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Oakland Greens Golf and Country Club

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Golf is a popular recreational sport and pastime enjoyed by many throughout the world. Residents of the village of Norwood and surrounding area have had the privilege of pursuing their passion for the game at a local golf and country club for over half a century.

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A passion for golf and a desire to provide a local course for others to enjoy must have been the reason that Norwood resident Eugene Mahoney decided in the late 1960’s to use a portion of his farmland to develop the village’s first golf course. Located on the 7th Line of Asphodel just west of town, Mahoney’s course was a nine hole configuration and was designed by Peterborough native and golf hall of famer Lex Robson. The course made use of some of the existing structures such as a two story farm house and a large century barn, a small pro-shop was added to the back of the house and the barn was used for equipment storage. The first Tee off took place at the newly opened Oakland Greens Golf Club in 1967. The club and course quickly became quite popular with a loyal group of golfers who made regular use of the course.

Moving forward a decade, in 1976 the club was purchased by Toronto based businessman Bill Muir; the owner and operator of All-Rite Custom Steel Products Ltd., a steel fabricating business. Having recovered from a heart attack, Muir’s doctors had advised him to find a less stressful way to spend his time; Bill Muir purchased the club with the idea that it would be a stress free way to stay busy in his retirement. Unfortunately it didn’t really work out that way as Bill was the type of individual who just had to be doing something and he immediately started improvements to the course and facilities. His improvements included some new buildings and renovations plus the purchase of some adjoining property so that another nine holes could be added. Bill set about removing at least two derelict buildings from the property including an abandoned house and another old barn. The original small pro shop was removed and a large new addition was constructed and attached to the original house (with Bill doing all the steel work himself). The new facilities would accommodate a larger pro-shop, a 300 seat banquet hall, a games area with pool tables, dart boards and a shuffle board and also members amenities such as change rooms, showers and a sauna. The century barn was also given a retrofit and became the home for the golf carts and lawn maintenance equipment. Several years later more buildings were added exclusively for the golf carts. The course was rebranded and reopened for the 1977 golfing season as Oakland Greens Golf and Country Club.

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Although not completely finished for a couple more years, Muir hired legendary golf course architect Robbie Robinson to design the new back nine and also to redesign the original nine holes to create the course’s current 18 hole, Par 71 configuration.

In 1978 Bill’s daughter Marilyn and her family moved to the area to help her father run the course. Bill passed away in 2006. Marilyn and Bruce Wharram continue to operate the course today however now with help from their daughters Jennifer and Penny and their several grandchildren, thus making for a total of four generations of the family to have worked at the course. It would be safe to say that Oakland Greens is well positioned to cater to aficionadas of “The Gentleman’s Game” (and Ladies too) for another 50 years or more.

Oakland Greens is open for business and following current pandemic restrictions golfers just need to call ahead to book a tee time (705-696-2915).

The sad loss of the Wharram’s daughter Tammy at the age of 18 to cancer in 1989 introduced the family to Camp Oochigeas, a Muskoka based camp for children affected by cancer; the Wharram family have been keen supporters ever since hosting an annual Curl for Kids bonspiel at the Norwood Curling Complex and an annual Bill Muir Memorial Golf Tournament with all proceeds going to the camp.

Traditionally held in January each year the Curl for Kids bonspiel was like most events, canceled due to the continuing pandemic. There are special people out there though however, in spite of the tough times caused by COVID as many of the bonspiel’s regular supporters called to make their annual donations. This was the 30th year for the annual event and even though not a single rock made its way down the ice, thanks to the generosity from local service clubs, the business community and individuals an incredible $12,865 was raised for the camp.

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As mentioned, the Wharram’s also started (in memory of Marilyn’s father) the annual Bill Muir Memorial golf tournament in the summer of 2006 with the proceeds also going to the camp. The tournament was the only one held at the course in 2020 due to COVID. This year’s annual golf tournament is scheduled to take place at Oakland Greens on July 17.

The Wharram’s Norwood Curl for Kids bonspiel is Camp Ooch’s longest running fundraising sponsor, it has been providing support to the camp since 1991. Thanks to the incredible support and generosity they receive from the community and beyond; the bonspiel and golf tournament has raised over $140,000 for Camp Oochigeas over the years.

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