around the world in places such as the USA, Korea, the Netherlands and across Canada settling in Edmonton in 2007 where he and his wife Donna had their first grandchild. Calvin worked at piping design for oil and gas offshore platforms and FPSOs, pipelines, and design for the Canadian navy ship replacement program.

He returned home to Marystown in October of 2018 becoming a member of Grande Meadows Golf Course in 2019. Calvin says, “Playing golf at Grande Meadows has been fantastic; a lot of the members I knew from either working with at the Marystown Shipyard for 20+ years or playing sports over the years. The course is very challenging and enjoyable. The members are a great bunch of guys and fun to play with.”

Calvin enjoyed playing with and meeting other golfers at Grande Meadows. He became a regular at Men’s Night and other competitions throughout the summer. This fall he enjoyed playing in a group with Golf Captain Mike Russell, Bob Banfield and Gary Smith.

Ben Grandy

Ben left home in Grand Bank on September 19, 2006 and moved to Alberta where he settled down in the country of Newell just outside of Brooks . He worked at the JBS Meat Plant from 2006 to 2018 and returned to Grand Bank in June of 2018. Ben played many courses in Alberta – great golf courses in great condition but the they don’t compare to Grande Meadows
where he first became a member in 1996. He states, “The people I’ve met, the friendships I’ve made are numerous and it’s a pleasure playing at Grande Meadows. I’ve played with golfers from all over the world and the comments our group received from those golfers about how friendly the golfers are at Grande Meadows. It brings a touch of pride and a smile to my face.”

An interesting fact about Ben is that for the 12 years he lived in Alberta he kept his membership at Grande Meadows. He would come home to Grand Bank each year for a 3 week vacation and would play with his friends each day the weather permitted. That is indeed shows Ben’s commitment to the Grande Meadows Golf Course.

Ben is a regular participant in the Men’s Night league and takes part in most of the tournaments held at the course. On regular rounds you can find Ben playing with his son Deon as well as buddies Glenn Price and Carl Brown.

Gus Keating

Gus left Burin in 1972 and headed out to Ontario where he stayed for about 10 years before transferring to Western Canada. He worked in retail as a Regional Manager in western Canada for a large retail chain. Gus later worked in manufacturing as a plant manager and sales manager for the last 18 years prior to retirement in 2015.

He returned home through the summers starting in 2015  and purchased a retirement home in July 2020. Gus initially took out a membership approximately 5 years ago and would play quite a bit of golf while home on vacation.

This past summer Gus served on the Board of Directors of Grande Meadows and his experiences in the retail sector has proven invaluable to the Board of Directors. We look forward to his expertise for many years to come.

Gus says, ” My experience at Grande Meadows has been nothing but positive. It is a very challenging track enhanced by narrow fairways but with excellent  greens and many risk and reward shots that will challenge golfers at all level’s. Mother nature with her insane winds creates an additional challenge like no other I have played.”

Gus is a treat to play golf with and when he is on his game it is probably only the wind that can tame his drives at Grande Meadows. Gus is a great supporter of our course and regularly takes part in Men’s Night as well as other competitive events at the course.

Post Author: Barry Stacey