On April 1, the name of the course formerly known as Lombard Glen and Country Club went up in smoke.
Perhaps April 20 would have been more appropriate. As in the 20th day of the fourth month.
That’s because 420 is the police code for Marijuana Smoking in Progress.
And that’s precisely what is welcomed at Rolling Greens Golf Club after it opened this spring in Smiths Falls, Ontario, not far from Ottawa, the capital of Canada, the country that decriminalized cannabis last fall.
Before you get all sparked up, Gordon Weiske has heard all the lines.
Weiske is a partner in the takeover and is billed as the course’s “director of entertainment.” Appropriately so, since the new course’s website advertises Cannabis-Themed Glow-in-the-Dark Fun (settle down, it’s a putt-putt contest) and a drive-in-movie theater, live music, “rides, games, shows and more!”
It’s the only course where weed is welcome, where pot bunkers and grass have whole new meanings as does smoking one down the middle. Enough, already.
Let’s be blunt. (Sorry.)
“Our tagline is going to be, ‘Come roll with us,’” says Weiske.
The Rolling Greens experience is definitely not suited for everyone, especially at a time when the industry is looking to welcome families and juniors to the game.
Rolling Greens is restricted to customers 19 years of age and older, in compliance with federal laws concerning cannabis consumption. Although the course is close to the largest cannabis producer, marijuana will not be sold at the course.
“It’s BYOB, bring your own bud,” says Weiske.
Initial reaction has been mixed, to say the least. Social media postings indicate that current members and traditional golfers are less than thrilled.
And the course’s most famous range rat will almost certainly never tee it up there again. LPGA star Brooke Henderson, a native of Smiths Falls and a devout Christian, used to make regular appearances there to practise.
As for the course itself, it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. Formerly family-owned, a review on Flagstick.com at the time noted that “tree-lined fairways and large bentgrass greens are featured along with water hazards on half of the holes. ... Challenging and interesting are two words that can best describe play on the golf course.”
Interesting, in weed.
Excuse me, “indeed.”
John Gordon, who has covered golf for more than 30 years for Canadian newspapers, magazines and a TV network, has authored eight books on the game. He lives in Midland, Ontario.