Brian Magee was an amateur recreational golfer for most of his life. He designed Black Bear Ridge Golf Course on land that he owned and farmed. It was his weekend family retreat away from the City of Toronto for many years. He spent 2001 to 2004 overseeing and implementing his vision of making the golf course the very best it could be. The elevated tees, treelined fairways, and preservation of the natural surroundings and forested areas that can be seen throughout the golf course make the golf experience truly a memorable one. Every rock boulder and rail fence post were found on the property and strategically moved, under Brian’s supervision, to add to the natural ambiance. The Migratory Bird Sanctuary which can be seen on the 11th Fairway was preserved in its natural habitat with the assistance of Ducks Unlimited.
Brian designed BBR with 5 sets of tees in a parkland setting that is playable for golfers of all skill levels. Each hole is accessible from the front so that a player could run the ball up to the green without having to carry the ball over sand traps or water. A 9-hole executive Par 3 course was added to allow junior and beginner golfers a place to play, learn and improve their game.
Black Bear Ridge opened in the Spring of 2005 and, since that time, it has been recognized as one of the leading public golf courses in the Country. BBR is continually recognized, compared and rated along with renowned professionally designed golf courses around the world and is often chosen as one of the Best which is a commendable accomplishment for an amateur architect to attain.
Black Bear Ridge is surrounded by wooded lands with an abundant amount of wildlife. Brian devoted time to ensure injured wildlife were brought to the Wildlife Centre for nurturing, or if a day-old baby deer was spotted, lying in the rough, he informed visitors not to get too close or touch, as an untouched fawn was safe against predators and not abandoned. Salt blocks were evident around his residence on the property and he was forever purchasing all the apples at the local grocery store during the winter months to feed his deer.
Brian’s passion for the game of golf and his ever-friendly greeting for all visitors, young and old was ever-present and he thoroughly enjoyed hearing everyone’s experience or comments at the end of their round.
In 2020, Scoregolf Canada rated Black Bear Ridge as the 5th Best Public Golf Course in Ontario and 18th in Canada. Since the opening year, BBR continues to improve in the golf world ratings. Black Bear Ridge continues to be a place where thousands of people visit each year, play a round of golf with friends, enjoy nature and sit back and relax on the patio and reminisce about their golf experience.
Brian’s presence is missed by all but forever in our hearts. Thank you, Brian Magee, for fulfilling your dream and leaving Black Bear Ridge Golf Course for all of us to enjoy and make beautiful memories for many years to come.
Rest in Peace and Swing Easy.
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