BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF –
There is a place where the Beaver River meanders past Grey Road 7 just north of Grey Road 13 near Kimberley. This is the heart of the Beaver Valley where the Niagara Escarpment takes a southerly detour all the way to Eugenia before returning its course further northward along the Bruce Peninsula. It is one of the prettiest spots in Ontario as rock face cliffs expose themselves to the east and Talisman Mountain Springs Inn with its well-manicured golf course adorns the western view.
Set your way-back machine to two or three years ago and the scenery was far less attractive. In fact, the former nine-hole gem of the old Talisman Resort barely resembled a golf course and more likened itself to a wild and hairy land of tall grass and weeds.
Following years of neglect, it was near this time that Richard Cvik, golf course manager at Talisman, began an extensive plan to rehabilitate the abandoned parkland and return it to its earlier glory.
The course opened itself to the public again in June, 2016. Considerably more pristine than their derelict past, the fairways and greens were back in playable shape and golfers slowly started to return. A new building had replaced the smaller clubhouse of the former facility and work continues on the property to this day.
“We had pre-existing drainage problems,” said Cvik as he described the challenges of rehabilitating the course. “There’s a lot of clay in the soil and being in a river valley, that can pose a lot of problems.”
The hot and dry summer of 2016 meant a lot of irrigation was needed to keep the grass in good condition while the excessive rain of 2017 has been both a blessing and a curse. Although the grass is lush and green throughout, at times flooding made for some wet sections at the beginning of the Spring and Summer. For this reason, the course re-opened in mid-May when Cvik would have preferred an earlier start. “But everyone around here was in the same boat,” said Cvik, not intending the pun.
“We have had 99.9 percent positive feedback from visitors,” said Cvik, pointing out that condo owners are the most happy. As the summer hits its peak, this course looks as good as it ever has and although many players have returned, the course is still a somewhat under-appreciated secret within the local golfing community. Of course, the rainy summer hasn’t exactly been ideal weather for golfers. But dollar for dollar, Talisman is a well-deserved reward for those who are looking for a relaxing game on a well-kept course with exceptional scenery.
“A big draw for the course this season has been the 10-play pass which provides a 20 percent discount off regular greens fees,” Cvik said. “This is good for us as well, bringing people [who have played the course before] back.”
If opting for a single round, $20 will get you nine holes, while $25 is the price for 18, taxes included. Mondays bring the biggest savings at a “buck-a-hole” after 2 pm on a nine-hole minimum.
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