Bigwin Island

Lambton Golf & Country Club

Canada, Ontario, South Ontario, Toronto
5 (1)
Designer: Rees Jones
Course Opened: 1902

From the club's website:

Having decided upon the parcel of land to purchase, a provisional committee was then established in April 1902.  Their tasks were to arrange the organization of the new golf club, the subscription of shares in the Club to purchase the land and the overall design and development of the golf course and Clubhouse.  The committee included members from Rosedale, High Park and The Highlands Golf Clubs. George S. Lyon, who in four short years, had become one of the finest golfers in Canada, would assist in the share distribution. The committee decided that the share capital would be comprised of 300 shares at $100 each, an unprecedented amount at the time, but necessary considering the desire to build a 27-hole golf course and erect the finest Clubhouse of that day.

Many of the clubs founded in the late 1800's were on shaky ground financially.  They also lacked the land to expand their courses.  Austin wanted to ensure this club would not meet with the same fate as the other clubs.  Apart from his prominent position in Toronto's Business establishment, Austin and his wife Mary were very much a part of the city's social life.  Taking no chances, the committee enlisted George Lyon to use his influence in various golfing circles, to sign up new members.  It was from these connections that the bulk of the shares were subscribed. 

By July of that year the committee determined the response was strong enough to proceed with the incorporation of the new golf club and to purchase the land at Lambton Mills.  On July 16, 1902, Lambton Golf and Country Club Limited was incorporated with Albert W. Austin as its first President.   A portrait of Austin wearing his red jacket, hangs in the Clubhouse.  It was painted in 1908 upon the completion of his term as President.  Austin remained involved in all aspects of Lambton until his death some thirty two years later, in 1934 at the age of 78.

Between the 1st and 2nd World Wars Donald Ross and Stanley Thompson redesigned a number of holes and, following Hurricane Hazel in 1954, Robbie Robinson was retained to restore the course.  In 1987, a Long-Range Planning Committee was appointed to attempt to identify what path the Club should follow over the next ten years.  Part of that plan included golf course architect Graham Cooke's ideas regarding the golf course.  In 1991 members gave approval for the extension of the 6th hole into a par 5 over Black Creek, the conversion of the 8th hole to a difficult par four, 7th and the building of a new 8th hole as a par three.  These holes were ready for play in 1993.  In 2008 the Club retained Rees Jones, one of the great golf course designers of our time, to create a Master Plan for our Long Term Golf Course Strategy. . This Master Plan included all of Lambton’s 27 holes.  Construction of the first phase of the Master Plan commenced on August 4, 2009 and included renovations of holes #1 – 16 on the Main Course and holes #1 – 4 and #9 on the Valley Course.  The practice range and putting greens were completely redone.  A new chipping and short game area was built.


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