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Shelly Stouffer to defend title in Balfour at B.C. Women’s Amateur and Mid-Am

Balfour Golf Course hosts the event June 11-13
Shelly Stouffer will defend her British Columbia Women’s Amateur and Mid-Am title at the Balfour Golf Course, June 11-13. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by Balfour Golf Course

Life seems to possess ways that poke, prod, and ply situations, exploiting circumstances toward destiny. Golf isn’t excluded from that either.

Shelly Stouffer will be participating in the 119th British Columbia Women’s Amateur and Mid-Am at the Balfour Golf Course, June 11-13. It will be her first time golfing in the Balfour area where she’s looking toward defending her B.C. Mid-Amateur title.

Stouffer was born in Prince Rupert, where given its annual rain fall the course is often saturated and not kind to those possessing enthusiasm for the sport. So in the beginning, Stouffer made a game of the game attempting to score five on each hole. In other words, shoot 90.

By her own account though, it wasn’t until her parents moved to Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island where the addiction to golf became complete. There retired golf professional Ben Colk took an interest in developing her swing. After that, Stouffer attended the University of British Columbia, obtaining a Bachelor of Human Kinetics Degree. There she made the golf team and began participating in her first tournaments.

She recalls being introduced to her inaugural provincials at Fairwinds Golf Course.

“There were team trials and Jackie Little was playing in it. I heard she was a great player, but had never seen her play. Consequently, I began participating in the provincials and made four B.C. teams. It was a lot of fun!”

It was around this time Ward Stouffer was hired onto the Fairwinds pro shop staff. After a few lessons with Shelly one thing led to another and they married, living near the course and raising their two sons Kent and Brett, who now are 18 and 16 respectively. In 1997, Stouffer turned professional and a year later won her first event in San Jacinto, Calif. There she fired her career best round of 64, going onto win.

But life for a tour pro in the minor leagues (Player’s West, Future’s, Canadian, and Asian Tours) could often be tedious, testing, and tiring. During those years she frustratingly failed five times to obtain her Ladies’ Professional Golfer’s Association (LPGA) card. That left little to play in for one who thrived in the arena of competition.

Consequently in 2011, Stouffer successfully recaptured her amateur status and went on a tear winning the 2012 Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) Mid-Am, 2016 British Columbia (BC) Mid-Am, 2020-23 BC Seniors, 2021-22 Canadian Seniors, 2022 Canadian Mid-Am, 2022 United States Senior, and the 2022 and 2023 PNGA Senior. In addition Shelly was named the PNGA Senior Player of the year and inducted into the BC Golf Hall of Fame.

This year she was also inducted into the PNGA Golf Hall of Fame. Her driver and pitching wedge are her favourite clubs, feeling length and iron play the strength of her game. She has three course records: the 64 at Soboba Springs, a 66 at Storey Creek in Campbell River, and another 66 at Diablo Grande, Calif.

In 2022 Stouffer won the United States Senior Women’s Amateur at the Anchorage Golf Course in Alaska, defeating the tenacious Australian champion Sue Wooster in the finals. The result gave Stouffer a two-year exemption into the US Senior Women’s Open, US Women’s Open and Mid-Am, plus a whopping 10-year exemption into the US Senior Women’s Amateur.

And while she claims it was a cool experience being interviewed by the Golf Channel, she admits it hasn’t changed her life much and feels she’s still the same person with perhaps more confidence on the golf course.

See Stouffer play June 11-13 at Balfour Golf Course.