GolfNorth Still in Blackberry Man's Control

Jim Balsillie: Blackberry and golf course owner.

GolfNorth, the sprawling mid-tier public golf course company that includes Mystic near Ancaster, Paris Grand outside Paris, and numerous others, is now apparently under the signular control of RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie. There were rumors in the industry that Balsillie was no longer involved in the company, but that turns out not to be the case. G4G spies said employees at one GolfNorth club were told Balsillie was no longer part of the ownership group. Dennis Kavelman, former RIM bigwig, and part of the board of GolfNorth, clarified the matter in an email:

Jim is definitely still the owner of Golfnorth. I’m on the board. Very confusing about how staff would have been given that message. Shawn Evans is the CEO.
Hope this clears things up.

GolfNorth was founded by Al Kavanagh, who involved his neighbor, Balsillie, when seeking capital to expand. In recent years Kavanagh had struggled with health issues and resigned as the president of the company last year. In an email, Kavanagh said Balsillie now controlled his ownership in the company.

So in some ways this is a non-story. Nothing to see here, just move along….

I’ve played golf with Balsillie a couple of times. You can read about one of those experiences here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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