In 1879 the McCleery brothers (Samuel and Fitzgerald) began to clear the wilderness between the bluff and the north arm of the Fraser River for a dairy farm. The farm prospered for forty years and in 1919 the property was sold to William Murdoch McKenzie. A short time later Dr. Brett Anderson and A.E. Philp purchased the farm for use as a golf course. Anderson and Philp utilized the design talents of A. Vernon Macan (as seen below) and greens keeper Bob Wood to clear the land and sculpt the course. The original farm buildings became the clubhouse; storage buildings became locker rooms, and in 1922 Marine Drive Golf Club was born.
Course designer A. Vernon Macan in action in the April 16, 1919
Active Service Golf Tournament.
Set on 105 acres of member-owned land adjacent to the north arm of the Fraser River, Marine Drive Golf Club is one of only 3 private golf clubs in the City of Vancouver. The course itself has been practically laid out over just 89 acres; it’s tight, the fairways are lined with mature trees, and the expansive greens are strategically bunkered. Marine Drive Golf Club is known for quick play – rounds of over 4 hours are the exception rather than the rule. Over 25% of our Membership have a handicap of 10 or less which is indicative of the high caliber of play.
For over 75 years the Members of Marine Drive Golf Club have set standards of excellence in the game of golf, earning the Club a reputation as being a ‘player's club’; the greens are considered to be simply the finest in the lower mainland; and its fairways have been graced by golf greats such as Byron Nelson, Jug McSpadden, Bobby Locke, Gary Player, Norman Von Nida, Fred Couples (Winner, B.C. Amateur 1979), Annika Sorenstam, David Duval, Justin Leonard, Michael Campbell (World Amateur 1992), Moe Norman (B.C. Open 1971), Mike Weir (Winner, Masters 2003), Stephen Ames and many sports and entertainment names such as Glen Campbell, Sean Connery, Bob Hope, Gordie Howe and numerous other athletes from B.C.’s professional sports teams.
While the players at Marine have received much acclaim, so too has the course itself. At just over 6,300 yards from the blue tees it is certainly known for its difficulty as opposed to its length, but at par 71 many players will tell you it plays longer than expected. It has certainly earned the respect of many a fine player as well as many of golf's top pundits.