Granite Pointe is about to swing its way into the provincial spotlight.
The Nelson golf course is preparing to host the B.C. Juvenile Championships, which run Wednesday to Friday. The 54-hole tournament will feature the best under-16 players from around the province, giving the 97-year-old club a rare moment to distinguish itself.
“It’s actually an honour to host an event like this,” said the club’s general manager David Belling. “It’s a provincial championship. We’ve got some of the best 16-year-old players and under from around the province coming here to play. So it gives the golf club prestige to be chosen.”
Fifty-seven boys and 16 girls will be in town for provincials. Brendon Makeiv will be Nelson’s lone golfer on the course. Nic Jenner, A.J. Roberts and William Watt represent Castlegar, while Rossland will have Xander Bankes on the greens. The first pair tee off at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Belling said there’s plenty of work going on behind the scenes to make sure the event is a memorable one for players, visitors and locals who can watch for free.
“It will look like a national championship,” he said. “So their expectations are pretty high. Our job is to meet and exceed those expectations.”
The tournament comes at an opportune time for Granite Pointe.
The club has been working to reverse dropping memberships by, for example, re-investing in new grounds keeping equipment and marketing itself to younger players.
Barry Auliffe, president of Granite Pointe, said the event will show Nelson is capable of hosting more large tournaments in the future.
“What that says to people visiting the area is this is not just your cow pasture golf tournament,” he said. “It has some prestige because the provincial association didn’t roll into just any old golf course. It has to be of a certain standard. It’s gotta be up to snuff. You’ve got to be a good golf course. That’s what it tells people.”
For now, Auliffe is just excited to watch talented golfers on his home course.
“These are quite possibly stars of tomorrow. Just to see kids of that age play at that level is really touching. I find it just inspiring to watch them.”