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Box 113, 210-2nd Ave South, Marwayne, Alberta  T0B 2X0

Lea Park Raven Golf Course History
Course Golf –With a Western Flair!
 
In a year of budget cutbacks and depressing news about the recession, Alberta’s Teenormous Contest could possibly be the highlight of 2009, and the Village of Marwayne is the perfect location for the ATB Financial World’s Largest Golf Tee. After all, Marwayne has proven time and again that if there is no way, it will make one.
 
History of Golf in Marwayne
When the depression of the dirty thirties destroyed the dreams of many, Marwayne found a way to make dreams happen. In 1931, Dave Rose built a nine-hole course with sand greens, a footbridge over a creek, and fairways cut short with the help of his sheep. There were no golf fees, and golfers maintained the greens by dragging sand bags over them each time they had played. The golf course was in operation until 1938.
 
The village endured a golf drought until 1965 when Ed and Jean Block constructed a golf course on their land two-and-a-half miles west of the village in the Vermilion River Valley. This scenic course had a footbridge and crossed the river twice. The community enjoyed the course and hosted tournaments until the Blocks sold the land and moved to Grande Cache in 1968.
 
Another dry spell fell on Marwayne and the only means of golfing was to drive to neighbouring communities. Not satisfied with this arrangement, in the spring of 1985, Murray Lowrie made a nine-hole golf course behind the ball diamonds in the north part of town. It was affectionately called Hit a Post because golf cups were never installed. Once you got on the green, you just hit a post instead of sinking your ball. The game was so popular that, that same year, a group of community volunteers started the Lea Park Golf Course, of which Mr. Lowrie became the first caretaker.
 
Built on community spirit and land donated by Gerald West, Lea Park Golf Course was developed 10 miles north of Marwayne, adjacent to Jubilee Regional Park which includes the Lea Park Rodeo. Volunteers cultivated, harrowed, rolled, seeded and mowed grass, and built bridges on what is now one of the most picturesque, nine-hole golf courses in rural Alberta overlooking the Vermilion River. Ranked as a par three, pros and pigeons alike can enjoy this course. It’s an excellent location to learn the game, and if you’re good enough, you might see the odd birdie or eagle.
 
Golf Today
Passion for golf lives on in the current generation. Local businesses, such as River Hill, help maintain the course through service and equipment donations. Currently, Gerald West is exploring the development of hiking paths along the river on land he intends to donate to the expansion of what is now called Lea Park Raven Golf Course. Nothing fancy about that name change. While the term albatross doesn’t fit a golf course like this one, this course is unique enough to warrant its own terminology – "raven” is one such term. Situated in an un-touched reservoir of natural beauty, the course is abundant with ravens that, even while you’re looking, will steal your golf balls. If you’re lucky, you might spot pelicans that have been known to drop fish from the river onto the fairways.
 
No endless wills of wealth have contributed to this jewel of the Vermilion River. Each grant was matched dollar for dollar, and where dollars stopped, physical labour picked up demonstrating that when there is no way, Marwayne will make one.