A lot has taken place since Ruth and Vic Welder, with the help of their children, opened Mission Creek Golf Club on KLO Road back in 1979.
Once a racehorse track, the Welders transformed the property bordering Mission Creek Greenway into the natural playground that it is today.
The cottonwood and willow trees they planted are now mature, but what hasn’t changed is the welcoming atmosphere of the mid-length, 18-hole, par-61 golf course that attracts golfers from near and far, including one local member who recently celebrated playing his 4,000th game.
“One of the highlights of our course is definitely the landscape,” Debbie Welder says. “It is a natural setting with ponds, turtles, birds and trees, along with a greenway and putting greens that have well-placed water hazards and sand traps, making it ideal for golfers of all levels. Many of our golfers enjoy walking the course, which accommodates any skill level. The short game play allows people to finish a round in 3.5 hours, so they can still do other things the same day.”
What makes Mission Creek Golf Club especially unique is that it is one of the only third-generation operated and maintained golf courses left in the Okanagan. The Welders’ son John and then wife Debbie bought into the business in the mid-1980s.
“After Vic retired, we carried on and ran it with Ruth until she retired,” Debbie says. “Both our children, Evan and Danielle, collected the cans and bottles on the course and took them in for recycling refunds. That’s how they started working on the course. It evolved for them being employed to taking it over.”
Today, Danielle manages the pro shop and does the bookkeeping, while Evan manages the grounds. The Welders’ five great-grandchildren are also getting into the family business, and are now collecting the recyclables and helping maintain the gardens.
“I have one grandson who is doing the cans and another who is doing gardening,” Debbie says. “As they get older, they’ll wash the power carts and handle the groundskeeping. The cycle continues.”
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
All Think Local Stories