Whisky Run grew in “nines.” The Par-34 Owl nine opened June 30,1989. That was followed by the Par-72 Fox/Serpent nines opening in ’92 and ’98 respectfully.
The property had been sitting idle for many years, when Lou and Maribeth purchased it in 1984. Getting a permit to build a golf course was not easy. An application in 1986 led to many neighbours rallying against the proposal. Initially, Port Colborne’s Planning Department gave it a thumbs down. After several Ontario Municipal Board hearings, approval was finally granted in 1988.
Land with a shady-yet-colorful past!
The prior history of the property led to the golf courses’ unique name. The Kinsey family, owners of the Lorraine Road lands from 1792, had a fleet of fishing boats during prohibition, and like many others, used the boats for rum running. In fact, according to a relative, one boat was purposely sunk to escape the U.S. Coast Guard. Somewhere, at the bottom of Lorraine Bay, is some well-aged whisky!
Somewhere, at the bottom of Lorraine Bay, lies some well-aged whisky!
While working with the irrigation architects, Lou noticed they’d scribbled, “whisky run” on the blueprints. And the rest, as they say, is history! (#8 on Fox, Nickel’s Glenn, was named after one of the dozer operators at Lou’s insistence!)
Striving To Improve, because history will only take you so far.
In the hospitality business, it’s not about history it’s” ‘What are you going to do for me TODAY?’
Since opening in 1989, the Nieuwland family has undertaken many improvements at Whisky Run. Sand traps were added, trees planted, driveway and parking lot paved.
Clubhouse improvements include kitchen and outdoor decks, and a pavilion built for group outings.
Led by Kevin Nieuwland, the maintenance department continues to improve golf course conditions year after year.
An 18-hole disc golf course was added on the Owl Nine 3 years ago, and 2015 saw the addition of an 18-hole foot golf course as well.
Whisky Run Golf Club – New and improved. Always!
Here at Whisky Run we’ve made several additions and improvements to the facilities and the course, like:
2009 – renovated the clubhouse bar, added full kitchen; launched newly designed website; added GPS to fleet of Club Car riding carts
2010 – relocated the Golf Shop building adjacent to the clubhouse; moved the forward tees on #1, #4, #6 Serpent to help pace of play
2011 – renovated and overhauled all of the sand traps, adding better drainage and sand
2012 – planted over 100 blue spruce trees on the course; tar and chipped the parking lot; revamped all of the cart paths; added new tee blocks on #7 Fox and #3 Serpent, creating longer distance for the bigger hitters; added 20 brand new electric riding carts
2013 – completed an additional bunker on #5 Serpent; added an 18 hole Disc Golf course on the Owl nine; opened a new practice putting green at Serpent#1
2014 – added a new pond and drainage system to #5 Fox Signature Hole
2015 – launched another newly designed interactive website
It’s a family affair …
When we say we promote a family atmosphere, we mean it! There’s a member of the Nieuwland family in just about every facet of the operation of the course:
- Lou & Maribeth Nieuwland: the parents, owners and operators
- Kevin Nieuwland (Son) – Course Superintendent
- Jessica Dobbs (Daughter) – HR & Event Manager
- Luke Nieuwland (Son) – Golf Shop Manager
- Caitlin Janzen (Cousin, daughter of Maribeth’s sister) – Event Coordinator
We’re a fun family to belong to … twice!
There’s the Nieuwland family and the Whisky Run family. A membership will get you into the second family — but you’ll feel like you’re in the first family of Ontario golf!