Connor Taiji, Class “A” Professional at Victoria Golf Club, earned the Jim Gibson scholarship from the PGA of BC. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

‘Culture of learning’ at Victoria Golf Club inspires golf professional

Connor Taiji earns 2017 PGA of BC Jim Gibson Scholarship

The culture of education and support is pervasive at the Victoria Golf Club says Connor Taiji.

“Scott Kolb (GM) and Lindsay Bernakevitch (head professional) and all the staff here, really push us to improve and support us,” Taiji said. “There’s a really good culture here of learning and moving forward. They don’t like us to stay stagnant.”

It’s among the reasons the associate professional at Victoria Golf Club earned the 2017 PGA of BC Jim Gibson Scholarship.

The Jim Gibson Scholarship is named in honour of the late Jim Gibson, a long-time supporter of the PGA of BC who valued education in his role as a Golf Professional, and was extremely well versed in the game. The recipient of this scholarship exemplifies volunteerism and demonstrates a passion for furthering their education for their community’s benefit.

“It’s really nice to be recognized by your peers,” Taiji said, adding a fair amount of the education and certification Taiji and his peers receive comes through the PGA of BC.. “The PGA has been really big on helping us really improve our skills.”

The reason behind the win, is that environment that fosters education. It allowed Taiji to work full time while pursuing his own education, both in golf operations and instruction and getting his business degree. He plans to pursue an MBA. The educational philosophy extends to club members who share their individual expertise with staff.

“They’re all willing to sit you down and mentor you, spend time with you,” Taiji said.

Taiji also plays a key role administering the Evans Caddie Scholarship program at VGC, which involves training youth caddies from the community and providing them an opportunity to access post-secondary funding.

“I’ve got to see five of our caddies go on and get their education paid for,” he said. “It’s really inspiring to see how that program has changed their lives.”

*****

Former VGC staff member Winston Michell, now head professional at Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club, earned the 2017 PGA of BC Community Leadership Bursary

After arriving at the Kitimat facility this spring, Michell helped the Hirsch Creek Ladies Club administer a program making golf more accessible for local preteen girls. The program covered the costs of club membership and fees for six youth applicants, while also providing equipment, apparel, instruction and other supports to introduce them to the sport. Community Leadership Bursary funding will help expand this initiative in 2018 through a mirroring program available to junior boys.


 

@OakBayNews
cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Meet Your Candidates: Learn more about the Esquimalt council candidates

We asked candidates what changes they would make in the municipality

BC SPCA sees successful weekend from adoption sales

On Saturday animal shelters across the province reduced their adoption fees

Afternoon collision launches vehicle through downtown Victoria business

Two female drivers and staff of CEV Victoria uninjured, but visibly shaken

West Shore RCMP tape off Langford law office sent suspicious substance last month

No confirmation as to why police were back at Hemminger Law Group Monday afternoon

Two drivers crash through Victoria homes in two weeks

VicPD say alcohol is believed to a factor in both incidents

Campers near Saanich municipal hall await response from transportation ministry

MOTI expected to decide Monday when campers need to leave

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read