New focus growing the Skeena Valley Golf & Country Club

Club manager says a less competitive atmosphere is driving up participation on the green at the club in Terrace, B.C.

Gross winners Shane deJong and Germain Francoeur hoist their trophy after the men’s tournament July 1-3.

A less competitive atmosphere is driving up participation in golf programs and tournaments at the Skeena Valley Golf & Country Club, says the club manager.

Germain Francoeur said they changed the men’s tournament to have two-man teams instead of individuals, in order to ease pressure and draw more people into the event, which has been slowly declining over the last few years.

“We tried to make it a little more relaxed atmosphere… if you play an individual event, it’s just you. If you miss, you have to recover and you have to hit the next shot. In the team event it is more relaxed because you have a team mate you can rely on,” Francoeur said.

The change seemed like a success, with 82 golfers this year compared to 74 last year at the  Two Man Devils Scramble on the Canada Day long weekend.

Day one was a round of “best ball,” where they record only the best score from the two-man team. Day two was “modified alternate shot,” where both players tee off, they pick the best shot and then take turns hitting or putting until one of them sinks the putt. Day three was “two man scramble,” where both players drive, they pick the best shot and both hit from there, and repeat that until they sink the ball.

Despite spits of rain, Francoeur said the event was quite successful.

“We had more people who were not your hardcore golfers, we had some non-members… we were getting new faces, which was nice to see,” he said, adding that they did lose a few of the more competitive golfers who were not interested in the two-man tournament.

The gross winners were Shane deJong and Germain Francoeur, with a score of 203, with 16 under par for three days. The net winners were Eli Vanderheide and Shiloh Vanderheide with a team score of 178, with 41 under par.

Francoeur says that the recreational focus also attracted more players to the Ladies Open tournament last weekend, which had over 66 women compared to the prior average of 40-50.

“That’s the most we have had since I have been here, and a lot of those are beginners,” Francoeur said. “They are trying to make it more relaxed as well.”

The regular programs are also making that shift, providing sections for players who do not want the pressure of playing with strong, competitive golfers.

There is an average of 50-60 mens and 40-50 ladies during their regular weekly programs, and Mondays tend to draw a good crowd due to the discount price.

“The last three years we have been busier,” Francoeur said.

But weather is still the biggest driver impacting the numbers of people hitting the green.

“Golf is almost 100 per cent reliant on the weather. You have your avid golfer who will play rain or shine… but the average golfer plays once every few weeks or once a month. They are not going to want to come out when it is raining,” Francoeur said.

“This year the weather hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t been that bad either. So far the golf season has been going according to what we budgeted.”

The club opened two weeks early this year on March 19, which proved to be a good move under sunny skies, but activity on the green has slowed due to the clouds and rain in the last few weeks.

They are hoping for more sunny weather in the coming summer months, and will run a Senior Open tournament on August 6-7 and Mr & Mrs tournament on August 27-28.

 

Just Posted

B.C. Book Prize’s northwest tour stops in Terrace

The two authors spoke to students at Caledonia Secondary School and Thornhill Elementary on Thursday

Mismanaged salmon farms unacceptable: Cullen

Commissioner suggests Ottawa favouring aquaculture over wild salmon management

B.C. hires 20 more conservation officers

The province announces 12 new locations for conservation officer services this year

Fire department reminds public to not burn yard waste

Terrace department has responded to eight burn complaints during the first three months of 2018

Approximately 133 calls for service April 16 to 19

The Terrace RCMP responded to approximately 133 calls for service from Monday… Continue reading

Terrace fire department boosts its abilities with new training regimen

Firefighters get a taste of emergency evac on demolition property

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

NAFTA talks keeping Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, sends substitute to NATO summit

Britain gives long-lost Franklin expedition ships to Canada, Inuit

Deeds to HMS Erebus and HMS Terror signed over to Canada and Inuit Heritage Trust

Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Liberals urged to tax e-commerce services like Netflix

Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions

Why some B.C. daycares didn’t opt in to subsidy program

Deadline passes for program aimed at laying foundation for universal child care

WATCH: Moms Stop The Harm respond to opioid crisis

Someone asked her if she does the work for her son. McBain said: “No, actually. I do it for your son.”

Been a long day? Here’s cute puppies in training

Group is training next batch of assistance dogs at Vancouver International Airport

Most Read