Golf simulator a hole-in-one for Fort Nelson

July 30, 2021

Belle the bison visits the driving range at Poplar Hills Golf and Country Club.
Photo: Northern Development

Since 2016, Northern Development has approved nearly $160,000 into five projects at Poplar Hills Golf and Country Club (PHGCC) in Fort Nelson. From kitchen improvements to expanding the rental fleet, PHGCC has experienced success each time they tee’d off with a grant application to Northern Development.

“The support we’ve gratefully received from Northern Development has made a significant impact in the experience we offer our golfers,” said Louise Schindler, general manager, Poplar Hills Golf and Country Club. “As a non-profit society that manages and operates the club, these grants have eased the financial burden from various improvements as we strive to offer a quality golfing facility to all golfers in Northeast B.C.”

In March 2021, PHGCC was approved for a $50,000 Recreation Infrastructure grant to chip in with the costs of purchasing two golf simulators and installing them in modular to be placed in a rented space which will be easily accessible by the public throughout the year.

Rendering of the golf simulator setup.
Rendering: Poplar Hills Golf and Country Club

This unique project will make golf available to residents, students and visitors throughout the year, a significant increase for the community where winter settles in for more than half a year. PHGCC will be working with Fort Nelson Secondary School, Prophet River Indian Band and Fort Nelson First Nations to offer their students use of the simulator. These groups will be able to access the facility during school hours when the simulators are not open to the public.

“Bringing the two golf simulators is an innovative way for us to continue engaging with our golfing clients throughout the year while also enticing people who don’t golf to try the sport,” explained Schindler. “The technology that these simulators offer is incredible, and it will provide an experience that is unique to the region while also providing us with income throughout the year.”

Beyond bringing a new recreational activity to the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, the project is forecasted to introduce full time, permanent employment for two people and part time employment for up to three people. In addition, the simulators will be placed in a space that will be leased from the Fort Nelson First Nations, providing additional revenue to the landlord through rent.

Funding for this project is through Northern Development’s Recreation Infrastructure grant program. Earlier projects were approved through the Trust’s former Community Halls and Recreation Facilities grant program.