Stacey Marple, Haida Gwaii Observer, April 8, 2015
Golfing on Haida Gwaii is now bigger and better than ever now that a new promotional program, Golf Haida Gwaii, has gained the attention of Golf Canada. Golf Haida Gwaii works with both Willows and Dixon Entrance Golf Courses to provide a free, island-wide golf program for youth. When Golf Canada heard of this program, along with the islands’ unique natural backdrop, they selected Haida Gwaii for a national media campaign, What’s Your Story?
Vince Brzostowski will be representing Golf Haida Gwaii at the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame at the Glen Abbey Golf Course, in Oakville Ontario, where he will take part in the promotional video. Golf Haida Gwaii’s story is just one of five golfing stories chosen from across Canada.
“I’m excited to be able to promote Haida Gwaii as a golfing destination along with all that we have to offer to anyone coming to visit,” Mr. Brzostowski said.
The other four stories have yet to be chosen.
The history of golf on Haida Gwaii goes back to the military and dairy farms, when personnel craved some form of entertainment and built the Dixon Entrance Golf Course. When Dairy farm regulations changed and a local homestead couldn’t afford to upgrade the Mathers family turned their farm into Willows Golf Course. For a short time Tlell even had a golf course, where the soccer fields now sits. The rough fairways and unpredictable winds make the worst golfers look good and the best golfers look as green as the grass. With a population of under 5,000 people on Haida Gwaii, the fact that there are two golf courses is a gift. Both courses have struggled the past few years as membership and interest had declined. Loyal golfers have worked hard to keep both courses operational.
“It is so unique to have two courses on Haida Gwaii,” Mr. Brzostowski said.
Golf Haida Gwaii’s main purpose, is to unite the two courses on Haida Gwaii and make golf accessible to all youth.
“In desperate times you need to not only think outside the box, you need to redefine and redesign it,” said Mr. Brzostowski. “Without the youth getting involved, there is no future for golf on the islands. We need to invest in youth golf and give kids every opportunity to get to know and enjoy the game.”
Golf Haida Gwaii has big plans for the future of golf on the islands. The free junior program has been supported by both of the courses. Golf B.C has also thrown their full support behind the program. Director of School Golf for British Columbia Golf, Kathy Gook, will be traveling to Haida Gwaii to go to each of the elementary schools and present a Playground to Fairway (P2F) school golf program. Ms. Gook, who has been recognized as one of the top instructors in North America numerous times, will give the children a chance to fall in love with the game of golf by bringing golf right to them. Ms. Gook is putting on a P2F school golf coach training for anyone wanting to get involved.
Ms. Gook will also be holding a ladies golf clinic at both courses during her stay. The clinics cost $20 per person. All the money raised by the clinics will go back into the Junior program.
All this attention from British Columbia Golf and Golf Canada means that the support for the golfers on Haida Gwaii, including the young, have a bright golfing future ahead.
For more information on the Junior Program, Womens Clincs, Golf Coach Training and Haida Gwaii Golf Tour, go to www.GolfHaidaGwaii.Com.