Faro Golf Club President Gary Jones remembers when it all started. “For our first tournament we drew circles on the soccer field to serve as holes,” he says. “There wasn’t much to do and not a lot of jobs. We used to hit golf balls around.” Established in 1997, the Faro Golf Club incorporated in 2001 as a non-profit organization. Jones is proud of how far they’ve come and says that the Town of Faro supported them all the way.
Jones says he’s seen good turnout to past events and this year he’s hoping to host a record of 40 teams. Organizing the tournament is a community activity in itself.
“Lots of people volunteer, the event takes thousands of volunteer hours to put together – it’s a lot of work and a lot of fun.”
Tournament co-ordinator Helen Wagantall says that she loves seeing the same people coming back year after year for the Tournament. She says that the event has had a strong, positive impact on the Faro community by bringing people together and attracting new visitors.
“Tourists from as far as England come to participate in the golf tournament as well as try out our unique course that runs through the town landscape,” Wagantall says.
The 20 year anniversary is important to her because it proves the resilience of her community.
“Things are still moving forward in a town that the Yukon thought would eventually be a ghost town,” she points out. “The town is still here even after multiple closures of the Faro Mine Site.”
Wagantall says she’s excited to host new visitors, too.
“Come and experience our hospitality first hand, you will enjoy this unique golf course,” she says. “Bring a willingness to have fun and meet new people… whether you are a seasoned golfer or not.”
The event is open to people of all ages. “We encourage juniors. Children are welcome to accompany their parents at the dinner and the presentation ceremony up to a certain time, because of bar regulations.”
Wagantall hopes that the event will continue to breathe life into her community by attracting more tourists from around the world “and maybe having some kind of national playdowns for either seniors or juniors.”
The 20th annual Faro Open Golf Tournament runs July 12th to 15th and features two rounds of nine hole golf followed by a Prime Rib and Salmon dinner. Golfers have two chances to win a Hole in One prize and the chance to win one of four round trip tickets from Whitehorse to anywhere that Air North flies. Everyone who plays gets a door prize.
Space is limited to 40 teams and teams are eligible for a 10 per cent refund if both rounds of golf are completed before noon on July 14th.
This year’s event features an optional Saturday morning breakfast along with extended concession and bar.
For further information and to register contact Helen Wagantall by phone at (867) 994-3277 or (867) 334-4582 (cell) or by email at FaroGolfClub@hotmail.com.
The deadline to register is July 10th.