Tony Griffi set out to be an electrical engineer, but his love of the game of golf won out. Because it did, he’s now in Slave Lake and looking forward to tackling the challenge of being head pro and general manager of the Gilwood Golf Club. He started on March 1.
“The biggest thing I’ve picked up is how much passion there is for Gilwood. I get the feeling it’s special.”
Griffi’s lifelong affair with golf began when he was 10 years old, in his home town of Stratford Ontario. As soon as he could, he went into an apprenticeship to be a golf pro, at the Stratford Country Club. He also attended university, studying electrical engineering, but didn’t like it and decided to drop it in favour of the golf pro option.
“My dad wasn’t very happy, but later on he became very proud of me.”
Griffi spent a couple of decades as a pro in Windsor and Sarnia.
“Then we (he and his wife Kitty) decided to come out west five years ago because that is where the grandkids are, in Stony Plain.”
He worked a few years at Trestle Creek club in Entwistle. More recently, he’s been managing the kitchen of a restaurant in Spruce Grove owned by his wife and stepson.
“Then I got a call in the fall. Did I want the (Gilwood) job?”
He did, and now he’s here, getting ready for the season. That will involve recruiting staff for the restaurant and the pro shop. The biggest challenge there, Griffi figures, is finding a lead hand for the kitchen.
“Finding a cook is tough!” he says.
Gilwood is of course covered with snow still (or was when this was written). Griffi says he started cleaning just the other day and at one point stepped out on the balcony to look around and consider the situation.
“I thought ‘wow!’ There’s something really special here!”