The grass is now taller than some people. Traces of where the putting greens were are almost non-existent. The Pictou Harbour Golf Club was a mainstay for many residents of Pictou County for decades. One resident of Pictou connected to the Grohmann Knives company was known to play a round every single day until just before his passing. It was a 9-hole course known for it’s views of Pictou Harbour, hills and often annoying closeness of fairways. It was common for someone attempting to hit uphill on #4 to end up hitting from the #7 fairway. Or for someone hitting downhill on #5 to end up hitting over from #9. Many golfers started out playing at this course before moving on to the more challenging courses at the now century-old Abercrombie or the newer Glen Lovat. Pictou offered members and visitors value-priced memberships and green fees for those who frequented its’ grounds. This course is where I spent many weeknights during my youth. The community where I spent most of the first 19 years of my life is right across the harbour in Pictou Landing. My Dad loved the game and despite his occasional frustrations with it, being on the course was something that gave him peace. There were many weeks during my grade school and junior high years where I was on the course shortly after supper for a round of 9. I began to golf less in my mid-teens owing to my growing interest in loud music and my long hair. Still, the memories I have of those golf days are positive. Dad believed golf to be one of those games you can carry with you into elder years. He was right.
The entrance has a kitchen off to the left and a bar/lounge area on the right. The back area where the deck is was a popular place for various banquets and functions over the years. When the place was still owned by the Pictou Lions Club, they had bristol boards on the walls containing a photographic history of events gone by. They didn’t throw away many of the bad photos away. There would be a picture or two where someone had a thumb partially over the lens. I remember one pic taken of someone chap in a suit. The caption was “Owen’s Back”. For some reason we all thought it was funny. If anyone from the town knows who this Owen was, leave a comment.
#3 tee area.
Beside the #3 tee area where the #2 green was, a screen was put up alongside where golfers would tee off. One of the staffers who worked the clubhouse was putting on #2 when she was hit by a tee shot from #3 and required immediate medical attention. What was left of that screen is gone.
I’ve included a clip with some additional information about this part of the course. You’ll hear me explain the stairs in the left photo and a story about a rough day of golf involving my brother involving this exact spot.
Pathway between #3 green and #4 tee box.
The waiting shelter behind clubhouse, on the way to #1 tee.
Where #1 tee box would have been.
Storage shed with lawn tractor. Standing here I observed two deer happily jumping through the tall grass. Something positive about this place becoming a green space again is noticing wildlife feel happy and comfortable in their surroundings.
Sign post at #8 tee box.
In January of this year (2019) the course property was tentatively sold. Unfortunately the sale did not finalize, leaving the 34 acre property on the market. There is some excellent drone footage taken of the course where the greens are still visible. The property could be used as an RV park or as the real estate listing suggests, be sub-divided into ten or more lots.
The right person with the right plan could come along and restore the place back to historical golfing glory.
There is much economic uncertainty surrounding this area of Nova Scotia. Events surrounding industry will dictate in the coming months where things may be headed. In driving through the town of Pictou, I sense evolution on the horizon. Times may be changing for a town that occupies a significant chapter in Canada’s history books. Older houses that I remember being in decrepit states have been renovated. I see more sold signs in lawns over the last few years. Cruise ships have visited the waterfronts. Nearby festivals have grown in size. The lesser known surrounding beaches have become more popular places for sunshine and swimming.
The 34 acres that make up this old golf course will hopefully be part of positive change going forward.
Photos are ©Copyright 2019 Frogsong Productions. Special Thanks to Graham Hutchinson of Tradewinds Realty.