The 2017 BC Golf Hall Of Fame Inductees
The Golf Hall of Fame of BC is inducting new members on October 18, 2017 at Point Grey Golf & Country Club. Prior to the induction ceremony, the BC Golf House is releasing a series of biographies of the inductees.
See who the honourees are and read about their accomplishments which helped propel them into the company of this province's elite golfers as recognized by the Golf Hall of Fame of BC.
BC Sports Hall of Fame 2017 Inductees Biographies - (Compiled by BC Golf House curator, Mike Riste)
1979 Willingdon Cup Team:
Steve Barry, Rick Gibson, Kelly Murray, and Doug Roxburgh
Prior to the 1979 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, British Columbia accomplished a rare feat in Canadian golf history. The fact BC won the Willingdon Cup was not something new; the provincial men’s team accomplished the feat sixteen times from 1931 to 1978. The rarity lies in the fact that all four team members of the BC team were clubmates at the Marine Drive Golf Club in Vancouver, BC.
To illustrate how uncommon this feat really was, we researched the BC records to find if ever three players from the same club had been on a BC provincial team. In 1969, John Russell, from the Point Grey G&CC managed to join three Marine Drive GC clubmates Harry White, Doug Roxburgh, and Mike Buckley on the team. The team placed second in the Willingdon Cup Team Competition that year.
Another example of the difficulty of this accomplishment is the selection process that was used from 1969 to 1983. The BC team was chosen from the lowest aggregate score from four scores posted in the BC Men’s Amateur Championship and two scores posted in the BC Men’s Invitational Championship.
At the conclusion of the BC Amateur, won by Fred Couples, nine Marine Drive members joined the field of fifty-four players in the BC Invitational to choose the 1979 BC Willingdon team. The Victoria Daily Colonist reported: “Never before has one golf club completely dominated BC’s Willingdon Cup team. Never before has one player been so dominating in the 36-hole BC Invitational. Kelly Murray, the outgoing, hard-hitting Marine Driver who struggled to be the fourth best player at his club became the No1 amateur in the province in Victoria this weekend.” He defeated the field shooting 68 at Glen Meadows and 72 at the Victoria GC. His six-round total of 427 led the field by 10 strokes.
In 1979, like previous Willingdon Cup competitions, was a 36-hole competition that pitted the four best players from each province against each other. The three best individual scores from each four-man team were recorded each day. BC’s 216 score after the first round led the competition by seven strokes. We’re used to soggy wet conditions! Doug Roxburgh led the team to victory over Quebec. This gave BC the Cup for the sixth time in nine years. The Marine Drive G. C. could now proudly display the Willingdon Cup in their clubhouse – the first time such a feat had ever been accomplished in the Willingdon Cup competition.
Extensive Willingdon Cup records do not exist so it is difficult to determine if three clubmates were part of any Willingdon Cup Team. Initial research definitely indicates no Willingdon Cup Team comprised of three clubmates has ever won the Willingdon Cup.
The name Pat Fletcher is remembered each year when the Canadian Open Championship is conducted. The media quizzes each Canadian Touring Professional if he will be the one to break the jinx. In 1954 Pat Fletcher became the first Canadian professional golfer to win the Canadian Open since 1914 when Karl Keffer won the nation's highest golfing honour. Now Fletcher is recognized as the last Canadian professional golfer to accomplish the feat.
Born in Clacton-on-Sea, England on June 18, 1916, Pat accompanied his brother Alfred (b1914) and his mother Edythe (Edith) aboard the SS Melita to Canada. Edith probably married Ernest Alfred Fletcher about 1913. The 1901 and 1911 England censuses indicate Edith lived in wealthy surroundings. The family lived in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland. Edith had four brothers and four sisters. The 1901 and 1910 censuses show her father worked as a Marine Consulting Engineer and the family had three servants.
For an unknown reason at present, Edith moved the family to Canada in 1920. Upon their arrival in Quebec City on June 12th, 1920 the family traveled to Victoria, BC to reside with Edith's sister-in-law. Research indicates Edith lived in Victoria until her death on August 18th, 1959. She worked mainly as a housekeeper and as a bookkeeper. The Victoria City directories after 1922 list Edith as a widow.
During the 1930's, Pat attended Oak Bay School and participated in several sports, but golf became his passion. He spent every spare moment at the Victoria Golf Course working in Phil Taylor's Golf Shop. Caddying for the Oak Bay members dominated his spare time after school. He played in the Victoria Golf Club Caddy Championship and the Victoria City Junior and Caddy Championships. As he grew older, Pat apprenticed under Phil to become a clubmaker/golf professional. In 1936 he became a golf professional working as an apprentice at Jasper, Mayfair, and Edmonton golf clubs.
Pat played competitively in the Western professional championships, the National CPGA, and the Canadian Opens. From 1945 to 1960, Stan Leonard definitely ranked as the #1 golf professional in Canada, winning CPGA titles and pro titles. For this reason, Pat's competitive record probably lacks more successes. He finished second three times during his tenure in Alberta. Upon his move to the head professional position at the Saskatoon G&CC he placed first or second in the Saskatchewan Open. In 1956 he moved to the Royal Montreal GC to assume the premiere head professional job in Canada. He retired to his adopted hometown, Victoria BC, in 1975.
In 1954, Pat accomplished one feat no other Canadian professional golfer has been able to duplicate. At the Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver BC, he defeated the best Canadian and Pacific Northwest professionals to win the Canadian Open Championship. He did not plan to enter the championship at Point Grey in 1954, but his long-time friend Stan Leonard lured him by offering an unforgettable fishing trip after the tournament. According to Harold Pickens, editor of the Canadian Golfer Magazine, "Pat Fletcher was not a long hitter of the ball, but he seldom strayed from the fairway. His strength was his short game. Many of his peers considered him the finest wedge player in Canada."
As the first round closed, everyone thought Pat's 65 had locked up the best score of the day. But news surfaced Bob Rosburg could catch him and finish even lower. At the end, Rosburg led with a 63. After the second round, Pat had overtaken Rosburg with Gordie Brydson, the Mississauga pro, lurking four shots back. After the third day, Brydson managed to lead the field with 207, Fletcher at 209 and Rosburg at 210.
In the final round, Pat appeared to be out of the tournament with a 39 on the front nine. "I was ready to jump into the river." But anything can happen in golf. For some reason Brydson lost his composure on the eighth and things got progressively worse. He scored bogey, double bogey and triple bogey. With renewed hope Pat took off, shooting 32 on the back nine to win.
"With the exception of Brydson there could have been no more popular winner than Pat Fletcher. This quiet, unassuming, and rather shy man carried his title with dignity." He returned to the Open long after he retired hoping to present the trophy to another Canadian professional.
From the age of six in Barrie, Ontario, Brent always wanted to be a pro golfer. As part of a golfing family, father Ralph, mother Lenore, and sister Cynthia he certainly had the environment to succeed. From the age of five the golf course became Brent's second home. He said: "I've always wanted to be a golfer. When I was five or six, I started going to the practice range with my Dad. He gave me a cut-off seven iron and I hit balls with it until the head came off." He played in several local Ontario junior tournaments. His first official win came as a tie (84) in the 1977 Father & Son Division Class C.
Fortunately for Brent, in 1981 his father's bank transferred him to Vancouver, BC. The Franklins joined the Shaughnessy G&CC. Now Brent began to hone his golfing skills under the expert eye of Jack McLaughlin, head professional. Jack's fellow Canadian club professionals credited Jack with operating the premier junior golf program in the country. Jack recognized Brent's natural talent. "He looks like a golfer, just standing there. He's a great prospect. Of all the kids I've taught in 27 years, he has the purest mechanical swing for his age."
Immediately, Brent began to show his exceptional talents in the local junior events, winning the 1982 BC Juvenile crown. In 1983, he began his incredible string of wins as an amateur golfer, winning the Vancouver City Junior, BC Junior, and the Canadian Junior titles. From 1983 to 1988, he won a national championship each year: two Canadian Juniors, three Canadian Amateurs, and a Canadian Professional Golfers' Championship. No other Canadian golfer has accomplished this feat. He joined Canada's premier golfing legend George S. Lyon by winning three consecutive Canadian Men's Amateur Championships 1985,1986, and 1987.
Throughout his amateur career he oozed with confidence. In 1985, after winning two consecutive Canadian Junior titles, he received little respect from the reporters at the Riverside CC in Saskatoon, Sask. This provided him with the incentive to win. On the final hole, he casually tapped his final putt fully expecting it to drop. He missed. He casually proceeded down the first extra hole fully expecting he could win against veteran Canadian Amateur golfer Stu Hamilton.
In 1987 he arrived at the Derrick Golf & Winter Club in Edmonton, AB with only one goal. A win would make him the first Canadian amateur golfer to capture three consecutive men's amateur championships since the great George S. Lyon accomplished the feat from 1905 - 1907. Several great Canadian players such as Moe Norman, Jim Nelford, and Nick Weslock had copped two consecutive titles.
After his national win in 1987 he turned professional. In 1988 at the Emerald Hills G&CC in Stouffville, ON he won the Canadian Professional Golfers' Association championship. His win, the first occasion for a Canadian professional to complete the task as a rookie, further elevated Brent's stature as one of Canada's premier golfers.
In 1990, he decided to postpone his entry to the PGA Tour. He decided to try his luck on the Asian tour. In his first year, he won over $300,000 in five top ten finishes. "When I feel I am good enough I'll try the PGA school again. This is a great playing ground for me to improve as a player." After three years on the Asian Tour, Brent's athletic good looks, powerful swing, and aggressive style made him a standout. Then disaster struck. While jogging, a car struck him in the back. After the accident, Brent returned to Vancouver for his recovery period. He had moderate success on the Canadian Tour but he lacked the old confidence and swagger he exhibited as the leading Canadian Amateur golfer. Today, Brent is the women's golf coach at the University of Colorado.
Colleen (Smith) McCulloch
Colleen McCulloch can definitely be described as an all-round athlete. Her dressmaker mother raised Colleen, the youngest of three children, during the Great Depression and World War 11. Colleen discovered sports as "something to overcome my boredom". As a student at Lord Tennyson Elementary and during her high school days at Kitsilano High School, she loved all sports. During her athletic career from age sixteen to twenty-five, she excelled in five sports.
In grass hockey, she won five championships. In basketball, she played for the Kitsilano Hedlunds, winning provincial and national titles in 1946-47. In curling, she copped five club titles and numerous bonspiel championships. On the softball diamond with the Pacifics and Nuthouse teams, she gained international recognition when the Grand Rapids Chicks baseball team invited her to join their team. "They had scouts, y'know, I had been asked to play on an all-star team when I was 18, but my mother, she was pretty strict, she didn't want me to go. I was underage, so of course I didn't go." But the following year she joined the Grand Rapid Chicks for one year. In 1998, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame recognized her contributions to the sport.
When asked about her transition to golf, Colleen commented, "I just got too old for all the other sports". She was thirty-one at the time. When Colleen Smith exchanged her baseball cleats for golf spikes, her natural athletic ability definitely made the transition easier for her. She first appeared in the results for the 1952 Vancouver & District Ladies' Golf Championships, playing as a member of the Quilchena GC. Because of her job as an accountant in a local firm, she found it difficult to travel outside Vancouver for championships.
In 1956, she decided to travel to Victoria for the provincial championship at Gorge Vale GC because "she had friends to stay with in Victoria." After just five years playing the game, she won her only BC Ladies' Championship. Colleen described her BC win as follows: " I considered this win one of the highlights of my athletic career because it was my first non-team sport win." Over the next 30 years, as a member of the Point Grey G&CC, Colleen managed to successfully integrate her business career with her golf career.
The head professional at Point Grey G&CC Leroy Goldsworthy described Colleen's golfing ability as follows: "She definitely drives the golf ball longer than her peers in the City. If she had the time to devote to her short game she would consistently be one of the best woman golfers in the country."
Probably one of her most successful outings came at the 1961 Canadian Women's Open on her home course, Point Grey G&CC She served notice she would be a factor in the national championship by winning the medal in the qualifying round. She also assisted the BC team to win the provincial team title. At the 1962 Canadian Ladies' Amateur Championship at Southwood GC in Winnipeg, she reached the semi-finals losing to five-time Alberta Ladies' Amateur Champion Rae Milligan.
When she turned fifty, she replaced Margaret Todd as the dominating BC senior woman golfer in BC. From 1975 thru 1985, she captured five BC Senior titles. In 1975, she began her senior career with a bang by placing second in the Canadian Senior Women's Championship at the Beach Grove GC in Tsawwassen, BC. In 1977 before retiring from competitive golf in 1995, Colleen accumulated an impressive collection of awards and trophies. She represented British Columbia on fourteen provincial teams - more than any other BC woman golfer.
After her retirement from the business world, Colleen turned to golf administration in the Canadian Ladies' Golf Association, BC Branch office. She served as a Director on the BC Golf House Society for a decade in the 1990s. At her induction ceremony into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 she commented about women in sport as follows: "I have a feeling women are always going to be on the backseat a little bit. I don't think I could play in all the sports I did in today's world. You pretty much have to specialize. I am impressed by the days of the Grand Rapid Chicks baseball team. Now there are professional circuits for soccer, basketball, and golf."
Holly (Botham) Horwood
Holly Horwood’s amazing golfing career is divided into two separate eras – first as a junior and college student; then, thirty-five years later, as a very successful senior golfer. Holly formed part of the group, who honed their skills under the watchful eye of Jack Westover. In 1957, Jack started as an assistant at the Marine Drive GC. In 1963, he guided Barb Renwick to the British Columbia Womens’ title. When Doug Roxburgh, the promising young future star at Marine, began his golfing career, Jack naturally became his mentor and eternal friend. In the 1970’s, Jack moved to the Grandview Driving. His flock, the crème de la crème of lower mainland golf, followed him. Every Friday night, the golf stars of BC assembled to hit balls under the watchful eye of their guru. Jack taught the fundamentals to Wayne Vollmer, Dick Zokol, Tom Moryson and guided talented women including Holly Botham, Paula, Phillips, Val White, Lynn Cooke, Liz Culer, Jennifer Wyatt, and Kim Cowburn.
Holly began her successful competitive junior career in 1965. She is probably the only junior girl who competed in five consecutive Canadian Junior Girls’ Championships. In 1970, her final year of eligibility, she became the “Queen of Junior Golf in Canada”. At the Summit G&CC, Holly dominated the field from start to finish, winning the most silverware of any competitor. In the Inter-provincial team championship, Holly, Sharon Janzen, and Carole Morrisey won the Ada McKenzie Trophy for the lowest cumulative gross score for 36 holes.
For winning the overall 54-hole low gross title, she captured the Brokenshire Trophy. The collection of silverware included trophies for low 18-hole gross score in the tournament, low 18-hole score in the team championship. and low 36-hole gross score for the provincial team championship. At the conclusion, Holly commented;” I let up on the final day. I really thought the scores would be much lower. The tight tree-lined fairways made the difference.” She had a mission in her final year – win the Canadian Junior Girls’ Championship.
In an interview for the Shaughnessy club history, Holly recounted her experience playing in the 1969 LPGA event at Shaughnessy; “I just remember being mesmerized, coming here and playing in the company of people like Sandra post. Sandra won the Canadian Junior Girls’ Championship at age 17 when Holly was just 13. I was very much in awe of her as a kid. I looked up to her.”
While attending UBC, she won the 1971 and 1973 Vancouver and District Womens’ titles. Over a rain drenched Marine Drive golf course, she won the 1973 Vancouver & District Championship defeating perennial champion Gail Moore by one stroke But, this win placed her in a perplexing situation. She had just joined the Vancouver Courier newspaper staff as their roving golf reporter. She now needed to report on her own win.
Then she vanished from the competitive golf scene. As a reporter, she published a local golf column for the Vancouver Courier and later, the Vancouver Province newspapers. She married, raised a family, and joined Shaughnessy G & CC in 1993. She maintained her competitive skills, winning numerous womens’ club championships. At age 50, she emerged from the club scene to make an impact on senior womens’ golf in BC. She has won 2006, 2007, and 2016 BC Senior Womens’ titles, the 2014, and the 2016 BC Super Senior Womens’ championships. In 2012 she competed against former junior foes to win the 2012 PNGA Senior Womens’ Championships.
Two weeks ago, she continued to add crystal to her trophy cabinet, winning the 2017 PNGA Super-Seniors Womens’ Championship at the Vernon Macan designed Overlake G&CC. She travels the world to compete in senior womens’ championships. Today, Holly is ranked as one the top senior women golfers in Canada. More crystal will certainly be added to the cabinet in the future.