ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S. –Operations at the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club are in limbo and the membership association is scrambling for answers after the owners walked away from the business and flew back to England.
“We’re trying to find out if we can run the course as an association,” said president Dale Hoyt. “There’s so many questions. We have only scratched the surface. We are still in the process of trying to find out as much information as we can.”
There was no advanced notice that owners Harry and Jacqui Shepherd were giving up the business and going back to England, said Hoyt.
“It was business as usual on Tuesday (Aug. 22).” Wednesday was a rain day so when he called and didn’t get an answer, Hoyt said he never thought too much about it, assuming the owners had gone on a supply run to the city.
Thursday morning came and Hoyt received a call from a staff person telling him they had received a letter from the owners thanking them for their service.
Since then, it has been confirmed the Shepherds did return to England.
“We did know there was some strain on the business. Apparently, the financial strain got to be too much.” Hoyt said while he hasn’t talked to owners, he has reached out through several means but adds he doesn’t “expect to ever hear from them.”
Hoyt said since his posting on social media about the circumstances, “my phone has been exploding” with offers from people wanting to help keep the course and the restaurant open. “We’ve had a lot of feedback and community support. We’re besieged with people wanting to help.”
The club has been a mainstay in the community for almost 100 years. Most of the tournaments played at the course are fundraisers, including the Play for Hope Tournament that was scheduled for this weekend. In the past 10 years, it has raised over $110,000 for breast cancer research, said Hoyt.
The property is listed for sale online for $945,000.