Golf pro Jaegan Patron says the Seven Hills Golf and Country Club is still very busy despite COVID-19 wreaking havoc on local businesses. (North Island Gazette file photo)

Golf pro Jaegan Patron says the Seven Hills Golf and Country Club is still very busy despite COVID-19 wreaking havoc on local businesses. (North Island Gazette file photo)

Seven Hills Golf & Country Club is thriving amidst COVID-19

‘… the real spike has been in our junior memberships’

The Seven Hills Golf & Country Club continues to be a popular spot to play golf.

Despite COVID-19 wreaking havoc on numerous businesses, the north Island’s only par four golf course has seen quite the opposite happen.

“It’s definitely one of the few things that’s thriving,” stated golf pro Jaegan Patron when asked to comment. “We’ve had an increase in membership, we’re at 104 members right now, but the real spike has been in our junior memberships — We now have 16 juniors as opposed to only four last year.”

Patron thinks the rise in junior memberships is because there’s no soccer or baseball going on this summer. “Their buddies were all getting memberships so they wanted one as well, and that’s been a bit of a blessing in disguise.”

In the intermediate category, 19-30 years old, they’ve also seen an increase in membership, primarily due to the lack of extracurricular activities being offered in the north Island thanks to social distancing rules.

“We do have social distancing policies and procedures in place here,” confirmed Patron, who added these rules have made “a few things maybe a little bit weirder than in the past years, like the raised cups on the putting green and the range is a bit more spread out, but other than that it’s all pretty straightforward.”

The social distancing rules that must be followed are all posted on the door to the club house as you enter the building.

The course is currently in beautiful shape, which Patron chalked up to groundskeeper Garry Landy “doing a fantastic job. I get praise every single day from members and guests about the conditions being good, so praise to Garry and the students working out there, hats off to them.”

As for the controversial subject of tourism, Patron said they haven’t seen the usual traffic from places like Washington and Alberta, “but now that it’s heating up and isn’t raining every second day, we’ve seen an increase in people coming out to play from around BC… As long as everyone follows the policies and procedures we are more than happy to host them.”

He added that tourists love the course. “They always say it has a lot of character and we get lots of praise coming from people for the risk/reward holes and the shots over the water that you want out of a golf course. You also can’t beat the price, when it comes to memberships and rounds, we’re the best deal around for sure.”

Seven Hills Annual General Meeting/tournament is held on Sunday (July 27), “but as for bigger tournaments like an open, we haven’t agreed on anything yet,” Patron stated.

Next month however will see the return of the club championship, with reigning champ Brayden Demoe coming back to defend his trophy.

Men’s Nights are also running every Wednesday with a shotgun start at 6:00 p.m. Everyone needs to sign up ahead of time (contact the golf course at 250-949-9818).

ABOUT SEVEN HILLS

The course is located on private land owned by Western Forest Products (WFP) and is centrally situated between the “Tri-Port” communities. WFP has supported the club since the beginning by providing use of its land at no cost and donated many resources (machinery, material and labour) during the course’s construction in 1981-82. The architect was William Overdorf, who has designed several courses in the Pacific Northwest. The Seven Hills Golf & Country Club opened for play in June of 1983 and continues to be a valued recreational resource for all north Island communities and visitors to the area. WFP remains a strong ongoing supporter of the club and is one of the major sponsors of the annual North Island Logger’s Golf Tournament which has been one of the largest annual events at the club for over 30 years.

This course is a real challenge for any golfer. It measures 6300 yards from the blue tees, 5954 yards from the white tees and 5604 yards from the red tees. However, its undulating fairways and the thick forest lining most of the holes demand accurate tee shots to keep the ball in play.

In addition there are a number of water hazards and sand traps waiting to gather any errant shots. Bears and deer can also be seen frequently on the golf course. Seven Hills Golf & Country Club is an energetic walk and finishes with a few holes with hills that will test your stamina.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

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