The History of Long and Brier Islands

The Long Island Golf Club

by | Jun 27, 2021 | Golf Course, Long Island, Tiverton | 0 comments

The Field of Dreams

As I was sitting down thinking this over to what to put here about the golf course at Tiverton and the thought that kept coming back in my mind was “The Field of Dreams”. The Field of dreams was a movie that came out in 1989, where the person had a vision about playing baseball in a corn field and if he built it they would come. I think Reggie must have had this vision too, except his vision was if he built a golf course people would come to play. My thought on life is that if you have a vision and work hard at it over time you will achieve it. You can only imagine how much work Reggie put in this, as a good golf course takes a lot of work and care to maintain them over the years, along with trying to earn a living from the sea.

The Long Island Golf Club

The Long Island Golf Club was started by Reggie Outhouse and assisted by Clifton Outhouse, Jack Pyne & Bernard Robbins. On October 22nd 1965 land was leased from Louis Elliott for a period of 10 years with intention of building a Golf Course and forming a Golf Club.

The land that I have outlined in 1965 was pasture land and all cleared. Reggie leveled the land and seeded it to make a golf course. A big job to do. The entrance to the golf course was by Louis Elliott’s driveway. I can remember the cars backed in the lower side of Louis driveway . Sometimes a dozen or more at a time. From there they would go by the lower side of the barn across the brook at the bridge and number one hole was there. There always seemed to be someone up in the field.

Digby Courier Jan 26, 1964

It was a 6-hole course and located on the westerly outskirts of Tiverton, N.S. The players were allowed to go around the course 3 times to get in 18 holes. Halifax Seed provided “Bent Grass Seed” and Reggie built some great greens according to Clifton. He took great pride in his work on the golf course. The original mower equipment was purchased from the Mountain Gap Inn, Smith’s Cove and every year the Halifax Seed Co. would bring a trailer to Tiverton and take the equipment to Halifax for maintenance and deliver it back to Tiverton in time for the next season.

Wilson Outhouse at the entrance to The Long Island Golf Club. Aug. 1967.

When Reggie was asked, other than his obvious love and dedication to the game, what prompted him to start a golf course, he replied, “I wanted to see kids get involved with the sport and Marilyn Outhouse ( wife of Clifton) was always encouraging me to start a Golf Course so they’d have something to do after supper.”

Reggie got his wish, as busloads of children would come from Digby and as far away as Yarmouth to enjoy the game. Freelove ( Reggie’s Wife) enjoyed looking after the green fees($2.00 per day or a membership of $25.00 per year) and giving out pencils and score cards, printed by Wallis Print in Digby. She loved having the people around.  During this era there were many herring seiners docked in Tiverton from Grand Manan and the crews would come and play golf on a regular basis.  Many Island residents played their first golf on this course.  Donnie Fleet, a Champion Golfer at the Digby Pines, played on this course and Gerry Elliott, (Aubrey and Lillian Elliott’s son) got his first taste of golf on this course and became a Pro Golfer at the Kenwo Golf Club located between Kentville and Wolfville.

While Reggie was operating and maintaining the golf course he was a full time fisherman but eventually had to close the golf course in the mid-70’s, as he did not have the time to devote to the grounds and greens.  In recent years Reggie had to give up golfing at the Digby Pines where he had been a member for about 44 years.  He jokingly remarked “he always felt like he was in good hands playing at the Pines because he played with a doctor (Dr. John Black), a dentist (Dr. Perley Outhouse), and an undertaker (Ray Jayne)”.

Long Island Golf Club Score Card

In addition to his love of golf, he was very active in baseball where he was the pitcher and enjoyed playing the teams on the Islands.  The Island teams would also go by boat to various towns on the French Shore where  they would spend their Sunday afternoons.  Reggie was active in Tiverton with hockey as well.  He helped construct a skating rink, referred to as the “Ponderosa” complete with boards so the young folks could play hockey.  This rink was located behind the Esso Distribution site operated by the Elliott family.

Digby Courier Aug. 1966

Freelove (Reggie’s wife) kept track of The Long Island Golf Club in her notes. Here is some of her notes:  The golf course opened it’s first season on July 17th 1966 with 25 members and 9 honorable members.

2nd season opened Sunday May 28th 1967

3rd season opened April 1968

4th season opened Saturday April 29th 1969

5th season opened Sunday April 26th, 1970

6th season opened Saturday April 24th 1971

7th season opened Sunday April 30th 1972

8th season opened Saturday April 21st 1973

9th season opened Saturday April 27th 1974

It closed at the end of season not to open again.

The image to the left was the print on the score card the golfers used to keep score

 The lease for the land would come due before the next season so Reggie decided not to renew the lease for the next ten years. He would be turning 61 soon and was still fishing for a living so he thought he could not keep up this demand on him.

On October 20th 2007, Reggie was inducted into the “Digby Sports Hall of Fame”, in the category of “Builder”.

Rounding out the 2007 inductees as a builder was Reg Outhouse, for his work in building a six-hole golf course outside of Tiverton. He been a member of the Digby Golf Club for 44 years and said that what prompted him to build the Long Island course was so kids would be involved with the sport. I might mention Reg was very proud to be inducted and honored for his work.

Darren Haines Grandson of Reggie accepted the award.

Reg was able to stay in his home until he fell and broke a hip at the age of 95. He had hip surgery and shortly after went into Tideview Terrace, Digby. He was there for two and a half years , content and loved all the staff . He especially enjoyed the new Tideview Terrace.

I put an article on “Islanders” in Facebook some number of years now about this golf course and asked how many could remember. There was quite a number of reply’s, here is one of them:

Clayton Titus

I was a member of the LIGC for a few years and played with Reggie a few times at LICG as well as a few times at the Pines in Digby. Reggie worked hard at keeping the LIGC groomed and in playing condition while being very busy fishing and playing other sports. I also played quite a few times with Clifton Outhouse at LIGC and the Pines. The herring seiner fleet had quite a few golfers on board too. They would bring their clubs with them every week so they could play in the late afternoon and then out for an all-night of fishing. Lots of memories here

                         
  November 30, 1914 – May 26, 2012

Outhouse, Reginald Talbot- 97 of Tiverton, Digby Co., passed away peacefully on May 26, 2012, at Tideview Terrace. Born in Machias, Maine, he was a son of the late Ellsworth and Jeanne (Hatt) Outhouse. Reg served in the Canadian Army , NRMA Soldier at Halifax, from September 29, 1942 to March 26, 1945. Reg was a fulltime fisherman most of his life. He was an avid golfer and member of the Digby Pines Golf Club for 44 years. He created a 6 hole golf course of his own in Tiverton in 1965, with the help of several friends. In addition to his love of golf, he was very active in baseball and hockey. He also enjoyed dancing in his younger days and singing hymns. He helped construct a skating rink known as the “Ponderosa” in Tiverton. On October 20, 2007, Reg was inducted into the Digby Sports Hall of Fame. He was very proud of this honor. Reg was able to stay in his home until he fell and broke a hip at the age of 95. He had hip surgery and shortly after went into Tideview Terrace, Digby. He was there for two and a half years , content and loved all the staff . He especially enjoyed the new Tideview Terrace. Reg was often singing to himself as he wheeled around in his wheelchair.

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