Rick began checking out nearby courses and started planning a new use for his farm. Five years later, Rick found golf course designer Bill Dolgas in Montreal and the plans began. Bill insisted that even though almost all the courses in the Ottawa Valley at that time were only nine holes, all courses should be designed as 18 holes. He told Rick that nine holes were only half a golf course.
By this time, Rick had some built-in labour in his five kids who worked very hard to help ready the farm for golf. They pulled rocks, drove tractors and cleared fields. Family and friends worked together to see the vision come to reality. The first nine holes opened in 1983 but it soon became evident another nine holes were needed.
What was to become the second nine was still grazing grounds for the cattle. During one golf tournament, 160 of the 190 cows found their way onto the golf course. Golfers were very careful as to where they stepped and cow patties were declared ground under repair with a free lift.
In those early years, the course opened at 6:00 a.m. and each day green fees sold out quickly. The second nine helped alleviate some of that congestion. Over the years Rick and his family worked incredibly hard to bring Calabogie Highlands Golf Resort to the beautiful and enjoyable course it has become today. Along the way another nine was added to the Island Nine and Mountain Nine to make 27 holes. As the new 9 holes, the Lakeview Course soon became a favorite to many who preferred to play nine holes while enjoying the beautiful Calabogie hills.
A few years ago, Golf Canada named Calabogie Highlands as one of the top 50 golf courses in Canada.
Shortly after opening the course, Rick became one of the founders of the National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada. He had learned the value of collective purchasing through his farming days and could translate that into huge savings for golf club owners when they worked together.
In 2015 the course was re-positioned back to 18 holes with each nine returning to the clubhouse.
Rick and his family would like to thank all those who have supported the Highlands over the past 30 plus years. The management and staff look forward to their continued contribution in providing an exceptional golf facility and their role in growing the game of golf.
The Calabogie Highlands Golf Resort is an accredited member associated with: