• BC’s Susan Xiao Picks Up PNGA Player Of The Year Honours

    Surrey, BC's Susan Xiao Added The Junior Girls PNGA Player Of The Year Award To Her 2017 Trophy Case Which Includes The Hardware Shown Here From The Canadian Junior And Juvenile Girls Titles - Image Courtesy Golf Canada

    Federal Way, Wash. – The Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) announced its 2017 Players of the Year for the region and among those winners is Susan Xiao of Surrey, B.C., who topped the Junior Girl’s category.

    In 2017, Xiao captured the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, the AJGA UA Canadian Championship and the MJT Vancouver Season Opener. She had top-5 finishes in four other events.

  • Joey Savoie Powers Team Canada To Tailhade Cup Victory

    Team Canada's Joey Savoie (L) And Josh Whalen Pose With The Tailhade Cup - Image Courtesy (Argentina Golf Association)

    Courtesy Golf Canada

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – National Amateur Squad duo of Joey Savoie and Josh Whalen marched to an emphatic 16-stroke victory on Sunday to win the Tailhade Cup at the Los Lagartos Country Club.

    The Canadians were led by Savoie of La Prairie, Que., who fired his lowest round of the tournament with a 5-under 66 en route to capturing medallist honours. The 23-year-old finished at 8 under par (69-73-68-66), two strokes ahead of runner-up Machado Herik of Brazil.

  • Canada, USA & Mexico Team Championship Set For April 2018 In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

    For those who like the intrigue and challenge of international golf, welcome to the Canada, USA & Mexico Team Championship, where you can represent your state and compete against other states from the two countries. The Ryder Cup/Solheim Cup-styled event is set for April 27-29 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta Resort.

    Just as cool are the two signature courses where the competition will take place. Architect supreme Jack Nicklaus designed the rst course at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta, and another architectural legend, Greg Norman, just unveiled the second course at the resort. Both will be in tip-top condition for the competition, according to tournament coordinators Brian Foster and Vito Berlingeri, who are putting together Team USA.

    “For this first year, we’d like to get a team of about 20 players,” Foster said. “But it’s a three-year commitment, so it will be an annual event.

    “The goal is to eventually fill up both courses, but over time I think we can do that.”

    Winners From 2017 Riviera Maya
    Winners From 2017 Riviera Maya

    The inaugural event will feature two-person teams from Arizona, Texas, Colorado and New York, and Mexico has seven states, so we expect that they also will probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 teams, too.”

    The three days of play will feature two- person teams competing in foursomes (best ball), four ball (modi ed alternate shot) and a two-person scramble. Each state can enter as many two-person male or female teams that they wish. You can play with your buddy or bring your family. Each player must have a veri able handicap index.

    Competitors are encouraged to book for ve days and four nights with packages starting at $1,854 per player. For more information, visit www.uncseries.com. Or contact Foster at bfoster@azgolf.org or (602) 909-7799.

    Click HERE to find out more about the Cancun area golf courses.


    About the Writer
    Joe Passov, aka Travelin’ Joe, rates golf courses and travel destinations for Golf Magazine. He lives in Scottsdale. 

  • Viva, Vallarta!

    Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta

    Puerto Vallarta Sizzles With Sand, Surf, Mayan Ruins, And Awesome Golf Courses! Pictured Here: Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta Resort

    By Joe Passov

    Mexico’s Pacific Coast is justifiably famous for its superb beaches, its native jungle and its world-renowned national beverage, tequila, 95 percent of which is produced in the regional state of Jalisco. Today, Jalisco and its legendary resort area, Puerto Vallarta, have achieved world- class status—especially among golfers—while the state directly to the north, Nayarit, also has emerged as a compelling draw, with a resort-rich coastal stretch known as Riviera Nayarit.

    Superb championship golf tracts have peppered the Puerto Vallarta landscape over the past two decades, but the most buzz-worthy layout of all is the brand new Greg Norman- designed spread at the Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta Resort in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, 20 miles north of the Puerto Vallarta Airport. Interestingly, that new Norman tract will be part of the host course rotation next year for the Arizona Golf Association’s 2018 Canada, USA & Mexico Team Championship at Vidanta Nuevo, which takes place April 27-29.

    Uniting Nations Cup
    Click Image Above To Find Out How You Can Play In A Great Tournament On These Courses

    Well, part of the Norman Signature Course is brand new, any way. Nine holes opened in the fall of 2015, with the other nine slated to open soon thereafter. After seasonal storms caused major delays, the course finally opened in mid-November 2016. However, as a protection against further weather issues, Norman was gifted a parcel of land along the Ameca River that yielded the creation of five new holes that weren’t part of the original design, which will be fully playable by next month. To accommodate the new holes, which include two water-guarded par-3s and a superb risk/reward drivable par- 4, the course was rerouted with existing holes renumbered, and the original first five holes consigned to history. The result is a dazzling, 7,326-yard, par- 73 layout with an unusual par 35-38 combo for the front and back nines.

    Also unusual is the journey to the course itself. Players will arrive via the world’s longest golf cart suspension bridge, a drama-filled, one-lane ride over the Ameca River that takes you from the beehive of relaxed activity at the sprawling Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta Resort in Nayarit to a core golf experience notable for its tranquil, natural setting in Jalisco, complete with jungle-edged fairways and panoramic vistas of the Sierra Madre Mountains.

    “When designing the course, respecting and promoting the conservation of ecologically sensitive areas was of primary concern,” said Norman at the 2016 opening. “As a result, routing was dictated by nature, according to dense vegetation corridors, streams and wetlands. . . . Ultimately, both high and low handicappers will really enjoy playing (the golf course), as it offers the perfect trifecta of beauty, fun and challenge.”

    While Norman’s creation will seldom frustrate resort golfers, provided they pick the proper set of tees, it’s definitely all the modern championship golf you want, thanks to the sophisticated green contouring, artfully placed bunkers and indigenous trees, a plethora of ponds and plenty of yardage from the tips. Two holes that skirt the Ameca River, the 473-yard, par-4 10th and the 549-yard, par-5 16th best illuminate the layout’s virtues.

    Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta Practice Range
    Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta Practice Range

    While Norman’s latest-greatest might be the region’s new must-play, it shares the spotlight with two siblings at the resort. Concurrent to the additional five Norman holes opening on the Championship layout, a brand new 10-hole, par-3 course called The Lakes opened in October. Holes range from 61 to 114 yards, though it’s hardly a pitch-and-putt. The aptly named layout is loaded with stunning water hazards, and boasts bold bunkering as well. Located in the epicenter of the resort, this walker-friendly loop is fully illuminated for night play.

    Also not to be overlooked is the resort’s original tract, a 6,668-yard, par-70 funfest created Jack Nicklaus. Emphasis here is on visuals, with roomy fairways, large, shallow bunkers and receptive greens. True, seven lakes await to snare errant shots, but with mountains, ocean and jungle always in view, you’ll enjoy the sensory overload, even if you have to reload a time or two.

    As strong as the golf is at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta, the resort itself is the star. Nuevo Vallarta is one of seven Vidanta luxury destinations in Mexico. In particular, Nuevo Vallarta shines, thanks to more than a mile of white sand beach, 27 swimming pools, 38 bars and restaurants and five high- end, high-rise hotels on the 2,500-acre property, including Grand Luxxe, which recently received the coveted Five-Diamond Award from AAA. On the way in 2018 is a one-of-a-kind theme park conceived in conjunction with world-famous Cirque du Soleil.

    Arizona golfers will get to sample Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta’s amazing attractions and compete in a unique golf competition as well, when the Canada, USA & Mexico State Team Championship take place in April. Ambitious golfers looking to sample the area’s other top tracts have a buffet line of appealing prospects. Indeed, you can play some incredible golf either before or after the Canada, USA & Mexcico matches.

    Punta Mita Pacifico Golf Course
    Punta Mita Pacifico Golf Course

    The tastiest option is Punta Mita’s Pacifico, a Jack Nicklaus design in Riviera Nayarit that’s affiliated with the much-honored Four Seasons and St. Regis Punta Mita hotels. Eight holes edge or face the ocean, but by far the most well known is Pacifico’s alternate, island-green, par-3 third hole, which is called “Tail of the Whale” due to its distinctive shape. When the ocean surf rolls in, an amphibious vehicle ushers you to the whale tail-shaped green.

    Pacifico’s younger sibling, Bahia, is another Nicklaus creation, and is the tougher of the two, owing to the wildly contoured greens. But with six seaside holes, lava outcroppings and Sierra Madre backdrops, there’s eye candy galore. If you’ve been battered with bogies by the time you reach the 571-yard, par-5 18th, take a gander at the nearby El Faro surf break, where the real wipe-outs take place.

    Vista Vallarta gets the nod for best in the state of Jalisco. Home to designs by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, Vista Vallarta played host to the 2002 World Cup on the Nicklaus course, where despite a third-round 62 from Phil Mickelson, Japan edged the USA team (Mickelson/David Toms) for the title. The Nicklaus layout climbs into the Sierra Madre foothills and provides captivating views of the Bay of Banderas. Weiskopf’s handiwork is more lay-of-the-land and features low-profile fairways bracketed by dense jungle rough, along with an entertaining drivable par-4 closer.

    In a class by itself is El Tigre at Paradise Village Resort in Nuevo Vallarta, a 7,239-yard brute that menaces with 120 bunkers and water on 13 holes. If you bring a single-digit handicap game, you’ll relish the challenge. If not, El Tigre, an incredible design by the late Robert Von Hagge, might devour you.

    Wherever it is that your hooks and slices lead you, fear not. Puerto Vallarta and its surrounds offer plenty of pampering resort experiences to ease the sting. Indeed, a pampered day in the spa along with a sip or two (or three) of that smooth, clear local liquid produced in Jalisco, and you’ll be primed to tackle another 18.

    BEST OF PUERTO VALLARTA GOLF 

    El Tigre Golf Course www.eltigregolf.com

    Nuevo Vallarta Golf Resort www.vidanta.com//en/destinations/nuevo-vallarta

    Punta Mita Golf Club www.puntamita.com

    Vista Vallarta www.clubcorp.com/clubs/vista-vallarta-club-de-golf

    Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta Resort (800) 292-9446 www.vidanta.com


    About the Writer
    Joe Passov, aka Travelin’ Joe, rates golf courses and travel destinations for Golf Magazine. He lives in Scottsdale.

  • BC’s Susan Xiao Named Rolex Junior All-American

    Surrey Native Susan Xiao Is To Be Honored By Rolex And The AJGA As One Of Junior Golf’s Best - Image Courtesy AJGA

    BRASELTON, Ga. – Susan Xiao of Surrey, British Columbia, was named an honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American by the American Junior Golf Association, establishing herself among the top tier of current and former junior golfers from around the world.

  • British Columbia Golf Wishes The South Asian Community A Happy Diwali

    The happy festival of Diwali is almost upon us again. Diwali or Deepavali is the Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance.

    It is celebrated in honour of Lord Ram's return to Ayodhya after an exile of fourteen years. The festival is also linked to Goddess Lakshmi - the Goddess of wealth and prosperity.

    Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali is traditionally celebrated by lighting diyas and candles, praying to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh and meeting friends and family to exchange Diwali greetings and gifts.

    This year, Diwali will be celebrated on October 19.

  • B.C. Golf Notes: Taylor’s Fast Start; Allenby Advances In Europe; Cordova Bay Wins RBC Scramble

    Abbotsford, BC's Nick Taylor Is Off To A Good Start For The 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season - Image Courtesy SportBox

    By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

    Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor has his 2018 PGA TOUR season off to a fast start. After finishing tied for ninth at the season-opening Safeway Open in Napa, Calif., Taylor followed up with a tie for 13th place Sunday at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.

    Taylor closed with a seven-under par 65 to finish at 12-under par. That was 12 shots behind winner Pat Perez, who beat runner-up Keegan Bradley by four strokes. Taylor has made $292,450 in the first two events of the 2018 season and stands ninth on the PGA TOUR’s FedEx Cup points list.

  • BC’s Mary Parsons Sets School Record As Indiana Wraps Up Bettie Lou Evans Invitational

    Delta, BC's Mary Parsons Finished Her 3rd Round With Four Consecutive Birdies To Set A School Record For The Inidana Hoosiers Women's Golf Squad - Image Credit IU/Brian Tirpak

    Courtesy IUHoosiers.com

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – Freshman Mary Parsons set a new school single round score of 66 in the third round as Indiana Women's Golf finished seventh overall at the Bettie Lou Evans Invitational on Saturday.

    Parsons's third round score was one stroke better than the previous school record which was set five previous times, most recently in 2015 by Ana Sanjuan and Camille Chevalier (67).

  • Video: Canada's Club Creator - The Bob Vokey Story

    Courtesy Bob Vokey & Golf Canada

    Canadian Bob Vokey was born in Verdun, Quebec in 1939. His father, Walter, was a precision tool and die maker, an avid golfer and constant tinkerer of golf equipment. Bob did not necessarily share his father's passion for golf as a child, but he observed and assisted in his father's club creations.

    Bob, at 25 left Montreal for the United States and settled in Carlsbad, California. Despite his earlier feelings toward golf, he became smitten with the game and wanted to become involved in some way. He lived near a golf course, and started to play competitively, eventually developing his father's passion for "tinkering" with golf clubs.

  • Wicks Repeats As PNGA Senior Women's Amateur Champion; BC’s Horwood Lights Up Scoreboard To Win Super Senior

    Roseburg, Oregon's Anita Wicks (L) And Vancouver, BC's Holly Horwood (R) Are The 2017 PNGA Senior And Super Senior Women's Champions - Image Courtesy PNGA

    Medina, Wash. - Anita Wicks of Roseburg, Ore. survived a two-hole playoff to successfully defend her title at the 31st Pacific Northwest Senior Women's Amateur; while Holly Horwood of Vancouver, B.C. won the 6th Super Senior Women's Amateur, shooting the low round of both championships in the final round to claim the title.

    Both championships were contested over 36 holes of stroke play and were held concurrently at Overlake Golf and Country Club in Medina, Wash. They were conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).

  • Canadian Star Brooke Henderson Claims MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open

    Canada's Brooke Henderson Holds The Trophy After Her Fifth Career LPGA Tour Win At The McKayson New Zealand Open - Image Credit: Photosport

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Canadian Brooke Henderson made light of the challenging conditions on Monday to run away from the field and claim the MCKAYSON New Zealand Open by five shots.

    Henderson, the world No. 12, had looked the class act of the field all week in Auckland. The 20-year-old claimed her fifth LPGA title – and second of the year - with sizzling rounds of 65, 70, 67 and a remarkable 69 in extremely challenging conditions over Sunday and Monday as stormy weather sent the tournament into a fifth day.

    Picking up her round Monday after competing just six holes on Sunday as rain and thunderstorms lashed the Windross Farm course, Henderson made light of the still gusty conditions to see off challenges from China’s Jing Yan (-12) and Korea’s Hee Young Park (-11).

  • Canada Claims Five Medals At Inaugural Invictus Games Golf Competition

    Medalists In The Golf Competition At The Invictus Games In Toronto Include 5 Canadians - Image Courtesy Invictus/Twitter

    Written by Terry Lenyk/ Golf Canada

    TORONTO – The inaugural adaptive golf competition of the Invictus Games took place Tues, Sept. 26, at St. George’s Golf and Country Club, where Canadians claimed five medals.

    The competition was contested over 18 holes using modified Stableford scoring using Handicap Factors/Index.

    Claiming gold in the men’s competition with a 38-point total was David Scott of the United Kingdom. Canada’s Étienne Aubé claimed silver with 37 points. Canadians Dan Graham and Jay Nickol earned bronze with 35 points, as did American Josh Lindstrom.

  • Kerr, Crisologo Finish 1-2 As SFU Clan Wins WWU Invitational

    SFU's Scott Kerr (L) And Chris Crisologo (R) Finished One - Two In The Annual WWU Invitational At Bellingham Golf & Country Club - Image Courtesy SFU Athletics

    By Steve Frost/ SFU Athletics (sfrost@sfu.ca)

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Sophomore Scott Kerr fired a final round six-under-par 66 to edge teammate Chris Crisologo for medalist honours, helping Simon Fraser University capture the 46th Annual WWU Invitational Tuesday at Bellingham Golf & Country Club.

    Kerr won his first career tournament by two strokes over Crisologo with a three-round score of 10-under-par 206. Kerr birdied the par 3 18th hole, one of seven birdies in the round, to finish at 6-under par at the 54-hole tournament. Kerr recorded rounds of 71, 69 and 66.

  • BC’s Lindbjerg & Gallacher Among Champions Crowned At PNGA Senior Team Championships

    BC's Gudmund Lindbjerg (L) From Port Moody & Parnter John Gallacher (R) Of Burnaby Were Among The Champions Crowned At The PNGA Senior Team Championships - Image Courtesy PNGA

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    September 22, 2017

    Bremerton, Wash. - At the 35th Pacific Northwest Senior Team Championships, Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. and Craig Larson of Tacoma successfully defended their Men's Senior Team title; Gudmund Lindbjerg of Port Moody, B.C. and John Gallacher of Burnaby, B.C. won the Men's Super Senior Team; Ginny Burkey and Leilani Norman, both of Eugene, Ore., won the Women's Senior Team title; and Mary Ryan of Renton, Wash. and Sun Douthit of Steilacoom, Wash. successfully defended their title in the Women's Super Senior Team with the defending champion pair of Jackie Little and Kathryn McGarvey from B.C. coming in T2nd.

  • B.C. Golf Notes: Big Bonus For du Toit; Kelly Takes Down The Bear; Hadwin Off To Atlanta

    Kimberley, BC's Jared du Toit Has Had A Pretty Solid Start To His Pro Career, Earning Canadian Player Of The Year Honours On The PGA Tour Canada-Mackenzie Tour Circuit - Image Credit Bernard Brault/Golf Canada

    By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

    He wasn’t happy with the way he finished his round, but Kimberley’s Jared du Toit hung on to win Canadian Player of the Year honours on the PGA Tour Canada-Mackenzie Tour circuit.

    That award, sponsored by Freedom 55 Financial, carries a hefty $25,000 bonus and du Toit said it helped soothe the frustration he was feeling about ending his round Sunday with three straight bogeys.

    Du Toit closed with an even-par 70 to finish the season-ending Freedom 55 Financial Championship in London, Ont., at 10-under par and tied for 17th place. He finished the season 23rd on the money list with $26,233, although he made more than that in unofficial money on Sunday.

  • USGA And The R&A Receive Extensive Feedback In Global Program To Modernize Golf's Rules

    The Idea Of Modernization Of The Rules Of Golf Has Been Well Received By Golfers Around The World - Image Courtesy Golf Canada

    FAR HILLS, N.J., USA and ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (September 7, 2017) - The USGA and The R&A have received comments on the proposed new Rules from more than 22,000 golfers in 102 countries, as well as representatives of golf organizations throughout the world, providing valuable feedback as the organizations work toward their implementation on January 1, 2019.

    With the worldwide survey and evaluation period now complete, the USGA and The R&A and their respective committees will continue to review all comments received with the goal of finalizing the new Rules next spring and beginning a comprehensive education program later in 2018.

  • B.C. Golf Notes: Hadwin Clinches Presidents Cup Spot; Richdale Birdies Raise Bucks For Hurricane Relief; Solid Season Ends For Taylor

    Abbotsford, BC's Adam Hadwin Clinched His Automatic Selection This Weekend To The International Squad For This Year's Presidents Cup Competition In New Jersey - Image Courtesy adamhadwin.com

    By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

    It wasn’t quite the round he had hoped for on Monday, but Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin still accomplished a huge goal by clinching a spot on the International team for this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    That Presidents Cup berth is the cherry atop what has been a spectacular year for Hadwin, who shot a 59 at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January and earned his first PGA Tour win two months later at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla.

    Hadwin finished 10th on the International team points list for the Presidents Cup, which goes Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J. International captain Nick Price will make his two captain’s picks later this week.

  • BC's Kathy Gook Among Inaugural List Of 50 Best LPGA Teachers

    Quesnel, BC's Kathy Gook Was One Of The Top Instructors Recognized From More Than 1,700 LPGA Certified Professionals Worldwide - BC Golf Image

    Via Press Release

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., August 28, 2017 – The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) membership announced today the launch of an annual recognition of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional’s Top 50 LPGA Teachers, presented in partnership with Women’s Golf Journal.

    This new initiative will identify and recognize the best LPGA instructors from more than 1,700 LPGA certified professionals worldwide.

    All LPGA Class A Members in good standing who meet the eligibility requirements were invited to apply. An independent golf industry selection committee reviewed eligible applications and identified the LPGA Top 50 Teachers, utilizing a weighted points formula.

    One of those recognized was Quesnel, British Columbia's own Kathy Gook who moved to Phoenix in 1985 after graduating from Simon Fraser University to pursue a career in golf.

  • B.C. Golf Notes: Nick Taylor Looks To Extend His Season; Big Weekend For John Shin; Bear Mountain Lands Nick Faldo

    In The News For Golf In B.C. This Week, L-R: Nick Taylor, John Shin & Sir Nick Faldo - Image Credits SkyBox Sports/PGA of BC/Faldo.com

    By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

    It is the second round of the FedEx Cup playoffs this week on the PGA TOUR and Nick Taylor must be feeling a little like he’s about to play Game 7. It’s do or die for the Abbotsford native.

    After missing the cut in last week’s playoff opener, The Northern Trust in Old Westbury, N.Y., Taylor fell to No. 92 on the FedEx Cup points list. The top 100 advanced to this week’s Dell Technologies Championship near Boston, but only the top 70 will move on to the third of four playoff events, the BMW Championship near Chicago.

  • Gamble Sands Named Washington's No. 1 Public Golf Course in 2017

    Images Courtesy Gamble Sands website

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    SEATTLE – Gamble Sands Golf Course ― the David McLay Kidd course that opened in 2014 in Brewster, 30 minutes north of Chelan ― has been ranked the state’s No. 1 public golf course for the first time by Cascade Golfer magazine, headlining the regional golf’s magazine’s bi-annual rankings of the Top-10 Public Golf Courses in Washington.

    The result marks the first time since Cascade Golfer began publishing its official rankings of Washington's top public courses in 2013 that any course other than Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 U.S. Open, has finished in first place.

    And it wasn't particularly close.