Morningstar Golf Club is starting a new chapter.
It was a double eagle celebration as members of Morningstar Golf Club teed off their 30th anniversary with the news that the course is no longer in receivership and has a new owner, the International Union of Operating Engineers pension fund, operating under Realcor Golf Inc.
With a real sense of optimism and pride, Morningstar is poised to resume its status as one of the premier courses on Vancouver Island.
“We’re excited about the future,” says Barrie McWha, the club’s general manager.
McWha and business partner Ray Riva were hired by the receiver in 2019 and tasked with bringing the course back into physical and financial shape. And they have achieved that.
The duo, who have deep roots in the Vancouver Island golf scene, have been retained by the IUOE to continue with plans for the future of the development.
Award-winning golf instructor John Randle has joined the club as the director of golf.
Among the improvements planned will include adding forward tee boxes which will appeal to juniors, seniors, women and high handicappers; and creating innovative skills development programs under the banner of the Randle Golf Academy.
Morningstar Golf Club, which opened in July 1991, is the dream project of Vancouver Island real estate developer, Mladen Zorkin. It was designed by renowned course architect Les Furber, whose goal was to create a big, bold tournament-length course. The success of the course was immediate.
In 1992, and for the following five years, Morningstar hosted the Spring Qualifying School for the Canadian Tour while the Morningstar Classic was a Canadian Tour event from 1994 to 1996. Over the years Morningstar hosted the Canadian Senior Women’s Championship, the Canadian University Championships and the B.C. Amateur Championship.
The past two years have seen significant improvements with Morningstar once again being “highly regarded as a place golfers want to play,” says McWha.
In June, the club hosted a very successful B.C. Golf Junior Championships and looks forward to getting back to hosting notable golf events.
With membership now at full complement, 225 members, there is a waiting list for those who would like to join. However, the course is open to the public with a good restaurant and great patio dining for everyone to enjoy.
Last year, the total rounds played at the club were approximately 23,500 and McWha expect it to go over 30,000 rounds this year.
— NEWS Staff, submitted