After 31 years, Randy Gallop is stepping away from the links.
Despite some cool fall weather, the Bonnyville Golf and Country club hosted it’s annual Club Championship this past weekend, which also served as a send-off to one of its resident golf pro.
Randy Gallop celebrated his last of 31 seasons at the club as a pro player with the tournament and has been a staple of the club since its early days.
“I came up here when it was just sand greens and doing swing clinics. I was working as an assistant at the Derrick Golf and Winter Club in Edmonton,” said Gallop.
“That’s what got my foot in the door when they did open up the grass in 1990, and I was fortunate enough for them hire me.
“It’s gone by so fast, and 31 seasons has been an incredible stay for me here.”
Unlike most businesses dealing with COVID-19, the club has never been busier.
They’ve managed to sustain the number of golfers despite there being no proper tournaments this year and have kept their course in tip-top shape thanks to club superintendent Wade Brockhoff.
In his retirement, Gallop plans on pursuing his newfound passion for RVing, but will maintain a presence on the greens and fairways of Bonnyville for many years to come.
In his absence, he passes the torch onto fellow golf pro, twenty-nine-year-old Jeff Graham.
“Jeff is an amazing young man,” said Gallop. “He’s the same age as I was when I came here, and we’re very similar. He’s got a great personality, a very good player and teacher, and I’m happy to see the golf course get him.
“I hope he’ll be here in good hands for the next 30 years as well.”
The tournament itself had a high turnout despite some cool temperatures, with 120 participants showing up, and saw Mark Reed and Michelle Ferrier win the men’s and women’s league respectively.
The tournament saw numerous departures from the norm in order to meet AHS safety regulations–typically the tournament would close with a celebratory meal and prize draw, but instead, all that could be done was a round of coffee and Bailey’s to begin the competition, followed by individual tee times.
Despite the setbacks, Club officials has said they’re happy with the turnout, as was Gallop himself.
“The members have treated me so well here, and they’ve supported me throughout the years,” said Gallop.
“Interacting with the people, and the many friends from all over the province–that’s what I’ll miss the most.”