Jared Rempel and Chad McAdie were out for a round on the Cheam Mountain Golf Course Monday night when Rempel suddenly started laughing.
“Why are you laughing?” McAdie asked.
“This is our golf course,” Rempel replied with a grin as he did a sweeping 360 spin. “We have a golf course.”
The best friends and Chilliwack natives have always dreamed about running a golf course together, and now they do. Three weeks ago they reached a management-agreement with the City of Chilliwack, which owns the property and buildings.
“We’ve reached an agreement to run it for the next five years with the option to do it for another five after that,” Rempel explained.
Rempel, 30, and McAdie, 43, have taken on a monumental task.
Tuesday afternoon McAdie was out on the course punching and sanding greens. Rempel was in the freshly painted pro shop, looking out a window at the driving range building.
“A lot of our initial investment is into that building because the roof and walls were leaking and rotting,” Rempel said. “We’ve had to put a new roof on it and re-frame the wall.
The only equipment Rempel and McAdie inherited from previous management was a tractor, range picker and a utility vehicle.
“We bought a new rough mower, fairway mower and greens mower from Sandpiper because they got new owners and new equipment out there,” Rempel noted.
Rempel remembers better times for the course in the 1990s.
“I was a junior member and only 12 or so at the time, so it didn’t register how busy it was then, but people talk about not being able to book a time for men’s night because it was so full.” Rempel said. “You’d have four or five groups waiting on the first tee, and we think it can be that way again.
Cheam’s advantage is its layout.
The par-three course appeals to golfers who want 18 holes and don’t have time or desire to play through a full-length course.
“We see this as place you can go to for a quicker round of golf and maybe some beers with your friends,” Rempel said.
“There are a lot of people who are curious about what’s going to happen here and I think when people come out and see things are improving, word will spread quickly.”