Our Beginning – In 1958, the idea of an additional golf club in the Timmins area originated with Ken Tomkinson, who responded to an advertisement in a golf magazine referring to Canadian golf and landscaping. Howard Watson, golf architect, replied and gave Ken some information on cost and what type of land would be suitable for a golf course. This information was shown to Henry Giallanardo, Don Collins, and Stan Fowler, who in turn recruited seven others, Fred Graham, Fred Grant, Jim Lawrie, Joe Giardine, Bruno Bernardi, Rino Bragagnolo, Flav Pollon and Mert Lake. Thus were born the “daring dozen” or the “12 horsemen” as they came to be known.
1st Meeting – In August of 1958, during a coffee break, the 12 men discussed the growing interest of golf in the Porcupine. They were convinced that with a great deal of hard work and more financial backing, they could accomplish the unthinkable, to build another golf course in Timmins. Each man threw in $100.00 to retain a golf architect, Howard Watson, to do a feasibility study
Purchase of the Property – Howard Watson looked over several potential sites and recommended the old Waters Farm in Mountjoy Township which ran along the Mattagami River. The group obtained title to the land, 217 acres, on December 31, 1958.
Getting the Ball Rolling – The original 12 men managed to get 80 other people to pledge $500.00 each towards the estimated cost of $100,000.00 for the 1st nine holes and club house.
The Charter – Applying for a charter meant that they could incorporate as a company and could offer redeemable preferred stock at $500.00 per share to interested individuals. The Charter was granted on May 1, 1959. Bob Shnier, architect, submitted plans for a two story club house which was projected to cost $45,000.00.
Golf Course Sod Turning – Construction began on the Waters Farm on May 22, 1959. Due to the flood of 1960, the seeding and sodding of the course was delayed and play didn’t open until the fall of 1960. Construction of the club house began in June 1960 and was completed in September 1960.
To Run the Country Club – Directors of the Spruce Needles Golf and Country Club were elected at a meeting of shareholders. The Directors first elected by the new club, served a two year term. Standing, left to right are Don Collins,Dr. J. Giardine,Jim Lawrie, Bill Stanley,Fred Grant,Fred Graham,Bruno Bernardi and Jack Helpert. Seated, left to right are, Reno Bragagnolo, Stan Fowler, Henry Giallonardo,President and Ken Tomkinson, First Vice President.
Club Property Inspection – Shareholders of the Spruce needles Golf Club visited their property in Mountjoy Township to lay survey lines marking out the boundaries of the land owned by the club. Some clearing of the land was also done by the shareholders during the afternoon. Those people included Lloyd Giallonardo, Henry Gialonardo, Ken Tomkinson, Bill Stanley, Bob Shnier, Fred Grant, Cecil Grant, Stan Fowler, Ned Bragagnolo and Jack Helpert.
Club House is Ready – The clubhouse of the Spruce Needles Golf and Country Club is located in Mountjoy Township just 3 1/2 miles from downtown Timmins. It is a split level building with two entrances, one to the lockers, and another to the public lounge. The main floor of the building overlooks the beautiful Mattagami River