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Golf Links at Chaffeys

There has recently been much discussion in Chaffeys Lock about an historic golf course that

was once located at the edge of the village, although few have been able to nail down any

details about it, including where it was located. One person posted in the local Chaffeys Locks Facebook group that they believed it was along Chaffeys Lock Road, west of Marina Road in the area now occupied by the Trailside at Chaffeys community and recreational trails. That sent me on a mission to find out more – and to look for wayward 100 year old golf balls that may be lying around.


So, where was it?

Golf Links 1949 Topographical Map
1949 Topographical Map

I did not find out too much from my searching, but I believe I have determined the location. The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville website has historical topographic maps from as far back as 1929. A look at those maps revealed that “Golf Links” was written across the lands to the north of Trailside, between the Cataraqui Trail (then CPR Railway) and Indian Lake. These words appear on both the 1927 and 1949 maps. I wish I knew more, but at least the location is no longer a mystery.


However, with “Links” in the name, and the fact that Canada’s oldest golf course still in operation is located a short distance away in Perth Ontario, I think we can get some hints about what the Chaffeys Golf Links must have been like.


Golf 100 Years Ago

Golf Links 1927 Topographical Map
1927 Topographical Map

The “Links ‘o Tay” golf course (now called Perth Golf Course) was established around 1890. It began with only three holes, and local lore in Chaffeys has it that the Chaffeys course similarly only had a few holes.


In the early days at Links ‘o Tay, with no modern lawn equipment, goats were called in to do the work (and provide needed fertilizer).


It made for some unusual hazards to the game.


The Perth course was progressive in its day, as it allowed female golfers at a time when most others didn’t. This helped save the course during the two world wars when most other courses closed for lack of members.


From the earliest maps available, we know the Chaffeys Links existed in 1929, but could it have

been even older than that? Who knows? Maybe it, like the Perth course, began in the 1800s,

making it among the oldest around.


As a child growing up in nearby Westport, I still recall seeing my father sitting on his bulldozer shaping the lands to help create what is now Evergreen Golf Course, owned by the McCulloch family who owned the adjacent Green Shingle Lodge (oh, how I miss those buffet dinners!) That was back in the mid-1970s, as I recall. Westport’s other course, Rideau Lakes Golf and Country Club, was a little older and also has an interesting history. According to their website, the course officially opened on June 14, 1964.  The Club is unique as it was set up as a trust operated by a volunteer Board of Directors as a ‘not-for-profit’ entity.


Still more to learn

I recently traveled along Marina Road to look for any evidence of the Links, but only found a

beautiful hardwood bush in the area shown as the location of the course. If anyone has any information to add to the already amazing history of Chaffeys Lock, I would love to know more.


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