By Breanne Massey

Pioneer Staff

Casey Johnson was recently ranked 25th by the 2015 Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of B.C.

The 29-year-old Invermere resident, who serves as the director of instruction at the Copper Point Golf Club and The Ridge at Copper Point, has spent 17 years perfecting his game in the Columbia Valley. He was also recognized as the 2015 PGA of B.C. Teacher of the Year at the River Rock Casino in Richmond on Wednesday, October 14th.

But there are many elements of the game that keep Mr. Johnson coming back to take another swing.

Casey Johnson

Casey Johnson

The ability to be competitive and only accountable to yourself for when you make mistakes are a couple of reasons Ive been so drawn to golf, he said by e-mail from rural Mexico. Its very much an individual sport, so if you make a mistake or if you do something spectacular, youre the only one who feels those emotions Both the highs and the lows.

Mr. Johnson added there are many challenges about golfing that he ultimately views it as a rewarding personal experience.

Golf is exceptionally challenging yet exceptionally rewarding. I believe this to be true for anybody in an elite sport, said Mr. Johnson. The competition I believe helps us all stay active on our regional golf tour. Once you reach a certain competitive level, theres no better stimulation for the mind.

The 2015 PGA of B.C. Order of Merit is a showcase of a province-wide final standings that highlight a golfers involvement in tournaments and prizes, which was presented on December 1st, 2015. It has been running for approximately three years.

I have been fortunate enough to be on the list of the top 100 the last two years now, said Mr. Johnson. I think the PGA has done a good job with this new order of merit system, it creates accountability and competitiveness to want to be recognized with your peers (we love being competitive).

It helps keep you current with education in a rapidly changing industry which as a whole is great for the professional to always be learning and growing; of course its great news for the clients, as they know their information is as current and up to date as possible which gives them the best product possible.

But the biggest challenge Mr. Johnson had to overcome to rank in the order of merit stems from travelling long distances to compete, attend education seminars and a significant time commitment volunteering locally.

The commitment on a local scale is the easiest part, we all love this valley, its home, he concluded. Giving back locally is the easiest and most rewarding.

He plans to continually help other athletes develop their skills to compete in the PGA of B.C.

The next Columbia Valley golf professional who will be featured in The Pioneer will be Michael Van Horne.