Home Month and Year July 2023 Royal Mayfair:

Royal Mayfair:

An Unforgettable Course, an Unparalleled Experience

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oyal Mayfair Golf Club is one of only six clubs in Canada to carry the royal distinction. The 100-year history of the club proves, beyond a doubt, that the distinction is earned in many aspects, including the excellence of the course, association with the Crown and enhancement of its member’s lifestyles. Today it ranks as one of the most prestigious clubs in Alberta, a place where members and guests enjoy golf and social gatherings in a new clubhouse.

Wade Hudyma, general manager and COO, says, “The new clubhouse was designed to stand out from our previous, and from other, clubhouses. We achieved this by making it a member-focused facility. It hosts smaller functions for our members and their guests; however, we no longer host big banquets and events. The dining opportunity has been elevated with a private room that will seat up to 14 people and we added a dynamic outdoor patio that can comfortably host 100 guests. A covered canopy area can seat 50.”

He continues, “Our summers are short. We wanted to design with that in mind and empower our members to be able to enjoy the beautiful views of the course without the interruption of large banquet groups. This is not an inexpensive club – so, we focus on creating the highest value in every aspect for our members.”

Initially founded as the Mayfair Golf and Country Club in 1922, the club’s founders were a group of prominent Edmontonians who wanted to create a top-class course in the city. The first course was designed by renowned golf course architect, J. Munro Hunter. However, it didn’t take long for the club to realize that it needed to make some modifications to elevate the course’s quality. This led to the soliciting of Stanley Thompson, Canada’s most renowned golf course architect, who had designed several notable courses in Alberta, including ones at Jasper Park Lodge and in Banff. 

Over multiple seasons, Thompson extensively renovated Mayfair, adding more bunkers, reshaping greens and reconfiguring holes. In recent times, Royal Mayfair has engaged Doug Carrick to develop an upgraded plan for the club, ensuring its continued excellence and appeal to golf enthusiasts.

“The ‘royal’ prefix is an honour bestowed by the British monarchy, recognizing the club’s excellence and commitment to the sport of golf,” notes Hudyma. “This prestigious title sets the Royal Mayfair apart from other clubs and signifies its status as one of the premier golfing destinations in Canada. The designation also reflects the club’s dedication to upholding the values and traditions of the game while maintaining the highest standards of service and quality for its members.”

To earn the designation, the club had to apply and demonstrate its pre-eminence in the industry; financial stability; non-profit status; 25-plus year reputation in the community; regional service provision and a commitment to national charitable, artistic or scientific causes. The club also had to demonstrate a history associated with the Crown and Royal Family. 

That part of the lengthy application process was easy to demonstrate.

The first royal visit to Mayfair took place in 1927 when the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) and his brother George, the Duke of Kent, graced the club with their presence. The Princes played on the course, making it an exciting day for the club members. This visit also led to an unforeseen change that many members appreciated. During the 1920s, plus fours (trousers that fall four inches below the knee when folded upwards and eight inches below the knee when unfasted) was the mandatory club uniform. However, the royal visitors wore trousers, and following their visit, some daring members abandoned the traditional attire in favour of pants. Soon after, the club relaxed its dress code and trousers became the prevalent choice.

The second royal visit occurred in 1978 when Edmonton hosted the Commonwealth Games. The club held an official luncheon attended by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth along with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and their sons Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Following the luncheon, the then-club’s president, J.R. Biddell, received a letter stating her Majesty’s appreciation of the venue and her hopes that she and the other royals had not indisposed the guests.

Another royal, Prince Michael of Kent, visited the grounds to attend a dinner for the South Alberta Light Horse Infantry in 2002.

Although the application process took nearly two years, royal status was granted in 2005. The announcement was commemorated with a grand gala evening featuring kilted pipers and guests arriving in horse-drawn carriages, making it an unforgettable night for everyone involved.

Yet, as Hudyma points out, the longstanding association with the Royal Family is just part of the draw. A large aspect of what makes this club special includes its truly unique location.

“We are in the heart of the city, just seven minutes from downtown,” he says. “There is one access point, Hawrelak Park on one side and the North Saskatchewan on the other. The course is set back so there is no view of the river itself, but it is such a quiet, pristine course in the middle of an otherwise bustling city. Our community of members tend to work or live in the downtown core, so getting here is fast and easy.”

Between the quality of the course and the location, it is no wonder why Royal Mayfair has attracted some of the world’s top talent. To date Royal Mayfair has hosted the 1958 Canadian Open, two LPGA women’s open tournaments and the 1980 Canadian PGA Championship, which was won by golf legend Arnold Palmer.

In addition to providing an outstanding experience for members, Royal Mayfair is also cognizant of its relationships with the City of Edmonton and the community in which it operates.

“We value our relationships and strive to be good citizens,” says Hudyma. “We are a certified Audubon course, proving our adherence to wildlife habitat conservation, water management, chemical use reduction and environmental planning. We take pride in knowing we play alongside all kinds of wildlife and that we protect that wildlife.”

There are other private golf clubs in Edmonton but at Royal Mayfair, members can expect an experience like no other. Just a short drive from downtown allows members to truly experience a quiet, nature-filled oasis where members and their guests can gather without the interruption of weekly tournaments or non-member events. The clubhouse and its indoor/outdoor areas provide an exclusive place for members to gather and socialize. Every amenity is geared to provide each member with the highest value, standards and comfort. 

As Hudyma says, “There simply is nothing else like this club around these parts.”

He concludes by thanking the shareholders for their commitment to the club and to the City of Edmonton, through the social causes the shareholders support. The shareholders invested in the club’s reinvention at a time when most of the world was restricted from gathering, showing a testament in the belief the members have in Royal Mayfair.

It’s been 100 years since the club opened and during that short time, it has enhanced the life of golfers who desired an experience that cannot be obtained anywhere else. With a royal designation, new clubhouse and premier course, Royal Mayfair is set to enchant golfers for another century.

9450 Groat Road NW,  Edmonton, AB T6G 2T5
780-432-0066 | comments@mayfair.ca

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