Photo Caption: Golf pros Keith ‘Gibby’ Gibson (left) and Lance Barber are working together to revitalize Saratoga Beach Golf Course in Black Creek.
COMOX VALLEY: After a $300,000 cash injection and months of extensive grounds and facility upgrades, a once popular local golf course in Black Creek, conveniently about half way between the Comox Valley and Campbell River, is welcoming golfers back on the greens.
“The 9-hole Saratoga Beach Golf Course and Driving Range has been a part of this community since the 1970s, but it had fallen on hard times and had been closed for the last four seasons,” explains manager Keith ‘Gibby’ Gibson. “Last fall we began working on getting the greens, tees and fairways back into prime condition and we did extensive renovations to much of the infrastructure, including rebuilding the driving range and renovating the clubhouse and maintenance building. While we are pleased with the facility upgrades and improvements – and the brand new rental clubs – we are most excited about the new management at Saratoga Beach Golf.”
Gibson, who has been the head golf professional and director of operations for theLong Beach Golf Course in Tofino for the past 13 years, was the 2008 PGA Head Professional of the Year and is a past president of the Professional Golfers Association(PGA) of BC, has hired Lance Barber to be the new operations manager and golf pro at Saratoga Beach.
“I have worked with Lance as an assistant golf pro at Long Beach for several years,” says Gibson. “He is a dedicated team player with a passion for golf, a commitment to community and a penchant for excellent customer service. He has relocated his family to the Comox Valley and is committed to help rebuild the decades-old reputation of the Saratoga Beach Golf Course.”
Barber, whose father was a PGA of Canada Golf Professional, completed his Professional Golf Course management courses at Camosun College and took on many roles as an assistant golf professional. Previous experience includes work with the Capilano Golf & Country Club, Sun Rivers, Qualicum Beach Memorial and, most recently, the Long Beach Golf Course. During his time at each facility he grew as both a player and instructor while continueing to pursue his career in becoming a Head Professional within the PGA of Canada. He is passionate about growing the game of golf in general, and Saratoga Beach Golf Course in particular, and says that he “enjoys working with all levels of golfers to help them accomplish their playing goals.”
“In addition to welcoming golfers of all ages and skill levels, I am particularly looking forward to building a Junior golf program, working with local schools and community groups, and creating a family fun environment at Saratoga Beach,” explains Barber. “This is great golf course that plays to 2,316 yards over 33 acres that includes a full length driving range. As an added bonus, there is 200 yards of sandy beach to enjoy before or after your game, a well-stocked pro shop and food services.”
“Saratoga Beach Golf Course and Driving Range is a great community asset and we are excited that this 9-hole Par 33 Executive style golf course will once again add to the region’s robust outdoor recreational activities,” concludes Gibson. “Our goal is to provide affordable golf for people of all ages and to be able keep the golf course open 12-months of the year – weather permitting of course! But we can’t do that without the community’s support. We encourage all Island golfers to come check us out for a casual round of golf as well as enquire about tournaments and special events. This is a public golf course and everyone is welcome!”
For more information call 250-337-2208 or visit www.golfsaratogabeach.com.