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Northwestern Ontario golf club swings into a new era

Formerly known as Eagle’s Landing, the nine-hole facility has a new name following an operation change last winter.
The approach to the fifth green at the Sandy Beach Golf Club in Dryden.

DRYDEN – With a location right next to Wabigoon Lake, the Sandy Beach Golf Club has been a place for golfers to grip it and rip it for decades.

This year marks a new era for the nine-hole facility that was previously known as Eagle’s Landing.

The last owner of the facility informed the City of Dryden in 2023 that they wouldn’t be operating a golf course anymore on the land, which the city has always owned.

At that point, the city had to either find someone new to run the course or take on the operations themselves, which is what they did.

“We like to think of this as a fresh start here,” said Shawn Lappage, who is the golf club superintendent.

“There’s a new name obviously, but we also have a new team here as well. We want to welcome everyone back that’s been here before, but we also want to welcome those who have never been here before or those that haven’t been here in a few years.”

The course opened up for the 2024 season to its members on May 15 and to the general public two days later.

Although the weather hasn’t cooperated at times and an abnormal Northwestern Ontario winter led to some challenges, the feedback about the facilities has been positive, according to Lappage.

“There are a couple of greens that still need some work out there but our grounds crew have been hard at work to make everything look great,” Lappage said.

“Most of the people that are coming out have told us that they are happy that the course is still here. It’s a community asset and a recreational facility that everyone can use.”

Besides the new name, there have been some other changes at Sandy Beach.

Those range from a new system that allows golfers to set up their tee times online and 20 new all-electric golf carts.

“We’ve also brought in new mowing for the rough, fairways and greens, an aerating machine, machines to look after the sand traps and other equipment as part of an investment to keep the course in great condition,” Lappage said.

“From the sounds of things, everyone’s pretty happy with it.”

As of May 21, Sandy Beach was already over 100 memberships for the season, which Lappage called ‘a great start.’

While the course is planning to have their traditional tournaments this year, one of the long-term goals is to establish a youth program.

“I suppose it sounds cliché, but the junior golfers are the future for what we have here,” Lappage said.

“We always need more people coming out and golf is not an easy sport to try and break into. It can be intimidating for beginners to come out.

“We want a more inclusive atmosphere where we can set aside time for new golfers to come out and try the sport and where they don’t feel pressured out there.”

The Sandy Beach Golf Club is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. until sundown. The pro shop’s hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information on the facility, call 807-223-3345 or visit the club’s website and Facebook page.