Ziemer's B.C. Golf Notes: Morgan Creek missing a familiar face as Wayne Vollmer retires; Top-30 finish for Hadwin at Players Championship; Mackenzie Tour hopes to salvage season
Longtime Morgan Creek Head Pro & Director Of Golf Wayne Vollmer Accepts A Plaque Of Appreciation At His Course During The 2017 BC Amateur From BC Golf Director David Atkinson - Image Credit Bryan Outram/BC Golf
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
After a long and accomplished career in the golf business, Wayne Vollmer acknowledges that retirement feels a little different. “It’s been a couple of weeks now and I am trying to get over the overwhelming feeling of not going into work every day,” Vollmer says with a chuckle.
Vollmer, 75, had been director of golf and head professional at Morgan Creek Golf Course since the Surrey club opened in 1995. But his golf career stretches back much farther than that.
Vollmer won the Canadian Junior Boys Championship in 1962, attended Arizona State University on a golf scholarship and turned pro after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
He played the PGA TOUR for four years starting in 1969 and will never forget his first tournament as an official tour member. “It was the third round of the Los Angeles Open and I was paired with a young man called Arnold Palmer,” Vollmer says. “So that was quite an introduction.
“I had never played in front of so many people in my life. The first hole was lined several deep from the tee to the green and he was such a fantastic person. Right away, he tried to make the two of us playing with him feel very comfortable. He was very friendly to both of us, so that started the tour off pretty well.”
Before joining the PGA TOUR, Vollmer performed well on the old Peter Jackson Tour in Canada. His wins included the 1968 Alberta Open, where he beat Moe Norman and Bob Wiley in a playoff. Another notable win for Vollmer was the 1971 B.C. Open at Marine Drive Golf Club.
In The Summer of 2008 Wayne Vollmer Was The Subject Of An 'In Conversation With' Article For Inside Golf Magazine
After calling it quits as a touring pro, Vollmer spent 12 years at Point Grey Golf Club. He worked for a year opening Quail Ridge in Kelowna (now Okanagan Golf Club) before being lured back to the Metro Vancouver area to run Morgan Creek.
He is especially proud of the work he and his team did at Morgan Creek the past quarter-century. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of Morgan Creek, the team, the ownership,” Vollmer says. “It has been a great, great trip. I have great memories. It just seems like it was yesterday when I started this journey.”
Vollmer left Morgan Creek at the end of February and plans to work on his fitness, spend some more time with his family and, of course, play lots of golf. Asked how his wife Susan is adjusting to having him at home full-time, Vollmer laughed and said, “She actually paid me a compliment the other day. She said 'it’s quite nice having you around.'”
TOP 30 FOR HADWIN: Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin closed with a two-under 70 and tied for 29th at the Players Championship. His 72-hole total of four-under par was 10 shots behind winner Justin Thomas. Hadwin earned $96,125 and moved up seven spots on the FedEx Cup points list to 116th.
Fellow Abbotsford product Nick Taylor shot a one-under 71 Sunday and tied for 48th at one-under. Taylor made $38,045 and remains 109th on the FedEx Cup points list. Hadwin and Taylor will be joined by fellow British Columbian Roger Sloan of Merritt at this week’s Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
PLEDGE TO PLAY: The RBC Canadian Open has officially been cancelled for a second straight year, but the Mackenzie Tour still hopes to salvage a season. “The recent announcement regarding the cancellation of the 2021 RBC Canadian Open does not have a direct impact on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada’s effort to deliver a season,” the tour said in a news release.
“Tour officials are working diligently with all levels of government in Canada and on various scenarios that will allow it to conduct a 2021 season. The Mackenzie Tour remains encouraged that it will figure out how to operate tournaments this year in a safe and responsible manner.”
The Mackenzie Tour has not released its 2021 schedule. The tour normally begins its season in late May with three British Columbia events in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna.
MOON SHOT: Kimberley’s Jared du Toit tied for fifth at the Outlaw Tour’s Moon Valley Classic in Phoenix. Du Toit, the 2015 B.C. Amateur Champion, finished the 54-hole event at 11-under par. That was five shots behind winner Matt Marshall of Oregon. Du Toit made $2,400. Fellow British Columbian Riley Wheeldon of Comox tied for 10th at nine-under and took home $1,656.
EWART SECOND: Coquitlam’s AJ Ewart continues to play well for Barry University in Florida. Ewart, a Gleneagle Secondary graduate now in his sophomore season at Barry, tied for second at the recent Matlock Invitational in Lakeland, Fla. Ewart finished the 54-hole event at one-under par, one shot behind winner Alejandro Restrepo of Western Florida University.
Ewart won two of the seven tournaments he played in during his freshman year at Barry, which is the same NCAA Division II school former B.C. Junior champion and current Korn Ferry Tour player Adam Svensson of Surrey attended. Svensson is in the field for this week’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open on the Korn Ferry Tour.
NOT THIS YEAR: Citing COVID-19 restrictions, Marine Drive Golf Club has announced this year’s Marine Drive Amateur, scheduled for late May, will not be played. The club says the tournament will return with a new format in 2022, when Marine Drive will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.
CHIP SHOTS: Former Mackenzie Tour winner Brad Clapp of Chilliwack is the new general manager at Ledgeview Golf Club in Abbotsford. . .Nick Droulis has been hired as the new general manager at Pitt Meadows Golf Club. Droulis, currently the general manager of club operations at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, will join Pitt Meadows on March 29. . .Kris Paul-Clark is the new head professional at Penticton Golf & Country Club. . .Royal Colwood Golf Club in Victoria has presented Bill Hobbis with a Lifetime Membership. Hobbis, who has been active as a volunteer for all of his adult life in the game of golf, was inducted into the British Columbia Golf Hall of Fame in 2019.