Open Championship Week: Calgary's Kinnear Buys Home on the Scores

Former Pengrowth CEO Jim Kinnear, who had his own chapter in my last book, Going for the Green, has apparently bought a home across from the 18th green at St. Andrews. CanWest’s Cam Cole offered this:

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — What do you call a third-floor balcony overlooking the 18th green at the Old Course in St. Andrews?

Calgarian Jim Kinnear might call it the No. 1 address in golf, and he’d probably be right.

Kinnear, the founder of Pengrowth Management Ltd., and a big-time patron of the Calgary Flames and the Canadian Open, has bought a three-storey house directly across a narrow street from one of the most familiar vistas in all of sports, for a price rumoured to be seven million British pounds — a hair over $10.9 million Cdn.

The narrow building is next door to the Old Tom Morris golf shop, and just south of the posh Rusack’s Hotel. Its top-floor balcony, this week adorned by two white-clothed tables, is so close to the action at the 18th green — and just beyond it, the No. 1 tee and the iconic grey stone clubhouse — it may offer the very best vantage point from which to watch the 150th anniversary edition of the British Open.

The 62-year-old Kinnear, whose company name still adorns Calgary’s Saddledome though a 10-year naming-rights agreement expired in June, is a member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.

 But today Lorne Rubenstein offered some different details on the Globe’s golf blog:

A tour of the house that overlooks the 18th and first fairways confirmed what I’d figured: Kinnear’s new home with its five bedrooms, back garden and third floor balcony has to be ranked world number one for golf course views. There can be no more prime real estate in the world for a golf aficionado.

Kinnear, of course, started Pengrowth Management Ltd. He’s since started another company. He loves golf, used to be one of Calgary resident Stephen Ames’ sponsors, and has been instrumental through his financial involvement and general enthusiasm in helping elevate the status of the RBC Canadian Open, which will be held next week at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto. Kinnear, in fact, helped bring RBC on as title sponsor.

The house was listed for $5.93 million (CDN). I’m told he bought it for $5.5 million. There’s also talk that he paid double that, which seems unlikely considering the listed price. I visited there Tuesday afternoon. He pulled up a while later, and was soon socializing with the various and sundry folks gathered in the house. Plenty of food and drink was available, as it will be throughout the championship., and so was the gift of a book about the house that Kinnear had commissioned. Clearly, Kinnear was proud of his new purchase. His friend Rick Desrochers, the former chief operating officer for the Royal Canadian Golf Association (now Golf Canada) is one of his house guests for the week.

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Jeff Lancaster

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