June Newsletter

Newsletter Section: 
Welcome to the June Newsletter

The Twentieth Anniversary of Cordova Bay Golf Course

As hard to believe as it is, Cordova Bay is turning 20!  I know, I know, she doesn’t look a day older than 19 but it’s true. The course opened for business on July 6, 1991. 

There are some very special things planned for our big 2-0.  Some I can tell you about and some are still secret. 
I can tell you there will be a special day on the 6thof July this year but the details are still confidential – don’t worry, we’ll let you know in time.  I can also tell you to pay attention to the Blogs, this month.  We’ll be doing interviews with the ‘Founding Fathers’ of Cordova Bay.  Those are the people who helped plan and build the course and then stayed on for 20 years to see how it turned out.
Jim will also be writing little pieces highlighting some of his favourite stories over the last two decades.  The first made me laugh out loud when I read it and I offer it to you a little further down the page.
Finally, our next newsletter will be solely dedicated to the 20 years Cordova Bay Golf Course has been a part of life here, in Victoria and around the world.
But enough from me, the June newsletter is chock full of cool stuff just waiting for you...

  • Goats are cute! We send our videographer, Steve Lane out to the farm where our goat kids are getting bigger by the day. And they still need a name...
  • Not only did Lance bag another tour win at Cedar Hill - this one a major, but he's offered us an excellent review of the various range finding devices on the market.
  • In preparation for our upcoming 20th Anniversary in July, Jim describes one of his favourite stories (well, his favourite stories that I can print) from the last 20 years.
  • Dean goes to the Score Golf awards and receives his due recognition as the 2010 Canadian Golf Superintendent Association's Superintendent of the Year.
20th Anniversary Stories: "Seamus, I have a wee problem!"

By Jim Goddard
Director of Golf (20 years and running...)

I’m sure you are all familiar with Campbell’s Crossing at the 16th hole. One of my favourite stories from the first 20 years involves its namesake.
Dougald Campbell was a marshal in the early days. Doug hailed from Scotland and carried with him, even after many years in Canada, a very heavy brogue. He also carried with him many old country traditions. He was a proper gentleman. He would appear every day, no matter the weather, in a shirt, tie, vest, and windbreaker; pants pressed, hair combed … immaculately put together.  Doug had a keen sense of tradition and a love for the game of golf.
When we opened in 1991 we surprised a lot of people in the golf industry. We were a public course that offered immaculate conditions, a positive, upbeat atmosphere, beautiful gardens, etc. (everything you still see to this day) However, in 1991 we stood out. We did things a bit differently. An example of this was our dress code. We did not take the typical Private golf club stance of telling our customers what they could and could not wear. Our dress code was simply, PLEASE STAY DRESSED. 
Now as you can imagine, policies of a young, upstart organization trying to be innovative and unique might clash with a more conservative, traditional type like Dougald Campbell. Dozens of times during Mr. Campbell’s early employ he would call me on the radio to tell me that “ a young lassie does not have a collar on her shirt”, or “there’s a wee young laddie with his cap on backwards”. As much as I would assure him, that these minor fashion faux pas were perfectly alright in the new relaxed Cordova Bay atmosphere, Dougald could never quite come to terms with the policy. In fact, he resigned his position, several times over dress code issues. Thankfully, after a wee dram in the evening and a chat with Betty, he would call the next morning and unresign. 
One very warm August afternoon, we hosted a golf event for a local pub. The players were a mix of managers, staff, and patrons. The golfers in the group were young men and women in their early 20’s, mostly inexperienced with golf.  It was obvious from the start that the majority of the players were participating more for the sun tanning potential than for the golfing experience. At least, I thought, Dougald isn’t working today. No sooner had that thought crossed my mind than Mr. Campbell walked around the corner in his waistcoat, tie and jacket (did I mention it was 30 degrees?). “ Al needed the afternoon off, so I’m in for him, Seamus”  he informed me. ( he always referred to me in Gaelic).  “Wonderful”, thought I, now expecting disaster.
Thirty minutes after the group started, the Pro Shop received a distressed radio call from the marshal.
DC - Please get Seamus on the radio, I have a wee problem!!
JG  -  Doug, this is Jim, what’s wrong?
DC- Seamus, there is young lassie that has removed her shirt and is playing in her bikini top.
JG– Have you asked her to put her shirt back on?
DC– I have not, a gentleman should not approach a lady that is half dressed.
JG– Okay, why don’t you go out on the back 9 and monitor play out there. I’ll send someone from the Pro Shop out there to ask her to put her shirt back on. (I fibbed)
DC – I will
A couple of hours passed and all was peaceful, in fact we were pleasantly surprised at how quickly the group was getting around the golf course. Then, another frantic radio call … this time the tone was elevated.
DC – SEAMUS, SEAMUS, DOUGALD CAMPBELL HERE!!! The young lassie has now removed her shorts and is now golfing in her bathing suit. Please advise course of action.
JG – Dougald (now not fibbing), we will send someone out from the golf shop to ask her to get dressed, maybe you should drive ahead a couple of holes to see what is happening there.
DC – (shaken) I will.
Duty called, so I hopped in a cart and drove to the 12th fairway where I found the delightful young lady prancing down the fairway in her yellow bikini.  She was very nice about getting dressed again and told me she thought it was okay that she had stripped down to work on her tan because the nice old fellow in the cart hadn’t said anything yet he had driven past several times. Her three male playing partners gave me the evil eye as I drove off.
Another hour passed …
JG –(in an attempt to spare Mr. Campbell any more humiliation) Dougald, take the rest the afternoon off, I will be right out to finish your shift for you.
I met Dougald on the 18th hole as he was driving in. He was sweating profusely, I could tell his heart rate was accelerated, his face was as red as the japanese maple that graces the garden at his present day ‘crossing’.  I dinnae ken if this job is for me, he stammered, I resign my position.
Of course, after a wee dram and a chat with Betty, Dougald was back to work the next morning.

A Home (Away from Home) Win

They say you can never go home again. For Lance, though, going home worked out pretty well.

Our (with all due respect to the Times Colonist) HEAD Pro went back to the course he grew up playing and carded his first ever Cedar Hill Open Victory.

"It's a very special win," Lance commented after the round. " I grew up playing Cedar Hill and have competed in this event upwards of 20 times. To finally win is extremely satisfying and very special to me."

The celebrations, I understand, did not disappoint.

The Goats are Coming! The Goats are Coming!

By Doug Walsh
"Keeper of the Goat"

Everybody is asking "When are the goats coming to Cordova Bay?"  We expect the ‘kids’ to arrive nearer the end of June.  Meanwhile, we are busy preparing their new home.  It is going to be spectacular.

  We Need Names!  

I'd formally introduce you to our new ‘kids’ but can't - they don't yet have names.  I have received great participation and am having a lot of fun with your suggestions to date but would like to give a last chance to those who wish to summit their choices.  I hope these pictures of the 3 special kids will help.
I have been paying the little guys regular visits over the last couple of months. The other day I took along a film crew, check out the video.  They are incredible.
Please help me with their new names by clicking here: doug.walsh@cordovabaygolf.com

Golf is not a game….of guesswork

By Lance McCullough
Head Professional
Cordova Bay Golf Course

 Let’s face it there are several unknowns every time we head to the first tee.

  • Will it get airborne?
  • Will it slice?
  • Is today the day?
  • Do my socks match my outfit?

One of the unknowns taken out of the modern game is distance to the target. The wonders of Global Positioning Services (GPS) and Laser Rangefinders provide us with exact yardages on virtually every shot.
GP what …and Laser who..?
GPS devices provide you yardages based on aerial maps from your current location to several ‘marked’ points on the golf course. These points will include (among other things) the front of the green, back of the green, fairway bunkers, and other hazards.
Laser Rangefinders provide you exact yardages to any target you choose. The rangefinder will reflect a beam from the target you select back to you generating a yardage. In fact you may have noticed the small mirrors / prisms in our flagsticks to assist players with rangefinders to more easily get yardages from the fairway. Our marshal’s use this to provide you the precise par 3 yardages daily.
Highlights (and lowlights) of GPS and Laser systems   

GPS Laser
Pre-Loaded maps for most courses Any and all visible objects
Not all distances available (just major ones) Target must be visible from where your ball lies.
Fees associated with some systems Currently tend to be more expensive
Yardage to front and back of green Exact yardage to the pin but not font and back of green
Hazard yardages Hazard yardages aren’t easily available
Updates as you walk Works everywhere

for a cutting edge look at GPS systems check out this video that highlights the, soon to be launched, GPS unit from Callaway Golf.

For those of you who have an interest in a Laser Rangefinder, a sneak peak is available in this short link (Phil reveals some ground breaking information on geometry).

Having precise yardages at your disposal is a tremendous benefit to your game. It will help you better know the distances your clubs travel,  make better decisions when choosing a club, prepare you for your shot sooner and, most importantly, free you up to make the best swing you can.
Technology is here to help and does not need to be daunting. . Many of your Golf Professionals already have adopted the technology and enjoy the benefits each time they play. If you are interested in a tutorial on Rangefinders or GPS’ (coming mid-June to Cordova Bay) ask one of us in the Pro Shop to walk you through the process.
FYI…Jim still plays by feel but occasionally uses his sextant for the par 3’s.

Dean Piller: 2010 CGSA Canadian Superindtendent of the Year

Dean went off to Angus Glen in Markham, Ontario this month to attend the Score Golf Awards.  It was here that he received his official due as the 2010 CGSA Top Dog!  I was going to write a little ditty to honour him but decided that perhaps the CGSA had done it best in their official recognition of Dean's many accomplishments.  

CGSA News Release:  2010 Superintendent of the Year
The Superintendent of the Year award recognizes a member of the CGSA who has held the position of golf course superintendent for a minimum of five years and who has distinguished her of him self through dedication to the profession, performance as a golf course superintendent and contributions to their profession and their community. Canada’s seven regional superintendent associations are eligible to nominate candidates for this annual award and the selection of the award recipient is made by a panel of five distinguished current of former superintendents who have either received the award in the past or who have served the CGSA in the capacity of President.
The DGSA is pleased to announce that Mr. Dean Piller, AGS, Superintendent at the Cordova Bay Golf Course in Victoria, British Columbia, is the CGSA Superintendent of the Year for 2010. Dean has been a CGSA member since 1985 and holds the Association’s Accredited Golf Superintendent (AGS) designation which he earned in 2006. He has been the Superintendent at Cordova Bay Golf Course since 1990.
Mr. Piller’s nomination states, “The BCGSA Nominating Committee has chosen Dean because he is so much more than a Superintendent. Dean is a role model in the community, a leader in environmental initiatives, an educator, an author, a speaker, a dedicated husband and father, a contributor to his associations and a person who has given a great amount of time to organizing charity events.  He is a person of passion, a person with a vision, and a person whose compassion has helped to make changes for the better.
Dean was the Superintendent at Olds Golf Club from 1985-1987. He then worked as Superintendent at Carstairs Golf Club from 1988-1990 before moving to Victoria to the Cordova Bay Golf Course as Superintendent from September 1st, 1990 to present.  He has individuals who have gone on to be successful superintendents across the country.  In a letter signed by his colleagues they note, “I hope that one day Dean will take time to reflect, look back and realize what a positive impact he has had on his profession, his community, and those close to him.”
Dean has hosted events from the Canadian Tour, the Canadian University Championships and the Future Links program. He has served on many boards including the BCGSA, AGSA and SATA and the VIGSA MS fundraising committee, which has raised over $70, 000 for MS. Dean was elected to the CGSA Board of Directors in 1992 and served as CGSA President in 1999.
In 2005, Cordova Bay Golf Course was named as the first golf course on Vancouver Island to achieve the “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” certification.  He shares his wealth of knowledge by writing articles in GreenMaster magazine, Golf Course Management and the BCGGA Association publication and he has been the recipient of the Gordon Witteveen Award for the CGSA three times in 1998, 2002, and 2006. Dean was also honoured as the CGSA/TORO 2009 Environment Achievement Award winner and he received the BCGSA Superintendent of the Year award in 2003.


Spain with Jim Goddard

Dear Golfers,

Ten years ago, I took a group of 15 Cordova Bay golfers to golf on the Costa de Sol. That trip that began the Cordova Bay World Golf Tour. This annual trip to different great golf destinations has become a wonderful off season tradition for Cordova Bay golfers (we have even included players from other courses, God forbid!).

We have played great courses in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, and other great destinations. This year’s version has the group returning to sunny Spain.

This is not a golf trip for accomplished players only, nor is it a trip for men only. It is not even a trip for golfers only. It is a trip for adventurers that love to have a good time BOTH ON AND OFF THE COURSE. In fact, we often joke that we play golf only to keep us busy until the party starts.

Have a look at the brochure (click here). If you have any interest do not hesitate to call me at the golf shop or email me at jim.goddard@cordovabaygolf.com

Jim Goddard


June 7 - Ladies' Club Member Guest Tournament

June 15 - Laurie Carroll Registration Deadline

June 16 - Men's Night US Open Special Event - 2:30 Shotgun

June 18 -Callaway Tour Fit Van Comes to Cordova Bay

June 19 - Men's Club Summer Swing

Tip of The Month: 

JUNE 9,10,11

Who is this Ross Henry, anyways?
Cordova Bay’s staff professionals are pleased to announce the return of Ross Henry as our “feature teacher” for Spring 2011. Ross Henry is an extremely talented golf coach. He is also a true pioneer in the area of clubfitting. In fact his cousin Randy (another very forward-thinking golf coach) founded the first golf club manufacturing company to truly connect the lesson and clubfitting experience with the end product.
They started down this path in the 1970’s, when no one in the industry understood the full value of fitting clubs to individual swing motions. Now, all major manufacturers acknowledge that clubfitting is not only valid, it’s effective. As golf professionals, we know that there is a tight connection between teaching and clubfitting and we know that effective coaches must understand the influence of the golf club on the swing motion. If you want the “straight goods” as it relates to your ball flight, you need to spend some time with us, as we spend time with Ross.
Ross Henry’s presence at Cordova Bay is truly golf’s melodic equivalent of having Steven Tyler or Mick Jagger attend the local music store, except that Ross is much better looking than both of these famous front men. Our teaching professionals and apprentices are busy clearing their schedules to personally welcome this P.G.A. of America accredited “coach’s mentor” to Cordova Bay. Check your calendar now to see when and how you can benefit from a Cordova Bay visit sometime on June 9,10 or 11.

Click here for more details about Ross Henry's Visit.

For more about our Teaching Professionals and their programs click here.
Brian Hann
Lead Teaching Professional
Cordova Bay Golf Course