By Lyle Carter
Excited might be the best way to describe Truro's Bill Spinney.
The 70-year-old owner of Greenfield Golf is about to see his longtime dream of turning his club into an 18-hole course come true.
"It was 1993 that we began to build this golf course," Spinney said. "Over the years we expanded from nine holes to 15 holes. Sometime during the latter part of July we hope to open the last three holes. To get to 18 holes has included a lot of planning and landscaping these past five years."
Spinney admits being excited with the Greenfield layout.
Located 15 minutes from Truro, the beautiful course is laid out over 50 acres. Besides offering challenging wooded areas and numerous hills and valleys, the course features amazing views. There are also nine water hazards and between shots, golfers can look off in the distance toward Upper Stewiacke in one direction while a hill in Kemptown can be seen in another.
"People often comment on the beauty and it being a close-to-nature course," Spinney said. "People enjoy seeing deer, rabbits and small game when they are golfing. They also love the quietness and the private atmosphere."
Spinney said No. 11 is the course's signature hole.
"This seems to be the hole golfers love to play most," he said. "There's water hazards on both sides of the hole. Golfers love the challenge."
The hands-on owner admits for the past 19 years he has put in many long hours.
"I don't think I've stopped since the day I started," Spinney said. "No one in their right mind would do what I'm doing. But I love what I'm doing and it has helped keep me healthy. It's kind of hard to believe the project became this big. It's been quite a journey."
The effort included purchasing two D-6 bulldozers.
"The fifth and sixth holes were mostly swamp when I started," Spinney said. "I dozed fill in for quite a long stretch of time to cover the swamp. It turned out OK."
Rather unique, the course offers a nice parking facility for recreation vehicles.
"As long as they play golf, people can park their RVs free," Spinney said. "We've had them here from as far away as British Columbia and on one or two occasions we had as many as 15 RVs parked here."
Spinney also came up with the idea of constructing a building close to the course for banquets and special occasions.
"Some people call it the barbeque area," Spinney said. "We rent it out during tournaments and special events."
Born in New Glasgow, Spinney moved to Truro as a six-year-old.
"You might say this is my fourth career," Spinney said. "At one time, even before Tim Hortons, I made donuts in the backyard and pedaled them from store to store."
Spinney then ran an automobile repair shop for several years and more recently was the owner-operator of the Westfield Transport trucking company.
"It all started 20 years ago regarding golf," he said. "I purchased this land in Greenfield and this day I looked out and said 'I can mow the top of those hills and hit golf balls to them.' The golf course idea followed."
Green fees at Greenfield Golf are $22. The clubhouse is licensed and 12 gas powered golf carts are available to rent, along with clubs. The staff includes Spinney's wife Lois, George McLane and Gerald Marshall.
"Bill's longtime dream has been to have a golf course," Marshall, in his second year working at the course, said. "Bill used his bare hands and did most of the labour himself. He built this course in such a way that it's great for young people and new golfers. A big smile comes across Bill's face when he see's a family playing golf together."
Retired barber Perley Smith, 70, of Salmon River, has been a 10-year member at Greenfield.
"I began playing here with my friend Joe Rector," Smith said. "I got hooked on golf. I fell in love with this course. There's no pressure regarding tee-times, when I go home, I can't wait to get back and play the next time."
Lyle Carter's sports column appears every Saturday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.