One of Canada’s most historic clubs, Ashburn has played an important role in Halifax for nearly a century.
Formed as the Halifax Golf and Country Club in 1922, the club faced a challenge—where to find suitable land for a course and how to finance it. The club turned to renowned architect Stanley Thompson, who spent a handful of days in the city looking for a site that would work for the club. By the middle of 1922 the club acquired a 142-acre site and began construction. It would take three years for the entire 18 holes to be completed, though the course was officially opened in 1923. Located just minutes from Halifax’s downtown, Thompson’s Ashburn course immediately distinguished itself from the competition, which is true to this day.
Over the years, many distinguished luminaries have played what is now referred to as “Old” Ashburn, including Jean Chrétien and Bill Clinton (pictured above), Gordie Howe, and Babe Ruth (featured in the video below), as well as Canadian golf stars George Knudson and Moe Norman.
In 1999 the clubhouse for Old Ashburn was demolished, making way for the modern facility that exists today.
The New Course at Ashburn was developed in 1958 to reflect the increasing interest in the club, at a time when a highway expropriation cut into the Old Course. Land near Kinsac Lake in the Windsor Junction was identified and 600 acres were acquired. Geoffrey Cornish, a Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member, and noted golf designer, was hired to lead the project. Cornish, a former associate of Stanley Thompson, crafted an expansive, engaging layout in 1968, with the official opening in 1970. The course has since hosted many national and provincial championships, as well as two Web.com Tour events, as well as two world-class exhibitions featuring the likes of Matt Kuchar, Tom Watson, Mike Weir and Graham DeLaet.
Today the Club is led by General Manager Gordie Smith, a member of the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame.