Morningstar Golf Club is gearing up to host more than 150 of the province’s top junior golfers this month.
The B.C. Junior Boys and Girls Championships will take place at Morningstar from June 28 to July 2.
“We’re excited to host this event,” said the club’s general manager, Barrie McWha. “I think the last I heard it was 45 girls and 110 or 111 boys. There’s going to be some great players coming. These are kids that are destined for college golf scholarships and so on.”
McWha said the entry tally for the girls is full and there’s a waiting list. The final day to register is June 19.
This will be Morningstar’s first big event since McWha and partners the Riva brothers (Ray and Mike) of Wedgewood Golf Management, took over the reins of the club 18 months ago after it went into receivership in 2018.
McWha expects some of the junior golfers in the Parksville Qualicum Beach and area will also be entered.
Although COVID-19 restrictions are easing up, McWha said they still plan to follow a strict policy to keep players, staff and visitors safe.
Morningstar has rapidly seen its reputation as a top-class golf course return.
“We’ve been wonderfully busy,” said McWha. “The golf course is in really nice shape. We’ve had a good 18 months. COVID-19 has not hurt the golf business, that’s for sure. We’re pretty excited where we are right now.”
Club membership is at the max right now at 225, more than double the total when McWha’s group took over Morningstar.
“We’re not accepting any new members,” he said.. “We have a waiting list.”
Last year total rounds at the club were approximately 23,500.
“We’re forecasting in excess of 30,000 rounds this year,” said McWha. “We also increase our employees from 20 to 40 so it’s all been good.”
One of the biggest challenges McWhat said they had to work on was operation of its restaurant, which is now open until 7 p.m.
“It’s been difficult simply because it’s been opened and closed several times in the last year,” said McWha. “Our biggest challenge now is finding staff. Now we just had word that we can have people indoors, we don’t have enough staff. We don’t have enough cooks. We barely have enough servers. That has been a challenge.”