Tony Griffi, the general manager of Slave Lake’s Gilwood Golf & Country Club, passed away last week, suddenly and unexpectedly. Details were scarce, but the golf club confirmed the loss on its website on Aug. 3.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our wonderful friend and head pro Tony Griffi,” says a post on the Gilwood Facebook page. “Please (bear) with us in this difficult time.”
According to Gilwood president Cory Emes, Griffi died by drowning; it happened in Edmonton.
A native of Stratford Ontario, Griffi went to college to study electrical engineering, but as reported in a March 2019 article in the Lakeside Leader, “his love of the game of golf won out.”
Griffi’s love of the game was evident in the way he handled things at Gilwood.
“He changed the culture,” says Emes. “The stuff he was implementing – I’m hoping we’ll have it forever.” Emes gives the rejuvenated junior program as an example. Another is the ‘Ladies’ Diva’ program.
“It’s going to be a big hole to fill,” he says.
Efforts to fill the hole – if only temporarily – have already begun. A golf pro would be preferable, says Emes, and they have a couple of leads.
In the meantime, Emes says the staff Griffi had in place – both in the clubhouse and upstairs in the restaurant – is good and will have no trouble with the day-to-day stuff.