By Breanne Massey
Editors note: This is the third story in a series of six featuring local golf pros who made the Professional Golfers Association of BC Top 100 list for 2015.
Michael Van Horne was ranked #41 by the 2015 Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of BC for his efforts at the Fernie Golf and Country Club.
The 36-year-old, who lives in both Invermere and Fernie, felt honoured by his recognition in the third annual Order of Merit offered through the PGA of BC and hosted by Sunice.
Ive been playing golf for 20 years, said Mr. Van Horne. What got me interested in golf was my uncle, who played and took me out a few times when I was younger. It was something that we could do together and eventually, my mom and I took some lessons, which allowed us to spend more time together as well.
Now, he works at Fernie Golf & Country Club during the summer and at Pharmasave (in Invermere) during the winter.
Being recognized as one of the top 100 in your industry is amazing and such an honour, said Mr. Van Horne. The Top 100 development program recognizes the professionals who gave back to the association and helped to develop the game in the communities. This was the second time Ive been in the Top 100.
In addition, Mr. Van Horne won the Distinguished Service Award from the PGA of BC in 2015 for demonstrating a commitment to the association by supporting and promoting the brand and initiatives of the PGA.
For the Order of Merit in our local Kootenay Pro Tour, the biggest challenge is having good finishes at our events, he explained. We have some of the best players in the province in our area, which makes the competition here great.
As commissioner of the Kootenay Pro Tour in the East Kootenay, Mr. Van Horne is proud to have the support of the Columbia Valley. He credits the valleys support for his success.
The Kootenay Pro Tour is one of the many mini tours in B.C. that allows local professionals to get together and play tournament golf, he said. I also wanted to thank the local sponsors we have that make the tour a success including Invermere Pharmasave, Mortgage Alliance West, Radium Petro-Can, Skandia Concrete and Kootenay Paving, Screamers Ice Cream, Elk Valley Pizza Shoppe and Club Car, our Order of Merit Sponsor, and CK Golf Solutions, who handle our website.
At the end of the day, Mr. Van Horne remains focused on all aspects of the golfing industry to ensure he and his peers continue to advance.
Golf is like any other profession. You always have to stay up on the latest technology, teaching ideas and now, more than ever, fitness, he said. We are always looking for ways to improve our game, but the most important part is the students.