pga bc

December 12, 2013, RICHMOND, B.C. (ISN) – Three PGA of BC members will be toting significant pieces of hardware back from Canada Night in Orlando, Fla., on January 23, 2014 at the PGA Merchandise Show.

The British Columbia winners are:

Robert Ratcliffe, Teaching Professional at Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community in Courtenay, BC was named the Ben Kern Coach of the Year.

Rob Houlding, Head Teaching Professional at the Rob Houlding Golf Academy in Surrey, BC was named the George Knudson Teacher of the Year.

Scott Kolb, Executive Professional and General Manager of the Victoria Golf Club in Victoria, BC was named the Pat Fletcher Retailer of the Year.

Here are some brief notes on each of the BC winners:

Ben Kern Coach of the Year: Robert Ratcliffe

What makes Ratcliffe such an honoured golf coach? Well, let’s let one of his fellow coaches, Todd Deters, tell you why:

“The difference between being a golf coach versus being a golf instructor can be summed up very quickly by observing Robert Ratcliffe’s daily activities. He represents all that a Golf ‘Coach’ should be. He has been recognized for his expertise at a Provincial and National level by serving as the Alberta Provincial Coach from 2004-2006, the Assistant National Coach for Golf Canada from 2007 to present, and served in 2013 as the Team B.C. Canada Games Coach. During this time, the players that Robert has worked with have enjoyed phenomenal results. These accomplishments would be too numerous to list.”

In 2014, Ratcliffe will take on the role of Men’s National Development Team Coach with Team Canada (a recent promotion). This is a full time role that will see Ratcliffe work with Canada’s best junior golfers as they prepare for International competition, Collegiate golf, and chase spots on our National Amateur Team.

In 2013, Ratcliffe won the Gold Medal at the Copas de las America’s Tournament at Doral in Miami, and also led Team B.C. to all 4 available Gold Medals at the 2013 Canada Summer Games.

George Knudson Teacher of the Year: Rob Houlding

Houlding, whose students include Nick Taylor, Adam Svensson, Taylor Kim and Jisoo Keel, is very highly regarded by his peers in the golf industry, especially if you judge him by these comments.

“From April until the beginning of September, the driving range at King’s Links is lined up with Rob’s students,” said Neil Bidewell, manager at the course where Houlding has his Outdoor Academy. “He spends more than nine hours per day, six days a week (often seven), working individually with each student.”

“Rob Houlding is one of the most distinguished teachers in Canada,” said Derek Thornley, past president of the PGA of BC. “Rob deserves our recognition . . . as an expert teacher and as a leader in the business of teaching golf. He has also demonstrated a passion fopr assisting in the development of many other PGA of BC golf professionals by sharing ideas and mentoring those who are interested in learning.”

Pat Fletcher Retailer of the Year: Scott Kolb

“We have made many improvements over the past few years and feel that the Club has improved, offering a better service to our membership, as well as producing a more visually appealing Golf Shop,” said Kolb. “Innovation is one of our staff’s core values and we are proud that our unique buying process and creative scheduling are consistent with this value. We may be a club with almost 120 years of history and tradition, but we strive to be recognized as forward-thinking leaders in the golf community.”

The pro shop features a large, spacious and high-ceiling environment, featuring classic wood features, products displayed in a tasteful and professional manner and an attentive staff with a passion for the business and sport of golf.

Kolb gave credit to the entire Victoria Golf Club team, which has a total of 117 years of PGA of Canada experience.

Kolb and Head Professional Mike Parker lead a team which includes Colin McCulley, Arlen Wocknitz, Gina Hosie, Connor Taiji, Gordon Butt, Terrance Drader and Amanda Baker.

Thousands of PGA of Canada members across the country are eligible for these prestigious every year and only a very select few are nominated by their peers.

This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication Rob, Robert and Scott have demonstrated throughout their careers as golf professionals and both the PGA of Canada and PGA of BC applaud their accomplishments.

Other recipients of the PGA of Canada National Awards for 2013 include:

George Cumming Distinguished Service Award: Jack Nicklaus

Jack McLaughlin Junior Leader of the Year: Glen Sirkis, Teaching Professional, The Meadows At East St. Paul, East St. Paul, MB

Mike Weir Player of the Year: Bill Walsh, Class “A” Professional, Fairtree Golf Centre, Markham, ON

Moe Norman Apprentice of the Year: Pierre-Luc Darveau, Candidate for Membership, Académie de golf Lévis, Lévis, QC

Murray Tucker Golf Professional of the Year: Sheryle Rowland, Head Professional, Silver Springs Golf & Country Club, Calgary, AB

Tex Noble Award for Professional Development: Henry Brunton, Master Professional, Henry Brunton Golf, Maple, ON

The awards will be presented at a special ceremony next month at Canada Night.