The people of Camrose Golf Course
At the Camrose Golf Course in central Alberta, both the patrons and employees are very valuable to the facility and over the years the course has played host to many great personalities.
The current superintendent at Camrose, Darren McDermott, has been associated with the course since 1970; however, it wasn’t until 12 years later that he found himself working there full-time.
“Darren started working here in 1982 as a course labourer,” said Bill Penny, head professional and general manager at Camrose. “He worked his way to being superintendent in 1989. He has seen many changes to this course and has been extremely valuable to the success of the course.”
The previous superintendent at Camrose Golf Course was Dennis Pellrene, who began in that position in 1960.
“At that time,” said Penny, “Camrose was a nine-hole, oiled-sand-greens course.”
It wasn’t until 1964 that Camrose had grass greens installed. Pellrene went on to become superintendent at one of Canada’s most prestigious golf courses, the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario.
Penny himself has had great success in the world of golf. He earned the title of CPGA Master Professional in 2003, making him the only head professional with master status in the whole of Alberta. He has been with the course since 2008 and just last year was selected in the GolfWest Reader’s Choice Awards as the platinum award winner for Favourite Alberta Professional.
Penny notes that the current men’s record at Camrose is held by Frank VanDornick, with a score of 62 on the par-71 course.
“Frank is one of Alberta’s premium golfers,” he said. “(He has) captured all provincial titles at one time or another and is the current Alberta senior men’s champion.”
The women’s record on the course is 69 and, coincidentally, is held by Cheryl VanDornick—Frank’s wife.