BRANDON -- Oak Island Resort golf course hit a hole in one, landing former PGA Tour player Dan Halldorson as the club’s new director of golf.
"I’m excited," Halldorson said. "It’s new territory for me in some respects, but it’s great to be at the golf course all the time — golf has been my life."
The course is located beside Oak Lake in western Manitoba, on Hwy. 254.
Raised in Brandon, Halldorson turned pro in 1971. Two years later, he was a full-time member of the Canadian Tour and in 1975 joined the PGA Tour.
In 1980, Halldorson captured the Pensacola Open, finishing a career-best 36th on the money list that year and making him the first Canadian to win on tour since George Knudson in 1972.
He wore the Maple Leaf seven times as a member of the Canadian national team playing at the WGC-World Cup, winning the event twice — once with Jim Nelford as his partner in 1980 and the other with Dave Barr in 1985.
Halldorson briefly played on the Champions Tour before accepting the position of deputy director of the Canadian Tour.
The 61-year-old recently returned from a three-month coaching stint in China and jumped at the opportunity to get involved at a "quality course that has stayed up-to-date with modern course architecture."
He believes his experience can help take the relatively new 18-hole course, which was opened in 2008, to the next level.
"You have to make sure that everyone has a good time and enjoys themselves so that they will come back," Halldorson said.
It’s important to elevate the experience, he said, so "the golfers that play here become our sales force."
Oak Island Resort COO Randy Boulton was beaming about the hire, believing Halldorson’s insight on the golf course and in the clubhouse will offer something no other club has in the area.
"It doesn’t come about very often that you get the chance to hire a former PGA Tour professional," Boulton said. "To add someone with Dan’s stature and history, it can move the golf course and resort forward at a much different pace. It brings a completely different dimension to the resort."
Not situated directly in or around a major centre, the golf course has earned a reputation as a destination worth travelling for.
It’s even caught the eye of former Winnipeg Jet Bobby Hull, who is currently constructing a three-bedroom cabin overlooking the No. 1 tee box in the new Choke Cherry Subdivision.
Hull, more commonly known as The Golden Jet, was lured to Oak Lake while filming a week-long fishing show in the area earlier this year.
"We’ve heard his son is a scratch golfer as well," Boulton said, referring to former NHL player and current St. Louis Blues executive vice-president Brett Hull.
The home is expected to be built by next spring, giving the Hulls plenty of time to get in some swings at the golf course.