The City of Camrose welcomes Dean Dereniuk as the new Golf Services Supervisor and Head Golf Professional.
Dean comes to Camrose from, most recently, Sylvan Lake, where he was the head pro for the Meadowlands Golf Club in Sylvan Lake, but he has deep roots in the Camrose area.
"It is so nice because everybody has been welcoming me but I am actually originally from this area," smiled Dean. "I grew up in Bawlf and I know this area very well. I grew up here, worked here and golfed at this golf course probably a hundred times."
Dean said he is excited to have the opportunity to come back to Camrose and looks forward to moving his family, wife Jamie and their two young daughters, three-year-old Jorgia and one-year-old Callie, to the City.
Although it has been 23 plus years since Dean has lived in the area he is excited to be back among his family and old friends and looks forward to being a part of the community.
"One of the things that attracted me to this job is the fact that I am from this area. I know the golf course really well and I know a lot of the people. My phone lit up with family and friends welcoming me back to the area. It was a little overwhelming at first but really nice to see everybody."
With 11 years of working in a golf course setting under his belt Dean admits he is still fairly young in his golf career but his passion for the sport includes playing the game for over 30 years. "I have done a lot of trades work all over Northern and Central Alberta, then 11 years ago I got into the golf work world after taking the Professional Golf Management program through Grant MacEwan, where I was very successful, both academically and as a player. During my University years I began working at the Raven Crest GC in Edmonton as the assistant golf professional where I ran the lesson programs, junior programs and leagues and also did some maintenance work with the course."
With a desire to continue growth within his golf career, Dean and family moved to Sylvan Lake where he became the Head Golf Pro, until he was successful in acquiring the position with the City of Camrose as Golf Services Supervisor.
"I had a lot of opportunities at Meadowlands Golf Club in Sylvan and a lot of very good mentors there. I was able to gain a variety of experience, including some non-golf related, because the course was owned by a development company that had an interest in developing the land around the golf course. It was very interesting because I was able to work with the town and other non-golf vendors on this development project."
Dean said he and his family will be moving to Camrose once the sale of their home in Sylvan is complete Jamie has fulfilled her present contract as an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) with Red Deer Hospital.
Dean smiled broadly when he spoke about his two daughters and it was clear to see that family is an important part of his life. "My three-year-old daughter is already able to hit a golf ball. You should see her face, she gets so intense. I don't know if she will golf but it is fun to bring her out here."
And that is exactly what Dean hopes to see happen at Camrose Golf Course – families coming out and enjoying the game together.
As a City owned and operated course, Dean indicated the vision of the City, along with himself, is to create a slightly different culture of a family friendly facility. "I am that demographic. I have a young family and I take my children with me golfing and the City wants the golf course to be seen that way.
"We want fathers to bring sons, mothers to bring daughters or the other way around, and play golf. That is the future of the game-families playing golf together."
Having come from a market of promoting family golf, Dean is a good fit for the Camrose Golf Course.
"The City wants to make it affordable for families and everyone," he said adding that the City has even reduced the membership fees.
With an objective of attracting children and youth to the game of golf, the City, with Dean at the helm, hopes to build on the image that the golf course is open to everyone and encourages families to come out and enjoy the game.
With additional background in golf specific food and beverage operations, Dean will also be responsible for taking over the food and beverage operation in an effort to streamline it and make it more consistent for members and guests.
He noted that the Golf Course Clubhouse mandate is not to compete as a restaurant but have some consistency and service to golfers.
With his easy going manner and very approachable attitude Dean hopes to create an atmosphere at the golf club that welcomes all. "We want to focus on the people of Camrose and attract them back to the golf course. I try to be very friendly and I am definitely a family orientated person. As a family we like to get involved in the community and hopefully I can bring that to the golf course and it pours over onto the staff."
One of Dean's personal goals is to ensure members coming to the golf course say they were treated well, the staff was friendly, and they had an enjoyable experience.
He confesses it will take a while to get to know people but there is no doubt he will make every effort to do so.
Dean is available at the clubhouse weekdays from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm and welcomes anyone from the community to come out and meet him and chat. If you want to contact Dean telephone the pro shop at 780.672.2691.
Depending on weather, the course is expected to be open, at the earliest, mid-April. Membership fees are available online at www.camrose.ca/golf.
(Used with permission and gratitude from Lori Larsen, Camrose Booster.)