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Course teed up for summer opening

Pagoda Ridge, a Chinese themed golf course complete with a replica Great Wall, will open in a matter of weeks at 7887 264 St. Several tournaments have already been scheduled, but the course is not yet booking individual tee times. - submitted photo
Pagoda Ridge, a Chinese themed golf course complete with a replica Great Wall, will open in a matter of weeks at 7887 264 St. Several tournaments have already been scheduled, but the course is not yet booking individual tee times.
— image credit: submitted photo

For the first time in decades, Langley will have a new golf course.

Pagoda Ridge, which boasts a unique 500-foot Great Wall of China replica, is ready to open this summer at 7887 264 St.

The acreage for Pagoda Ridge has been zoned for a golf course since 1992, but it was only recently that the property owners Lyall and Verna Brown started looking into building the full-length 18-hole course.

“Dad had this land for 45 years,” said the Brown’s son Larry, who is running the golf course. “Instead of selling the property, we thought we’d give a golf course a try.”

The Browns sold the Port Kells sawmill which they had owned for decades.

Terry Woodland is the creator of the course, which offers wide fairways, spanning views of the Fraser Valley and mountains, and bent grass on its 165 acres.

The course also features a Pagoda-style clubhouse and replica Chinese junk ship in a  pond on the 9th and 18th hole.

“We built that all out of red cedar from our mill, as kind of a tribute to the family business,” said Larry.

The clubhouse is actually made out of an airplane hanger that his dad planned to use for his plane. He has since sold the plane.

“My parents originally planned to live on the property,” said Larry.

The idea to have a Chinese-themed golf course with the impressive Great Wall of China came from his parents, he said.

“I think the Great Wall makes us a little different than other golf courses. You can actually drive a cart onto the wall. It leads off to the 15th hole, which is  par three,” said Larry.

The golf industry has been hurting over the past couple of years, between bad weather and the economy.

“It’s not a very good industry right now,” he said.

But he’s hoping golf will get back into the swing of things.

Right now, he’s keeping his fingers crossed that the rain will stay away long enough to finish the last two holes. With a clay base, wet weather doesn’t help things, he said.

“Our first tournament is July 14, so we are doing a sun dance, yes.”

Already 10 tournaments are booked, with one of them being the Vancouver Players Championship in September.

The course isn’t booking tee times just yet, but hopes to some time soon.

There’s been plenty of interest already, Larry said.

“I’m taking phone calls every day with people asking to book a tee time,” he said.

The course plays just over 7,000 yards, with plenty of long holes and four tee decks with wide open fairways, for long drives.

A round of golf will be $55.

Right now, they are concentrating on getting the course open, but down the road they’d like to open a driving range to complement the course. They will have a small kitchen and pro shop.

A YouTube video of the course can be viewed by searching Pagoda Ridge golf course.

The course’s website can be found at

www.pagodaridge.ca.

Township gives green light to new golf course

Langley Township council has approved a development permit for Pagoda Ridge, the Asian-themed golf course in north Langley.

It has also approved a liquor application.

Featuring buildings with eaves that resemble pagodas, the Pagoda Ridge Golf Course covers more than 150 acres at 7887 — 264 St.

Councillor Steve Ferguson was a member of Township council when he supported a golf course application for the property in 1988. Ferguson drew chuckles from the audience at council when he reiterated his support.

Councillor Kim Richter wondered if there was a statute of limitations on applications such as the Pagoda golf course, which received the preliminary approval of the Agricultural Land Commission 24 years ago.

“ALC decisions do not have a sunset clause,” head planner Ramin Seifi advised. “They are valid in perpetuity.”

The 18-hole course is surrounded by agricultural/ rural properties, including Wagner Hills, a community care home for people with addictions.

The liquor licence is for two beverage carts, and one kiosk which is in a kitchen/snack building. No licensed interior or patio areas are proposed.

The development permit and liquor application were approved with only Richter and Councillor David Davis opposed.

– Natasha Jones

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