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.
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