William Thompson (Bill) Kinnear
William Kinnear contributed to the Saskatchewan golf scene as the architect and builder of courses at both the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club and the Riverside Golf and Country Club.
Bill was born in Buckhaven, Scotland, on April 3, 1879, just 16 miles away from St. Andrew's golf course and close to another famous course at Leven. His first experience in golf was as a club maker and assistant professional at Leven. After landing in Winnipeg and hearing that a golf club was being organized in Saskatoon, Bill applied for the job as professional at a nine-hole site, which, today, is Kinsmen Park. The city gave notice they required the park land in 1910 and in exchange, offered the golf club a 99-year lease on 80 acres of land south of the Exhibition grounds.
Bill designed the course and built the original clubhouse. The Riverside Golf and Country Club was launched and Bill was hired to design the course, which opened in 1914. Because of his work at Riverside, he also laid out courses in Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, and North Battleford and consulted on many others. Bill became an expert at making clubs and in 1921, received a patent on a revolutionary driver, which had a special adjustable weight inset in the driver head to give the drive more power on impact.
He also put together a series of pictures in pre-video days to help show his students the techniques of the game. As a player, he had 11 holes-in-one.
The clubhouse at the Saskatoon Club was relocated to its present site in 1929. Bill retired as professional at the Saskatoon Club in 1954 after 35 years of service. He was succeeded by Pat Fletcher, the last Canadian to win the Canadian Open.
Bill presented the prizes at the Canadian Amateur golf championships held at the Saskatoon Club in 1955. In retirement, Bill went back to his carpentry skills and made a set of furniture for Second Street United Church, much done by hand carving. Bill and his wife, Mary, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1957, one of the last pictures where the family was altogether. He died on Oct. 13, 1958.