Golf tournament honors active duty and wounded warriors


The Canyon Lake Golf Course has hosted many tournaments over the years to benefit worthy causes. Not surprisingly in this patriotic community – with a Veterans Day Committee and many other residents who make sure veterans and active-duty military personnel are honored at various events – there is an annual tournament to benefit service men and women who have been wounded in the line of duty.

On Monday, the Canyon Lake Country Club hosted the 3rd annual Veterans Day Tournament to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project ( In the field of 114 golfers, active-duty service members were invited to play free of charge. A no-host buffet lunch followed at the Country Club Restaurant, with participants able to enter a prize drawing for gifts donated by local businesses and individuals. No one won the pontoon boat that had been offered as a hole-in-one prize.

Margaret McCoy of Coldwell Banker donated more than 100 American flags, which were placed around the Country Club and at every one of the 18 holes’ tee boxes. They went up Sunday afternoon and remained in place until Thursday, the day after Veteran’s Day.

Dick Messer, one of Canyon Lake’s “wounded warriors” from the Viet Nam War, has been the primary instigator and organizer for this annual tournament. The first year it was held there were 45 players; the second year saw about 85 players. His goal is to see 144 players next year – or as many as 288 players.

All proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that provides a full range or programs and services for service members who incurred service-connected injuries or illness on or after September 11, 2001.

At the Golf Course

In other Golf Course news, a group of trained volunteers currently is going out into neighboring communities to market annual memberships. They are meeting with homeowner associations, real estate brokers, special interest groups and individuals to explain the merits of joining the Canyon Lake Country Club.

The advertised price is $199 per month, which includes green fees and cart fees and the opportunity to join Canyon Lake’s social community of golfers via the Men’s Golf Club, Women’s Golf Club, Family Golf Club and 9ers Golf Club. A lower monthly fee is available to those ages 18 to 35 who don’t have time to play as much golf as full members.

To get this special deal, prospective members will meet one on one with someone who is part of the marketing team and will list that person’s code number on the application form. Volunteer marketers have an incentive program to enlist new members.

A Board-driven focus group was created in July to analyze the current trends at the Golf Course and formulate a plan to help increase activity. A chart displayed at the October CLPOA Board of Directors meeting revealed that revenue on the Golf Course for the past five years has not drastically increased or decreased; but costs are going up and Association members are paying the difference. In 2014, expenses at the Golf Course were $1,651,594; revenue was just $779,083.

Hal Stiffler, a Canyon Lake resident/golfer, is voluntarily heading up the marketing campaign to sell annual memberships to non-residents. With 30 years of marketing experience and memberships at seven different golf courses, Hal explains that recruiting new members must be a never-ending process. Increasing annual memberships, specifically non-resident memberships, is the best opportunity to create financial stability and control liability of those using the course, he says.

At this month’s Board meeting, Director Ted Horton said a plan also is under way to help promote the Golf Course to Canyon Lake residents who currently aren’t taking advantage of the amenity.

Junior Development Program

Getting youngsters interested in the game of golf ensures the sport will continue to be one of Canyon Lake’s foremost outdoor activities. The Canyon Lake Junior Development Program began November 1 and runs every Sunday at 1 p.m. and Wednesday at 4 p.m.

The initial fee of $100 includes the first month’s classes plus a hat and golf shirt. It is $60 for each month thereafter and students can come to one or both of the weekly classes.

The Rookie Stage, for ages 4 to 6, provides an introduction to golf in a safe and game-themed environment. It provides juniors the skills necessary to succeed in the next levels. Skills include running, jumping, throwing and catching.

The Champion Stage, for ages 7 to 10, introduces juniors to the basics of putting, chipping and full swing while maintaining proper mechanics. A student will be allowed to play on the course after required tests.

The Master Stage, for ages 11 to 14, puts an emphasis on physical components such as flexibility, power and balance. This is the elite level and a majority of juniors in this level are participating in local junior events.

Heading up this program are Golf Pros Bryan Carlson and Ryan Kolk. For more information or to sign up a child for the program, contact Bryan at or Ryan at

Other changes at the Canyon Lake Country Club include the new pylon sign at the entrance as well as a new management company.

In August, the Association contracted with Marin Management to manage the Country Club’s Restaurant and Bar. Marin Management manages and markets more than 25 hotels and advises a diverse portfolio of luxury restaurant/hotel owners on issues such as development, capital improvements, marketing, training and high-technology management.

At the Country Club, Marin Management is providing services that include supervisor and service training, menu development and implementation, marketing planning and loss-control review to help increase revenue. This is the same company that’s now running the Lodge.

Also at the Country Club, Ron Castillo is the new on-site restaurant manager. Arriving in August, Ron brings more than 40 years in the hospitality industry. There are a new menu and new hours at the Country Club Restaurant and Bar.

• Dining room hours are Monday through Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Bar hours are Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

To reach the restaurant, call 951-244-6841, ext. 730 or 721. To reach the Golf Pro Shop, call 951-244-6841, ext. 820.


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Donna Ritchie