EDITORIAL: For the love of the game

It's one of the most prestigious golf events in the country, but there's no purse money

Some have turned away from watching or getting emotionally connected to professional sports teams and athletes.

We get it: the money is hard to fathom. More than $20 million a year to play a game? The salaries have priced the family out of the arenas and ball fields of professional sport.

The athletes and their agents can make good arguments to support the huge salaries. Their careers can be very short and besides, why should the owners reap all the financial benefits instead of the entertainers, the talent?

This week, here in Qualicum Beach, you can go watch more than 150 people play for the love of the game and the acknowledgment of their peers, and not purse money.

The 114th B.C. Amateur Golf Championship tees off today at Pheasant Glen Golf Resort. It continues through Friday and spectators are welcome. Admission is free.

There is no shortage of interesting story lines (as evidenced by sports reporter J.R. Rardon’s coverage in the most recent editions of The NEWS, including today on page A33). And none of them revolve around purse money or world rankings or endorsements.

That is not to say there aren’t golfers here this week that could make a living at this game. The incomparable Doug Roxburgh makes his 50th straight appearance at this event — yes, 50 — and he’s won the amateur 13 times. There was a time, not even too long ago, Roxburgh could have considered the jump to the pro ranks. Not too many people would have bet against him making money on any tour he chose to play.

Never count Roxburgh out, but these big-time amateur events have become a place for young university students to make a name for themselves, to add a huge, bold line in their golf resumés.

The mix is intriguing. True amateurs, the very best players at their clubs throughout the province, mixed with up-and-coming young people who may have those big-money tours on their list of life goals.

So many residents of the Parksville Qualicum Beach region enjoy the game of golf with regular outings at our many fine courses. It’s not a stretch to say thousands of permanent residents here play at least once a week.

Our hats are off to Pheasant Glen and the amateurs here to compete this week for one this country’s most prestigious golf trophies. We encourage all local golf fans to show their support for these players by attending at Pheasant Glen.

— Editorial by John Harding

Parksville Qualicum Beach News