Ziemer's BC Golf Notes: Big Sky For Sale; Wheeldon Survives Q-School; Hadwin Works Another Weekend

Big Sky Golf Club

Big Sky Golf Club In Pemberton, BC, Is Up For Sale. (Photo/Big Sky Golf Club)

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Big Sky Golf Club, the Pemberton layout that has long been regarded as one of British Columbia’s best courses, has been put up for sale by its original owners. Designed by Bob Cupp, Big Sky opened in 1993 and sits in the shadow of Mount Currie. It is owned by the Belkorp Group of Companies, controlled by Vancouver’s Belkin family.

The course, which sits on 179.4 acres, includes a pro shop, golf academy, double-ended grass-tee driving range, five-hole practice facility and a maintenance building. It has been listed for sale at $8.9 million by commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield.

“Essentially, the owners are looking to pass the torch after nearly 25 years of ownership,” said Cushman & Wakefield vice-president Brad Newman-Bennett, who happens to be a former (1999) B.C. Amateurchampion. “Hopefully we can find someone as passionate about golf as they are.”

Big Sky is the second high-profile B.C. golf course to recently hit the market. Last month, GolfBCannounced plans to sell Arbutus Ridge Golf Course in Cobble Hill on southern Vancouver Island.

Big Sky plays host to the B.C. Senior Men’s Championship in late July.

WORKING WEEKENDS: Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin made his 16th straight cut and went on to finish tied for 16th at the PGA TOUR’s Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C. Hadwin is tied for second in consecutive cuts made with Wells Fargo winner Jason Day and Dustin Johnson. Only Matt Kuchar, who has made 29 in a row, has a longer current streak. Hadwin has now finished inside the top 25 in his last six starts. He and fellow Abbotsford native Nick Taylor are both in the field at this week’s Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

LIFE OF RILEY: For the second straight year, Riley Wheeldon has returned to a familiar spot to re-gain his playing privileges on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada circuit. Wheeldon, who hails from Comox, finished tied for seventh spot at last week’s final spring qualifying school at Crown Isle Golf Resort.

Comox, BC's Riley Wheeldon Finished In A T7 At Crown Isle's  Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada Q-School

That finish guarantees Wheeldon starts in the first four events of the Mackenzie Tour season. Last year, Wheeldon finished sixth at the Q-School at Crown Isle, where he played so much golf as a junior. Two other British Columbians -- current B.C. Amateur champion Jake DuVall of Victoria and Burnaby native Devin Carrey earned conditional status at Q-School.

LANGARA GETS REPRIEVE: The Vancouver Park Board has approved a $3-million drainage project at Langara Golf Course, which should end speculation for now that the course could be closed and turned into a park. Vancouver’s outgoing mayor, Gregor Robertson, had proposed in March that Langara be converted to parkland. But the park board indicated that won’t be happening any time soon. 

Park board commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung told radio station CKNW that Robertson’s proposal was not even discussed by the board when it made its decision to proceed with drainage work on the course. “If we had delayed making a decision until later into the summer there’s no way that work could even possibly be done this year and meanwhile, we’ve got a land that is subject to sogginess and the site would continue to degrade, so I don’t think that’s fair to golfers,” Kirby-Yung said.

ON POINT: Bald Eagle Golf Club (formerly Point Roberts Golf Club) has set its green fee rates for its reopening later this month. The course, which had been closed by its previous owners and fallen into disrepair, has been given a complete makeover by original architect Wayne Carleton. It re-opens on May 20. Green fees have been set at $65 US on weekdays and $75 US on weekends. A Priority Club Card can be purchased for $50 US that allows cardholders to pay with Canadian dollars at par. Tee times will be available on line at baldeaglegc.com on May 13.

NINE IN A ROW: The University of B.C.’s women’s golf team won its ninth straight conference championship at the Wigwam Resort in Phoenix. UBC was led by freshman Cecile Kwon, who took individual honours at the Association of Independent Institutions regional with a 36-hole score of 11-over 151. The Thunderbirds advance to the NAIA national championships, which go May 22-25 in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 

The University of Victoria finished second in Phoenix and the Vikings will have to wait to see if they receive an at-large berth to the national tourney. On the men’s side, Victoria tied for top spot with Our Lady of the Lake University, which is located in San Antonio, Tex. The Vikings earned a spot in the men’s national championship tourney, which goes May 15-18 in Silvas, Ill. UBC finished fourth and received an at-large berth to the national tourney.

NICE PUTT ALICE: Rocker Alice Cooper, who loves his golf, played Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver last week before headlining a local charity event. Cooper posed for a photo with director golf Alan Palmer before his round Thursday morning. No word if Cooper has lined up another game for when he returns to Vancouver. He is scheduled to play the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Aug. 20.

TIGHT RACE: There’s a tight race going on for the three exemptions into the Mackenzie Tour’s Bayview Place DC Bank Open at Uplands Golf Club in Victoria next month. The top three finishers in a 12-event series on the Bayview Vikes Performance Tour on Vancouver Island earn spots in the Uplands field. With three events remaining, the top three on the current Order of Merit are Eric Wang of Valley GolfKevin Carrigan of Royal Colwood and Brent Wilson of Gorge Vale.

CHIP SHOTS: Several British Columbians will tee it up at U.S. Open local qualifiers in Washington State this week at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent and Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla. They are among 8,537 golfers who have registered for local qualifying. . .Simon Fraser Universitysenior Cris Crisologo, who will lead his team at this week’s west-south central NCAA Division II regional championship, has been named one of 30 semi-finalists for the Jack Nicklaus Award.