BC Golf House Society

October 16, 2013 (ISN) – Golf Hall of Fame of British Columbia announces the following team and individuals will be inducted on October 24TH, 2013 at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club.

Inductees include:

1994 Dunhill Nations Cup

  • Dave Barr
  • Rick Gibson
  • Ray Stewart


  • Doug Bajus
  • Sandy Harper
  • Jim Nelford
  • Lisa Walters

Tickets are still available for the gala event. Please support this fund-raising event by purchasing tickets from the BC Golf Museum at 604 222 4653. Cost $125 each.

During the evening the Society will conduct a silent auction. The items include: clothing, limited edition signed Scottish golf prints, framed golf memorabilia, tee times for four players at various Northwest golf facilities.

Donation leads to an article.

In June the Museum received a set of clubs marked Lyle Crawford. The donor had purchased the set of Spalding irons in 1961 from Lyle Crawford, the head professional at the Langara Golf Course.

This set of Spalding irons showing Lyle Crawford’s name is quite unusual for clubs manufactured in the 1960’s. The Museum is now searching for similar sets showing local professional’s names.

The donation sparked an article describing Lyle’s career regionally and nationally.

golf clubs
Lyle Crawford “the man behind the shades”

Unlike today’s professional golfers, the 1960’s pros sported personalized trademarks. Gary Player wore his black outfits; Sam Snead wore his straw hat; Doug Sanders wore those outrageous pink and yellow slacks. Lyle Crawford wore his dark sunglasses, intimidating his opponents.

” After my News Herald paper route, I’d go right to the Hastings course and practice even in the pouring rain. I was just a kid, but I knew I was better than the other kids because I knew they weren’t practicing and I was. I found that by using my short three quarter swing I could keep the ball in play so I worked on perfecting it.”

Following in the footsteps of his idol Bill Mawhinney, Crawford practiced his short game constantly especially bunker shots. When he blasted all the sand from the course practice bunker Bill Heyworth would yell from his shop,” Down to Brighton Park for some replacement. I have a lesson tomorrow.” The youngster whistling his favourite tune willingly trekked the mile with the course wheelbarrow for the required sand.

As it did for his counterparts Bert Ticehurst, Ron Willey, Percy Clogg and Lyle Hurschman, the Vancouver Parks Board Annual tournament provided Crawford with his initial tournament success, tying for first in 1952 with Willingdon Cupper, Percy Clogg.

Crawford dominated 1954 amateur golf in British Columbia winning the BC Amateur medal and championship plus the BC Closed. Being a finalist in the PNGA and runner-up in the Vancouver Parks Board completed his resume for consideration by the Willingdon Cup selection committee. “Could BC be represented by this free spirited youngster from the east-side who might embarrass the association?” rang through the selection room of the conservative private club members of the BCGA. Initially Crawford was only an alternate to the team. To his credit, Walt McElroy intervened, emphasizing he would not participate if Lyle was not a team member. The Committee reneged and named Crawford to the team.

From 1952 until he turned professional in 1955, Crawford ranked as one of the leading amateurs in Canada. Like his 1955 Canadian Amateur foe Moe Norman, the two were not the conventional country club linksters. Throwing all conventions out the window, Lyle wore dark glasses, long hair, mismatched clothing and he played with Campbell of Canada golf clubs. Crawford walked with a swagger and an air of aloofness about him. Like Moe he played fast and well. In the final RCGA President James Anglin pleaded with the competitors to slow their play to enable the spectators to watch the competition. Of course the pleas fell on deafness ears. After traversing the punishing uphill first hole at Calgary CC for two rounds, many spectators ignored the play-off, exhausted from the trek following the two combatants. For the record Crawford lost on the 39th hole.

During the Willingdon matches Crawford led his team with a record-breaking pair of 67’s eclipsing the previous low individual score by four strokes. Scoring 561 the BC team bettered the previous record by 17 strokes.

During the return drive from the 1955 Ogopogo tournament Ben Colk, Crawford’s confidant, encouraged Lyle to pursue a professional career. “You have the talent and the dedication to be successful.” But how successful he might have been, Vancouver golfers never had the opportunity to discover.

Locally in the annual City Match Play event Lyle persisted with his gamesmanship. The four-time champion consistently began the round with a friendly greeting accompanied by, “Good luck. I don’t think we will be playing the second nine today.”

Timing is everything in the golf business. The CPGA’s annual Bursary tournament in Toronto supplied the top three finishers with sufficient funds for one year on the PGA Tour. Crawford won the event in 1957 and headed out on tour.

“After two years of getting my feet wet I eventually ran out of money. If I had pursued the dream one more year I might have made it.”

With a wife and two children to feed in 1959, Lyle followed the departed Ben Colk’s footsteps to the Langara pro shop until 1968. Lyle and Scotty Taylor purchased Western Golf Sales located originally in Marpole and later moved to Main Street. Rather than perform major club repairs in their own shops, local professionals contracted the work to the staff at 20th Avenue and Main Street. Later the company expanded into discount golf sales. To service the void in the Victoria region, Lyle Crawford expanded the operation to Victoria and became the head professional at Cedar Hill in 1978 until 2005.

From his six indoor practice tees “The Craw” continued teaching. ” Outdoors, the pupil is always looking where the ball has gone. Against the nets indoors, he only thinks of his swing.”

Lyle Crawford, the consummate public player, and Cedar Hill, the busiest public golf course in the province, were made for each other. In December 2005 the British Columbia Professional Golfers Association lost a champion, a successful businessman and a respected teacher.

Teaching Aid: In the late 1960’s the teaching professionals used a Polaroid Camera to photograph a pupils golf swing during the lesson. In a matter of minutes the pupil could see eight images displayed on photographic paper.

The Museum would like to obtain one of these cameras to create a series of images for the backdrop to a new display featuring golf training aids.

We’re on the hunt

The BC Golf House Society Museum is looking for Golfcraft and Pro-Made Golf Equipment to be used in an upcoming display!

If you can help or know of anyone who can assist us, please contact Mike Riste by email or at the BC Golf House (604-222-4653).