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History of The Royal Ashburn Golf Club

Canadian Golf Professionals Wilson Paterson and Bill Ogle aspired to design and build a world-class golf club in the Toronto area. In 1959 they purchased 225 acres of the most picturesque farmland in the Durham Region and started to build and develop immediately.

In the spring of 1962, The Royal Ashburn Golf Club opened as an 18-hole facility, and has since developed into a world-class facility, ranked among the Top 50 public golf courses in Canada. Originally opening under the name Whitby Golf Club, the name was quickly changed to Thunderbird Golf Club, as it was known for many years. In the spring of 2000 we changed the name one final time to The Royal Ashburn Golf Club. The name was changed to commemorate our visit from His Royal Highness Prince Andrew the Duke of York in September of 1999 and to tie us into the community of Ashburn, who in the year 2000, were celebrating their 150th anniversary. Hence the name, The Royal Ashburn Golf Club, which is much more suitable to the first-class facility we are today.

To further reflect our history and contributions to the game of golf, The Royal Ashburn Golf Club was granted Armorial Bearings (coat of Arms) on September 15, 2006, granted to us by the authority vested in the Governor General to exercise the prerogative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.

Affiliate Golf Courses

St Andrew's Golf Club

St Andrew’s Golf Club has one of the finest Championship quality, 18 Hole Golf Courses in the Caribbean. St. Andrew’s Golf Club (or ‘Moka’) is located in the hills to the north of Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Although not a long course, its narrow fairways, contoured greens and mature, tropical trees, strategically positioned, provide a stern test to break par. The Back Nine is especially daunting. 

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Costessey Park Golf Club

Comprising 100 acres of picturesque parkland the 5,881 yards, 18-hole, par-70 course at Costessey Park Golf Club lies in the contoured Tud river valley.

In playing this challenging and entertaining course, which is reputed to be amongst the best in Norfolk, you will find panoramic views to inspire your game – and the warmest of welcomes in the clubhouse. 

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In September of 1999, The Royal Ashburn Golf Club was the privileged host of His Royal Highness Prince Andrew Duke of York. Prince Andrew visited our facility to attend the Grove Golf Tournament of Lakefield College School, where Prince Andrew was once a student and continues as a trustee. The Prince started the golf tournament and launched the millennium bursary for Lakefield College.


Since 1974, The Canadian Tour Fall Qualifying School, an international event that sees players from around the world compete to earn playing status on the Canadian Tour. In fact, we have hosted the event for the past 35 years and are now home to the longest running professional event, held at one venue, in all of Canada. The longest running is the Riviara Golf Club hosting the LA Open dating back to 1926 and the second is Augusta National, hosting The Masters beginning in 1934.

“In my 15 year association with the Canadian Tour, I have personally witnessed and taken part in the set-up of numerous Championship golf courses across Canada, the United States and Mexico.  Without question, The Royal Ashburn ranks among the top golf courses on which we have held competitions during my tenure with the Tour.

Comments from Members who have secured their Tour Cards at The Royal Ashburn almost always include more than a few “Wow’s!” sprinkled with lots of “what a great test of golf” and just this past fall a, “If you want to be under par here….you have to golf your ball.”  In the final analysis, the best testament to a golf course surely comes from the touring professionals that get the privilege to experience it under tournament conditions.

The Canadian Tour is indeed proud to consider The Royal Ashburn as the Home of the Canadian Tour Fall Qualifying School.”

Randy Korn
Director of Tournament Operations 
Canadian Professional Golf Tour

For our OCAA history article please click here.


The Royal Ashburn Golf Club is no stranger to hosting both national and international events. Playing host to the Canadian Tour Qualifying School for 34 years, hosting a Canadian Open Qualifier, several CPGA events and host to the Great Lakes Tour, we have had the opportunity to meet many of the world’s great players.   It is with great anticipation we look forward to now hosting the RCGA University / College National Championship from May 30 – June 3, 2011.

Now in its seventh year, the Canadian University / College Championship is a showcase of the finest University and College golf programs in Canada.  The event includes both male and female competitors, and was created with the intention of giving the top collegiate golfers the opportunity to showcase their talent and compete for a national championship, as well as acting as the Canadian team qualifier for the World University Golf Championship.  For some of these students, this may be the highest level they play at, however many more will continue to develop their games and use this experience as a stepping stone for their future. Click here for more information.


Oshawa This Week
WHITBY — The shock of hearing his name called may have left Wilson Paterson momentarily speechless, but he knew exactly what to say when accepting the 2009 Peter Perry Award.

“It’s not hard to say a few words when you actually live and breathe what you’re trying to do,” said the founder and owner of Royal Ashburn Golf Club, located in north Whitby.

And golf is one thing the 76 year old is deeply passionate about.

The prestigious award, named after one of Whitby’s early founders, is handed out every year by the Whitby Chamber of Commerce to recognize a resident who has made an exceptional contribution to the community.


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