Island’s Morningstar Golf Club placed into receivership

Local golfers want to see the golf course returned to its glory days

On June 1, the Supreme Court of British Columbia placed the Morningstar Golf Club into receivership and appointed G. Powroznik Group Inc of G. Force Group to take over the management of the club’s properties and assets.

The club, located in French Creek, near Parksville, formerly belonged to the McCracken family of the Canada North Group, which filed for bankruptcy last year. The Edmonton-based company, unable to make payments on a $21 million loan from Canadian Western Bank, was placed under court protection last December from creditors.

Since taking over, G-Force hired former Morningstar employees to assist them and are now working with them to help identify immediate improvements to the golf course and its operations that the former owners were not able to financially support.

Managing director Gary Powroznik stated in a press release, the objective is to provide a competitive quality golf experience for the public and members who will play at Morningstar this season.

“It’s been neglected a bit so we’re going to try and bring it back and eventually find a good buyer for it,” said Powroznik.

Avid golfer Bill Flower, who is The News’ golf columnist, is a dedicated fan of Morningstar, which he still is, he said despite having given up his membership last year and joined other golf courses, like many other former members, out of frustration due to the deterioration of the once top-class golf course. Having a new group from Vancouver appointed to take over Morningstar is good news to Flower and existing members like Alan Oslie.

“I am very pleased to see that there is now a transition to a management group that can hopefully get it back to the glory days of its recent past,” said Flower. “The community deserves the quality of that course to be at the highest level. The layout is as good as any you’ll find on Vancouver Island. If they can get it back to the quality that people are used to, they will find a very dedicated group of former members and newcomers to the area, becoming new members and players.”

Oslie, who has been a member for the last 24 years, is pleased to hear that change is coming to Morningstar.

“I feel relieved because the previous owners weren’t spending any cash and was running the club on a shoestring budget,” said Oslie. “The course is not in good condition. We are hoping the new management will put their best foot forward and turn this golf course around.”

Oslie added that he doesn’t mind G-Force selling Morningstar as long as they find “good owners.”

“Everybody here wants the golf course to be in the best shape it could be,” said Oslie. “That way we kind of know what we’re getting into every year.”

The 18-hole Morningstar golf course is located 40 kilometers north of Nanaimo, on the outskirts of Parksville, 1.5km off the Island Highway. It is nestled between an attractive residential neighbourhood and forested countryside and used to host major events in the past that included the PGA Tour Canada Qualifying School that drew some of the nation’s top players. Among them was Canada’s only Masters Tournament winner, Mike Weir. The 6,983-yard layout was designed by Les Furber http://www.gdsgolf.ca/ and completed in 1991.

For more information on the receivership go to: http://www.g-forcegroup.ca/morningstar-golf-club/

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