There will be no golf at the Inverness Golf Course in 2019.
Owner Marc Fontaine has decided to shutter the 18 hole facility on the Bondville Road. Members who had paid the 2019 dues in advance will be sent cheques to cover their losses. Fontaine has not been available for comment.
Apparently the fairways, greens and club house will be maintained by a skeleton staff, leading to speculation the entire enterprise could be for sale in its current configuration.
Certainly, those who bought land and built homes on adjoining property will be hoping that is the case. The closure marks the second local course to close in the last two years, after the Lac Brome Club executive course was sold to a developer for housing and a green space. It leaves just one such enterprise in the Brome Lake area, the members-only Knowlton Golf Club.
No reasons have been given for the Inverness closing, but it follows rumours it was losing money, and reflects a trend in North America. There are 2,298 courses in Canada, according to the organization Golf Canada, with an estimated 200 closures in the last two years. Inverness joins that number.
Reasons for the decline are many and varied. The game takes too long. It is too expensive. Young people are not taking up the sport. Attention spans are too short. Whatever the cause, the result close to home is that fans of Inverness are now scrambling to find another place to play this year.