Affleck purchases Eagles Chance Golf Centre, hopes to expand business

MOUNT WILLIAM – With his wife due to have their third child on Tuesday, Brian Affleck had more than a few things on his mind.

“I’ve always dreamed of having a facility like this and to be able to walk in and have a facility like this – I’m extremely fortunate that Terry (White) put all the time and effort in that he did over the last 21 years,” said Affleck. “He’s done everything you could imagine to make this place as good as it can be. My plan is just to make a few small changes and add my spin on things.”

The facility officially changed hands last Tuesday, July 15. Affleck said the idea behind purchasing Eagles Chance was something he started formulating two years ago when White put the facility on the market. He started a business plan and, recently with another person putting in an offer, it fast-forwarded the process.

“I was just looking to get funding and could never really agree on a price and stuff like that,” he said. “An offer came in from someone else a few weeks ago and that kind of forced things to happen a little quicker. I got the funding in place just a few weeks ago really.”

Already he has made a few changes and more are expected. He has moved a tee block on the course, plans to move a few more and will be building a new training green and bunker for his short-game facility.

He has also made Thursday “ladies day” and created an unlimited junior golf membership, which allows them to play the course as much as they want for the year for $100. He added that current members shouldn’t be concerned about the change in ownership affecting their membership as they’re all being honoured.

“I’ve already had quite a few kids take advantage of it,” he said. “I’m just trying to get the kids into the game more and make it enjoyable for them. It’s a little easier for an eight or 10-year-old to start here than a full course.”

The name has also changed slightly, now incorporating his teaching into the title. A new sign near the office shows it off, Eagles Chance – Home of the Brian Affleck Golf Academy. He isn’t sure if it will change next year or how he will incorporate the instruction into the large picture of the business, but said the most important thing is that he will be here in Pictou County doing what he loves most.

“We (Affleck and his family) were kind of at the point this spring where we were going to make Eagles Chance happen or we were going to have to move away,” he said. “Opportunities are limited here as everyone understands. We love it here, so to be able to have something like this and stay in Pictou County is huge for us. We both have big families and they’re here. If this didn’t happen there’s a good chance we wouldn’t be staying around Pictou County much longer.”

It’s that family that is also lending a hand around the facility. Some of the staff that worked for White have stayed on, while some of Affleck’s family are helping as well.

“Today is day eight and the first week I learned a lot about time and I just want to do everything myself, but I have to learn to delegate things a little more,” he said. “I just enjoy getting on a mower to go and mow the grass or the greens and stuff like that.

“Family is key right now over the next few years. They’re all willing to help out so without family around it’d be a tough go.”