If you seek a good news story with all of this depressing talk about the economy, look no further than the Myers family, friendly proprietors of Oakville Executive Golf with its 27 holes catering to all skill levels near Oakville, Ont.
The Myers have been in golf since the 1970s, when dad Harold Myers first got involved with the Nanticoke golf course, near Port Dover, Ont. He first purchased the land on which Oakville Executive sits in 1986 and opened for business three years later.
Harold’s daughters, Alexandra D’Cunha and Katrina Myers, have both wandered down different paths in life, but both returned to this tightly-knit family and its business.
“It was a no-brainer that I come back,” said Katrina, who had a promising career as a lawyer. “With Alexandra, she graduated with her MBA and she was working outside the company for awhile too, but she enjoys working in this industry with our father.
“We’re quite happy, the three of us, back together again,” she added.
Last night, the Myers celebrated the 20th anniversary of Oakville Executive to kick off a week of $20 all-day green fees for their loyal customers, who have proven recently that they are definitely loyal.
On Aug. 6, 2007, a suspected case of arson cost the Myers their clubhouse after a golf cart was set on fire. The loss was more than just financial as personal memories of Katrina’s and Alexandra’s mom Angelika, who died in 1998, were destroyed as well.
There wasn’t much time to feel sorry for themselves, as the Myers, who got the phone call about the fire at 3 a.m., got things up and running the next day as just two holes were roped off for the police investigation.
“We’re the type of family that can face difficulty head on because we can all rely on one another,” said Katrina, who discovered quickly that she had an extended family and all weren’t named Myers.
“We set up a temporary pro shop. All of our loyal customers brought all the golf pencils they could find in their golf bags and ice for us to put in our coolers,” said Katrina.
“It was a real rally with the support of the leagues and regulars. We’re not a membership course, but all of these customers of ours who have been golfing here to years acted like they were part of the family, too,” she added.
Over the winter of 2007-08, the community support continued with the outstanding work, according to Katrina, of contractors, builders and insurance companies that began to put the clubhouse back together, even in frigid temperatures.
Last August, a year after the senseless fire that threw their lives into turmoil, the new Oakville Executive clubhouse opened and, despite the potential consequences, the Myers have fond memories of a community that rallied behind them.
“We work hard for what we have and it was a devastating loss, but we can only move forward. We’re not about to pack up and walk away from a business that we poured our hearts into,” said Katrina.
Apparently, there’s an entire golfing community in the Oakville area that is glad they didn’t.