Pheasant Glen Golf Resort opened only 11 years ago, so it would be reasonable to assume management maintains a modest set of goals for its development and profile.
But that would be wrong.
“We’re determined to become the Vancouver Island champion of amateur golf, the best course and the best place for amateur competition on the Island,” said Gord Melissa, Pheasant Glen’s General Manager and CPGA Professional.
Pheasant Glen will ascend the pinnacle of amateur golfing in B.C. next week when it hosts the 114th annual B.C. Amateur Championship. And it did not skip steps on the way there, having already hosted the B.C. Men’s Mid-Amateur (2006), Women’s and Senior Women’s Amateurs (2007) and the RCGA Men’s Mid-Amateur (2008) in addition to the B.C. Junior Am and the 2015 Golf Canada Future Links Pacific Championship.
Pretty heady stuff for a resort course that added its back nine just more than a decade ago. But four-time club champion Brian De Biasio, who knows a little something about top-flight competition with both B.C. and Canadian Mid-Amateur championships on his resumé, said names can be deceiving.
“It’s designed as a resort golf course, which means it’s playable by a lot of people who just want to go out and have fun,” said De Biasio. “But it can also be set up in a way that challenges the best golfers.”
And that’s just who’s coming, beginning this weekend at Pheasant Glen.
The course will host a one-day provisional qualifier Sunday, July 10, to fill the final available slots in the 156-player field. A championship practice round will follow on Monday, and the four-day, 72-hole championship kicks off Tuesday morning.
Among the qualifiers is 13-time B.C. Amateur champion, four-time Canadian Amateur champion and Canadian Golf Hall of Fame inductee Doug Roxburgh of Vancouver, who will be playing in his 50th consecutive B.C. Am.
De Biasio, 63, who finished second to Roxburgh in the 2013 B.C. Senior Men’s Championship, will be one of six golfers representing Pheasant Glen. Matthew Haddad placed 36th in the 2012 B.C. Am and 45th in 2013.
. Kyler Bourgeault, who came up through the club’s Junior Golf Academy and who won last month’s Zone qualifier at Pheasant Glen, will compete while joining De Biasio on the four-member zone team at the championship.
“Growing up as a member of the academy really taught me how to prepare for tournament golf and develop a good tournament mindset,” said Bourgeault. “Pheasant Glen is a very difficult challenge for anyone from the back tees. You need to be good with your woods and you need to know how to score.”
The local delegation will include three junior golfers, including 2016 B.C. AA high school champion Jake Lane of Kwalikum Secondary School, his teammate Aidan Goodfellow, and Port Alberni’s Spencer Rhodes, who has signed to play at Alcorn State University in Mississippi on a golf scholarship beginning this fall.