How Has Ledgeview Produced So Many Top Players?

Ledgeview has been the early training ground for an amazing number of players who've gone on to have very successful careers. The question is, why?

By Jeff Sutherland - If you were going to debate which Club in the lower mainland has produced the most successful players, the case for Ledgeview is a slam dunk. They even have it as their tagline... "Where Legends Are Born."

It began with Ray Stewart, who first played here in 1969, and then went on to compete in more than 600 PGA TOUR events. Stewart was part of the legendary Dunhill Cup winning team of 1994 that also included Dave Barr and Rick Gibson who beat the American team of Fred Couples, Tom Kite, and Curtis Strange in that year's final (see his Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame bio HERE)

James Lepp was a member here and won an unmatched four BC Amateur Championships in a row from 2002 to 2005 (ed. note: This is where Marine Drive members will likely wish to mention that Doug Roxburgh won 13 titles including five back-to-back and a three-peat once :)

More recently Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin have become established stars on the PGA TOUR… each with wins highlighted by Taylor’s dramatic Canadian Open victory in 2023.


James Lepp holding the Bostock Cup after having his name inscribed on it a reocrd four times in a row.


Click the image above to see a great two-minute video from Golf Canada about Nick’s victory. To see on Youtude click HERE


Hadwin took time to support local golf in 2016 playing in, and winning, the Vancouver Open… a year he also would earn more than $1,000,000 USD in official earnings on the PGA TOUR

All this begs the question, 'How is one club able to be the training ground for so many elite golfers?' There is no common instructor teaching them, so either it’s something in the water or it’s something else.

When Brad Clapp took the GM position here in 2021, that was one of the things he really wanted to do; take a deep dive and figure this out. “That was one of my big questions starting out,” Clapp recalled in a phone interview earlier this month. An extremely accomplished player in his won right with a win on the now PGA TOUR Americas, Clapp had played with all three during his junior days, "I grew up in Chilliwack, played against Nick, Adam, and James."


“It started to make sense when I spoke with Ray Stewart, who emphasized how our limitations actually fostered better golfers. What he said was 'Chilliwack (where Clapp played junior golf) had the disadvantage of having a nice range.'

What he was refrring to was our unique setup. We're the only par 70, 18-hole course in Abbotsford, with a limited 160-yard, seven-stall driving range. This pushed juniors off the range and onto the putting reeen and course, where they learned short game and scoring skills early on. The course's shorter length also meant juniors were hitting irons instead of woods, which I believe really benefited their game development."


Juniors here couldn't endlessly hit balls on the range but had to play and compete early on, learning crucial skills around the greens.

In an article from 2020 by staff writer Brad Ziemer titled “Ledgeview Love Affair Continues For Nick Taylor,” Taylor talked about why he thinks so many good juniors come from Ledgeview, “I think that has been the trademark for a lot of junior players who have grown up playing here. You had to develop a great short game to play well here.”

His, and all the other 'legends' involvement with the Club, may also contribute to the culture of excellence. This is not by accident as Clapp stated in a interview with Black Press reporter Ben Lypka in 2023, “Those guys are all part of our history; that’s part of the strength of Ledgeview and what we rely on as far as marketing but it’s also a lot more to do with our (junior) developmental programs. Keeping them involved with some of the changes we’ve made or just asking them for advice – it was nice to get input.”


Nick Taylor Doing A Junior's Clinic At Ledgeview


Does Clapp think there is going to be more top players coming from Ledgeview?

“As much as we’re seeing a trend in Canadian development go towards swing and swing technology, hitting chip shots and putting is something you need to win at that higher level. You need a good short game and this course forces you to develop that.”

Enter Maxim McKenzie. The current Zone 3 champion is just 16-years old and plays out of - you guessed it - Ledgeview.

On his college requirement profile , McKenzie, whose father just coincidentally is the head professional at Ledgeview, talks about how golf has been his life, “… As soon as I could crawl, I had toy clubs in my hand. Once I could stand, my dad cut down a few old clubs, I was at the range by two and half years of age and competing at six. My passion and dedication to the game is constant, I try to never miss a day of playing or practicing.”

It appears that Ledgeview’s run may be nowhere near over.

Find out more about Ledgeview Golf Club HERE