After 30 plus years of dedicated service to the Ponoka Golf Club, head pro Rob MacPherson is taking on a new challenge in Red Deer.
In 1988, MacPherson was hired at the club and then in 1989 he became the club’s head pro and he has seen quite a bit of change since he started. The move is an exciting one but it’s a little bittersweet.
“I’m going to miss this place…it’s been more than just a job,” said MacPherson.
He said the 30 plus years have been a passion for him.
As the years progressed, staff took on more responsibilities and helped expand operations. MacPherson said it was thanks to the membership for ensuring the course remained a viable community course.
“The golf course is pretty much the way it is now…but it was a smaller operation,” said MacPherson.
“It was a very volunteer-based club.”
Since becoming the head pro, and then the head pro/general manager in 2010, the club has seen some serious growth. Major developments include when the club purchased the land rather than lease it, expanded the clubhouse and brought further events and activities to the community.
When asked about the course itself, MacPherson speaks proudly of the layout. “To this day when new people come here, they can’t believe it.”
Part of the appeal and surprise is the fact that golfers first go up the scenic driveway before parking and then eventually seeing the whole course.
Other advancements include two new golf simulators for winter practice and activity, premiere golf finals and many entertainment nights. Much of this is thanks to the board of directors’ trust, said MacPherson.
“We’ve always had a board and membership that has wanted to see improvement and change,” he explained.
“The board has been supportive of my vision, and vice-versa.”
MacPherson has been hired to take on the general manager role at the River Bend Golf & Recreation Area. This comes just as the 2019 Canada Winter Games converges on Red Deer with the club hosting the cross country skiing and biathlon events.
He and his family — wife Brenda and daughter Reese — are excited for this new direction. MacPherson added he’s excited to see what the Ponoka Golf Club will do next as Ryan Moore is taking on the head pro job.
Board treasurer Pete Hall, speaking on behalf of the board, sent an email praising MacPherson for his dedication the last three decades.
“Rob MacPherson showed exceptional commitment to the game of golf and Ponoka Golf Club,” states the email.
“On behalf of our entire membership, we thank him for that commitment, along with his outstanding contribution as an ambassador for our entire community during his tenure here. We wish Rob, Brenda and Reese nothing but happiness and success as they embark on their new adventure in Red Deer.”