Revelstoke GC celebrates 100 years April 9th, 2024

Revelstoke Golf Club Celebrates 100 years on April 9th, 2024.


A Guide to Golf Courses of BC, Alan Dawe: Backspin, Arv Olson; Newspapers: Vancouver Province, Vancouver Sun, Mail Herald (Revelstoke), Revelstoke Review; BC Provincial Archives; Revelstoke Museum & Archives; Vancouver Public Library, The BC City Directories; Newspaper databases,, NewspaperArchives, GenealogyBank Newspapers.


First reference to golf

On July 15, 1912 the CPR opened their Banff Springs hotel and golf course. The success of this enterprise encouraged the Federal Government to consider building a similar project on Mt Revelstoke in the Revelstoke Park. “Play Golf Above the Clouds” became the promotional slogan for the project. Mr. Green, the federal representative reported in July 1914; “Extensive improvements to the park will be necessary for the purpose of attracting tourists to the park. One of these will be the laying out of golf links. Golf is one of the amusements that is indispensable to the wealthy holiday maker, and he (Green) believes that the novelty of playing golf above the clouds at an elevation of over 6,000 feet will prove a unique attraction to thousands of tourists.” Les Woods, who later in the 1920’s appeared as a local golf professional in the Kootenays, expressed positively about a golf links on the mountain. “That an ideal golf course could be made in the Revelstoke Park near the chalet is the opinion of Les W. Wood, an enthusiastic golfer. Nowhere has he seen natural conditions more suitable for golf. The grass in the area is tough and excellent for golf purposes and natural hazards abound. A nine-hole course could be easily constructed and it would be one of the best most unique and attractive courses on the continent.” Unfortunately, WW 1 halted the project for ever.

In April 1924 the local newspaper “The Revelstoke Review” reported, “At last Revelstoke has struck her stride in another summer pastime – golf which promises to soon become as popular as it is in all the important cities and hamlets throughout the world today.” The founders opened their first six-hole course with sand greens near Waskett’s mill.

On April 9th, 1924, the initial group elected Dr. Arthur Llewellyn Jones as the first president; Geoffrey Whitehead, Manager of Bank of Commerce, secretary; other committee members Henry McVity, Revelstoke Real Estate/Insurance Agency; Thomas Jones, Manager Imperial Bank; and Douglas Horth. Revelstoke Garage owner. Enthusiastically the attendees encouraged the founders to continue their efforts towards a permanent course for Revelstoke. On the old agricultural grounds. A delegation led by Adam Bell, CPR machine operator, approached the City Council with the club’s wish. The group wanted to use the abandoned Agricultural Grounds (the former race track) for their permanent golf course. Bell argued a course was an asset to a city, an excellent tourist attraction that would be of considerable benefit to the city. He pointed out that the city was not handing over the land to the club but proposed leasing it at a nominal rental. He stressed the point that all exclusiveness was guarded against by the council reserving the right to set the club fees, etc.   He also pointed out the new auto court would be located near the course further enticing the traveller to stay in Revelstoke another day.” The council voted to send the request from the golf club to the citizens by way of a City By-Law #324. The citizens voted overwhelmingly in favour of leasing the 46 acres in the Columbia Park to the Revelstoke GC. For ten years.

Dr. Arthur Llewellyn Jones.

With no golfing experience it seems strange why Dr Arthur Jones would serve the Revelstoke GC as its president for the 1st decade and for three additional years prior to 1940. The answer could be revealed in his family history.

Last son of four sons and six daughters. Arthur Lllewellyn was born in Greenwich England in  1887. Shortly after Dr. Arthur Lloyd Jones moved the family permanently to Mumbles, Seaside,  Wales.The doctor became an advocate for his area promoting the seaside area as a future health spa.  He formed the 3rd Welch Field Ambulance Corp during the Great War. He strongly supported the Boy Scout movement in Wales. During the 1920’s and 1930’s he oversaw the Pensions Department country wide from Seaside. Dr Lloyd Jones’ obit illustrated his human qualities. “A man of outstanding personality and charm of manner, the doctor endeared himself in the health of all and his unfailing courtesy stamped him as one of nature’s gentlemen. With the medical profession he was persona grata and admired by all his colleagues. His cheery smile and hearty greetings were ever present when he performed his usual daily round radiating Happiness to all. The memory of so good a man as was the doctor who will forever be remembered as one who lived for others rather than himself.”

Three of his four sons became medical doctors. Dr. Arthur Llewellyn Jones, the youngest, attended Gotham College before arriving in Canada in 1906. His arrival papers do not indicate he was a physician. Arthur attended McGill University graduating with high marks. Research indicates he arrived in Victoria around 1912 to serve as a physician/surgeon at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. He married Marie Anna Knight in Ottawa on February 15th, 1915. Shortly after he enlisted in the medical corp. attached to the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1915 as Assistant Director of Medical Services.  In 1918 he returned to Victoria to enter private practice.

For some reason he moved the family to Revelstoke in 1924 to open a private practice. Until he joined the medical corp. in 1940 Dr Jones served the Revelstoke citizens. He held many positions during his stay in Revelstoke – Chairman of the Canadian Legion, founder and charter member of the rotary Club, and long-term member of the local school board.  As the permanent Chairman of the Revelstoke District Conservative Part, he served as host to Lady and Lord Willingdon when the regal group visited Revelstoke in 1929 on their nationwide trip.

His deep devotion to Revelstoke and the citizens of BC is illustrated in his advocacy for a national health care system. This advocacy was contrary to the conservative party philosophy. The Dr. held many speeches throughout the Kootenays and Okanagan attempting to gain support for his belief on a national medical system for Canada. He strongly believed the poor and the indigenous population should receive free medical services.

With regard to his service to the Revelstoke GC, probably lies in his attempt to serve the community. This philosophy definitely was a strong characteristic of his father. Perhaps he foresaw the need for a long-term commitment from him to ensure the club’s success.  While in Revelstoke he and his wife had four children – three daughters and one son. His son died on the HMS Hood when the German submarine “the Bismark” sank it in 1941. Research indicates the three daughters married and lived in the Kootenays. Gwen, the youngest died in Kimberley in 2016. (Perhaps further research will locate Dr. Jones’ grandchildren living in the Kootenays.)  In the 1930’s, he became the Medical Officer for District #13 and later in 1940 went overseas with the rank of Lieutenant -Colonel in the medical corp.

The Revelstoke council granted the golf club a ten-year lease on the property in the Columbia Park area. Because of the ample water supply for the fairways and greens from the bordering Columbia River, the Revelstoke Golf Course has the distinction of being the only course in BC  with grass greens outside Vancouver Island, the lower mainland, and the Fraser Valley prior to 1955. This characteristic definitely made this course an attraction for players throughout the Okanagan, the Kootenays, and Alberta.

The women of the Revelstoke GC have made a major contribution over the history of the club raising funds for numerous projects to enhance the club experience. The original twenty-nine members converted the Agricultural Hall into the clubhouse. They raised the funds by hosting teas in the King Edward Hotel, dinners at their private homes. The annual dance in the old Masonic Hall became a constant source of revenue to support projects for the club. Over the club’s history the women provided funding for a new verandah, an electric stove, wages for course improvements, club insurance, a fireplace, furnace oil, and clubhouse insurance. In 1939 the women assessed themselves each one dollar to provide new curtains for the clubhouse.  In 1949 when the club required an area to create a licensed premises, they sacrificed their upstairs lounge area for the purpose. The unique design of the old Hall, included a cupola on the roof that still exists today.


In 1954 at a special meeting, the members made a positive forward thinking move for the future of their course. The members passed a resolution to purchase Villa lots 50,58, and 70 section 4, Township 24, Range 2 WGM, Kootenay District from Mrs. Alice Hedena Upper.  The terms of the agreement for sale were total cost $1800 with $500 as a down payment and the balance at $300 per annum at 6% interest.

When Canada signed the Columbia River Treaty with the US government in 1961, the new dams BC Hydro planned to create posed a problem for the Revelstoke Golf Club. In 1967 the club, the City of Revelstoke, and BC Hydro reached the following agreement.  Hydro purchased the 64 acres of land within the Big Bend of the Columbia River because the high-water table prevented any future housing development on the property. Hydro gave the land to the City of Revelstoke. The golf club traded the Upper property to the City in exchange for $140,000 plus the 64- acre Hydro property.

In 1973 the club began the process to expand the course to 18 holes. Norman Woods, who designed Kokanee Springs at Crawford Bay and Willow Park in Calgary, estimated the cost for expansion at $150,000. The club applied for a $50,000 provincial grant. The Revelstoke council agreed to pay $50,000 if the club raised the last $50,000. The full 18-hole course opened on June 12th, 1976. Ruby Nobbs struck the first shot on the new layout with fellow life members George Bevan, Tangress Galicano, and Reta Tomlinson watching her. Norman Woods used extensive bunkering schemes as a trademark in his designs.  In 1989 Alan Dawe described the course as having two distinct nines. “A relatively flat easy walking course with spectacular views of the mountains. Of the course’s 38 official sand traps, 28 are located on the newest nine.”

The BC Golf Museum extends a hearty congratulations to the Revelstoke Golf Club on their 100th anniversary.

The museum is constantly on the search for any early memorabilia – photos, scorecards, trophies, newsclippings, brochures – associated with BC’s earliest golf clubs.

Contact the Museum at email:

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