Wealthy philanthropist leaves $1M in will to city for golf course

A Calgary businessman who died last year left the City of Calgary $1 million in his will — to be used at the Shaganappi Point Golf Course.

David McClement wanted money spent on Shaganappi, his favourite city golf course

David McClement left the city $1 million in his will when he died in April 2016 at the age of 85. He asked that it be used to improve Shaganappi Golf Course, which he played often (Left, City of Calgary/Right, Loram 99 Corp)

A Calgary philanthropist has bequeathed the City of Calgary $1 million — to be spent a public golf course.

David McClement died on April 10, 2016, at the age of 85.

His will revealed that he wanted to give the city $1 million for the Shaganappi Point Golf Course, where he often played.

A long-time friend and co-worker of McClement's, Bill Bone, didn't know about the plan.

But he isn't surprised by the choice, given how much his friend enjoyed playing golf at Shaganappi and its vantage point overlooking the city.

"He loved Calgary. He loved the way it looked and he loved the skyline," said Bone.

Philanthropist lived near Shaganappi

McClement also lived near the publicly-owned course. Bone said his friend, along with his wife, resided in the southwest community of Wildwood for over 50 years.

After she passed away more than a decade ago, McClement moved to a condo overlooking the Shaganappi course.

The couple had no children.

Whether he was playing a round or just hitting a bucket of balls on the driving range, Bone said McClement enjoyed being out there and never worried about his game.

"He appreciated Shaganappi. He knew it well and I think he wanted to help leave a legacy for Calgarians to enjoy golf in the city," he said.

City making plans for the money

The city is pleased with McClement's generosity.

Calgary Recreation director Kyle Ripley said the golf course needs millions of dollars of work.

The list includes repairs to pathways, utility lines, and the driving range.

But he said the single biggest item that's needed is a new clubhouse.

"I think it would be fitting if we were able to put that gift toward that clubhouse," said Ripley.

There's a plan being developed to build a new, year-round facility that would meet the needs of golfers in warmer weather and cross-country skiers in colder months.

Ripley said there's even discussion of including a privately-run restaurant. The golf course's view over the river valley and downtown could be a drawing card.

No timeline yet

A price tag and timeframe for a new clubhouse isn't known, but Ripley said the inheritance from McClement would be significant seed money for the project.

City officials weren't aware of the million-dollar gift until the law department was contacted by the executor of McClement's estate.

The existence of the $1 million gift was revealed in city budget documents.

It's not the first big donation by McClement. He was also a music lover and in 2015, he donated $2 million to the National Music Centre in Calgary.

Bone said his friend also gave money to the University of Saskatchewan, where he graduated in 1950.

When asked what his old golfing buddy would think about a new clubhouse at Shaganappi, Bone smiled.

"I think a nicer clubhouse will really please David when he looks down at it," he said.