The new owners of Semlin Valley Golf Course in Cache Creek are looking to make some changes to boost membership.

The new owners of Semlin Valley Golf Course in Cache Creek are looking to make some changes to boost membership.

Semlin Valley Golf Course looks to entice new members

The new owners are planning some changes at the Cache Creek course, in order to win back former members and get new ones.

The Semlin Valley Golf Course in Cache Creek has been described as “A nine-hole gem set in the nexus of three majestic valleys” that features “lush, well-maintained fairways, panoramic vistas, [and] the best-kept greens around”; but like many golf courses it has been having a difficult time in recent years, with falling membership that threatened to close the course in 2016.

However, new owners Brenda Whitehead and Gord Collier are hoping to turn things around and bring back a sense of community at the golf course. The pair purchased the property in April 2016 and did not get too involved the first year, preferring to get to know the course and the society to which they lease it. Now, however, the two are embarking on a different course; one they hope will revitalize the property, bring back former members, and encourage new people to join.

Whitehead, a personal trainer, has been commuting between Cache Creek and the coast, but will soon be living here full-time and managing the course. “We’re looking at making a couple of changes to the course itself, to make it more user-friendly,” she says, noting that the course as it stands is a challenging one. “That’s why we want to make some changes.” These will include widening some of the fairways and removing some of the sand bunkers.

She admits that the current clubhouse has its limitations, including lack of space, but says they are able to accommodate large crowds with the use of tents. She and Collier plan on some minor changes to the interior and exterior of the clubhouse, including the addition of an outdoor barbecue and gazebo.

It takes a long time—three to four hours—to play a full 18-hole game, and Whitehead says they plan to bring back the Friday night nine-hole and barbecue evenings. They also hope to attract more junior members, as well as those who live outside the area or who work and have limited time for golf, by offering various price structures for memberships.

There is storage—during the summer or all year round—at the site for people who have their own golf carts, so they do not need to transport them back and forth. There is also a trailer available for rental, for those who have no way of transporting their golf cart.

There are already five or six tournaments lined up for the 2017 season, with an “icebreaker” tournament scheduled for Saturday, April 8, and another one on Saturday, April 22. “We hope to increase the number of tournaments, and add something else for people to do,” says Whitehead.

She notes that she is a “big city” girl who is new to the community. “I’m looking forward to meeting more people and taking suggestions about what people want to see. It’s all about the community. It’s a real learning curve, but I’m looking forward to it.”