Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 08:49 Wednesday, 20 June 2012 07:10
In a world where competitive golf can be.. well fairly competitive, this provincial championship is like a breath of fresh air.
Watching the approximately 70 players who tee'd it up at the well regarded Highland Pacific golf course in Victoria, it's clear there is a little more camaraderie here than in the usual quest for a trophy.
It's like comparing the intensity of the Champions' Tour to that of the PGA Tour.
Confirms second round tournament leader and two-time Senior champion (2010, 2011), Jackie Little, "We are competing with our friends and the friendships come first. Some of the people here are people who I have played with since I was a teenager. It's kinda cool."
The relaxed atmosphere extended to the banquet held at nearby Royal Colwood G&CC where BC Minister For Sport Ida Chong was one of the honoured guests.
BC Golf Executive Director, Kris Jonasson thanked Chong for the financial support that government provides to the association and went on to mention that in these days of fiscal responsibility .."they (the government) have asked us to demonstrate an adequate rate-of-return on their investment to help better the health of our province's residents. I can't think of a better demonstration than looking around this room where we have competitors whose ages represent four different decades."
The other guest of honour was Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Margaret Todd.
The 94-year-young Todd won the inaugural BC Women's Senior title in 1975 and followed it up with another victory the next year.
While Margaret may not be competing, there are a handful of 80-somethings who did tee it up in the three round, no-cut event and many of the players have been active in provincial level golf for decades.
For example, Little, who played her junior golf at the Glendale Club in Edmonton, has won five BC Women's Amateur Championships and two Senior titles and was inducted into the BC Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.
Interestingly, her major competition is a lady who has also entered the BC Golf Hall of Fame, Victoria's Alison Murdoch. Murdoch has also won multIple BC Women's Amateurs and has two Senior titles to her credit (2005, 2009). Alison also competes in the Super Senior division where she won the national title in 2011 and is a virtual lock to win the BC title this year.
There is no question there usually are only a few breathing the rarified air at the top of these leaderboards. Add Holly Horwood who won back-to-back in 2006/7 and only four players have won this tournament in the last seven years.
But walking the fairways during the 2012 edition, it's clear for most this event is not about winning but just getting together with people you have known a good portion of your life.
Concludes Little who resides up-island in Port Alberni, "If I could no longer golf for whatever reason, it would not be the golf that I would miss. It would be the people."