Ashley & Dave Zibrik Managed To Marry Their Two True Loves...Golf And Each Other
Ashley & Dave Zibrik Have Risen To The Top Of Their Profession While Forging A Life Together At The Same Time - Image Credit Brad Ziemer/BC Golf
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
Before they fell in love with each other, Dave Zibrik and Ashley Hogg had already fallen in love with golf. It was the summer of 2005 when they met -- at a golf course, naturally.
Ashley had come home for the summer after completing her junior year at Boise State University, where she played collegiate golf, and had landed a summer job at Swaneset Bay in Pitt Meadows. Dave had just turned pro, was also working at Swaneset and was in the midst of completing the golf management program at Camosun College. Both were 21 and soon they were in love with more than just golf.
“Our first 20 dates probably involved golf,” Dave, who was raised in Coquitlam, says with a laugh. “We would basically work, play golf, work, play golf,” adds Ashley, who hails from Squamish. “We’d tee it up before and after work and play until it was dark.”
They knew things were getting serious when they began hanging out after their rounds. “We’d golf and then go, hey, want to go grab something to eat,” Ashley says. “So it was golf, grab something to eat and repeat.” They could not have dreamed where this romance, with golf and each other, would take them.
Today, Dave and Ashley Zibrik -- they married in 2012 -- have two of the best jobs in the British Columbia golf business. For the past three-and-a-half years, Dave has been director of golf at Point Grey Golf & Country Club, a private club on Southwest Marine Drive in Vancouver. Earlier this summer, Ashley became head professional and director of golf at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, another highly-regarded private club on Southwest Marine Drive.
The two clubs are only about 2.5 kilometres apart. To put it in golf terms, that’s roughly the distance of a typical front nine from the regular tees. “We might even be able to car pool in the winter,” Ashley jokes. Right now, things are busy, as they always are in the golf business during the summer. Ashley is immersed in her new job and knows the next year will be hectic as Shaughnessy prepares to play host to next summer’s CP Women’s Open.
Dave, meanwhile, is involved in a major project that is expanding and dramatically improving Point Grey’s practice facility. That project also involves renovations of two golf holes. With all that on the go, they haven’t had a whole lot of time to reflect on where they are and the fact some are calling them British Columbia golf’s ‘power couple.’
image courtesy CrossFit North Vancouver
The Zibriks Understand The Value Of Working Out To Keep Both Themselves And Their Golf Game Fit. Here They Are Seen At The CrossFit Facility In North Vancouver
“It is still so new,” Ashley says. “I think last week we had a conversation at dinner and just went, ‘wow, we have come a long way’. . .We are both in kind of dream jobs and to both be in Vancouver, we know how difficult that is.” The fact is, no one in the golf industry is surprised that Dave and Ashley Zibrik are where they are. Both are bright, highly driven individuals who have worked their way up through the industry.
They paid their dues along the way and then some. Donald Miyazaki, the executive director of the PGA of B.C., notes that Ashley and Dave have both been highly active in the association. Both have served on the board and as vice presidents.
“They are both very good players, but that has little to do with where they have gone,” Miyazaki says. “They are representatives of the younger generations that are now becoming head professionals and they are just well-rounded golf professionals.”
Dave and Ashley insist they wouldn’t be where they are today without each other. They support and challenge one another and are equally passionate about the game. “I think we have always just fed off each other a little bit and the passion for our job keeps us going,” Ashley says. “We truly love what we do and we talk about it often. There aren’t many people who can walk into their office and their office is a beautiful golf course.
"You are surrounded by really great people, whether they are fellow professionals or members or public golfers. Everybody is there for the same reason -- they love golf. We have always strived to network in this industry and surround ourselves with like-minded people, successful people in the industry, to learn from and grow with.”
Like Ashley, Dave says he has been influenced by so many people he has worked for and with over the years. “But ultimately, the one person I think I have learned the most from is probably Ash and it’s just through discussions, whether it’s at home or on the road or at each other’s clubs,” Dave says.
image courtesy PGA of BC
Ashley Zibrik Was The PGA of BC Women's Champion In 2018
Their lives are busy, but the one thing the Zibriks make sure they make time for is to play some golf. Both are excellent players and feel it is important to keep their games in good order. “I love the competitive aspect of it and I think we both value being golf professionals who still golf and try to keep our games as sharp as we can within the confines of what our lives throw at us,” Dave says.
“I don’t enjoy going out and shooting 85 with members,” Ashley says. “I want to be able to post a respectable number. And that is my time to develop relationships with members. When you win a tournament they are really proud of that and that makes us proud as well.”
Miyazaki and others say the Zibriks are examples of the opportunities that are available for bright young people in the golf industry. It can be a tough business, one that does not have much in the way of middle management type opportunities. “They will probably be shocked to hear this, but they are both becoming role models for the new up and coming generation,” Miyazaki says.
In fact, Dave and Ashley do take their leadership and mentoring responsibilities very seriously. Dave has a talented young staff at Point Grey and wants to provide them with the guidance he got along the way. “I feel it is my responsibility to outfit them with all the tools they need so when they go for a job that opens up or something that they want to do next, that they have the best possible opportunity to go do that,” Dave says. “We are always pushing to get better and improve and the whole goal of our operation is to never be stagnant or stale. If we continue down that path, I think we are doing the club a favour, but we are also doing the people who work with us a favour as well.”
“I think it is really, really important to be a mentor,” Ashley says. “So as much as we can we have conversations and just be really close with our staff and be an example for them because I know that head professionals were examples for me. We have to be as helpful as we can in helping to guide them in what they want to do in the industry.”
image courtesy PGA of BC
Dave Zibrik Holds The Trophy As The PGA of BC Club Professional Champion In 2016
Ashley is just getting settled into her new position. She was appointed to the job in July and had been serving in an interim role since May, when former Shaughnessy pro Alan Palmer departed for St. Georges Golf & Country Club in Toronto. The timing of her appointment seemed perfect as it came just as Shaughnessy was about to announce it would play host to the 2020 CP Women’s Open.
She is the first female head pro in the club’s 108-year history and the reaction from friends, family, industry colleagues and complete strangers has warmed her heart. “It’s really, really special and I am super proud and honoured and I know that it is a big job in our industry for a female to receive,” she says. “But I kind have always looked at it like I am kind of one of the guys as a golf pro. I was recognized for my work and I am thankful to those who helped me along the way, but I also earned it.”
Ashley and Dave’s passion for golf has not waned over the years. Both still absolutely love the game, which has given them so much joy. But these days there is something much more important in their lives. That would be their two-year-old son, Jordan. His arrival has made their already busy lives even busier. But in a good way.
“We did a master schedule,” Ashley says. “We tag-team, so sometimes it is just mom and Jordan, sometimes it is dad and Jordan and then on days when we have conflicts on the schedule at our clubs, he has special times with Grandma and Grandpa. My parents and Dave’s parents are close, they want to spend time with him anyways, so we just schedule it now when we need the help.”
“Ultimately, he is our first priority,” adds Dave. “And I think that has probably been the best thing for us because it has allowed us to have a little bit of disconnect.” Asked if Jordan has had a club in his hands, Dave answers quickly, “Oh, yeah,” he says, before Ashley adds, “We will never force him, but we are going to expose him to golf, that’s for sure. So he has hit balls a few times. He’s really good with his plastic club in the house.”
Who knows, perhaps one day in the not too distant future, mom, dad and Jordan can play a round together at Swaneset, where this golf fairytale began.