Golf club shows appreciation with cash

Famed artist paints the much-photographed fifth hole

Artist Graeme Baxter

Victoria Golf Club boasts new artwork after handing out funds raised for four different area charities during its member appreciation event.

“It’s a chance once a year for us to get together and celebrate the accomplishments of our members over the year,” said Clint Nickerson, VGC president.

The event marks all sorts of occasions that happened over the year, such as members who shoot their age or get a hole-in-one, and celebrates the 30-plus who have been members 50 years or longer.

The longest member has 72 years in, a testament to the community of the VGC along with the people, the facility and the vistas.

“The club is extraordinary, it’s one of the most unique golf clubs in Canada. The location is unbelievable, you couldn’t build in that location now,” Nickerson said. “It says it’s very rooted in the community. It’s been a thing in families for generations. We’ve had a vibrant family atmosphere for 123 years.”

The member event also afforded the opportunity to reveal investments back into the community through fundraisers over the year.

“We recognize that we’re an integral part of Oak Bay and have been for so long,” Nickerson. “We are energetic in our chance to give back to the community.”

The Victoria Golf Club has raised more than $20 million over the past two decades and provided a venue to others for philanthropic purposes such as the Courtnall Celebrity Classic.

“We’ve always been cognizant of a need, a desire, a responsibility to give back to the community. It’s part of being in Oak Bay,” Nickerson said.

During an August event, members raised about $67,000 in one day through a junior tournament in the morning and an afternoon playing on a course recreated to mimic the original layout of early 1900s.

“We had all those weird holes backwards and upside down it was hilarious,” Nickerson said. A fun evening of dance and music followed, all to benefit Victoria Women’s Transition House, Power to Be, KidSport Victoria and the Evans Caddie Scholarship.

They handed out those funds Nov. 5 in a second event at the club. That member appreciation evening also offered an opportunity to unveil the latest great artwork in the clubhouse.

When the Victoria Golf Club hosted the PGA of Canada this summer, world-renowned painter and official artist to the world’s most important golf tournaments, Graeme Baxter, was commissioned to do a painting.

“He came up and spent four days wandering the property taking photographs,” Nickerson said.

Baxter narrowed it to the fifth hole that overlooks Trial Islands with the Olympic mountains as a backdrop. He flew in to reveal the work himself during the Nov. 5 event.

“We have 20 giclées of that which are being offered to members for sale,” Nickerson said. “The original is hanging on the wall in the club and will be forever.”

 

Did you know?

=One of the lesser known ways the Victoria Golf Club gives back is through the scenic course itself.

Over the past six decades, they’ve planted more than 1,300 trees.

“The real frenzy started in the late 1960s but we’ve, since day one, put some trees in there,” said president Clint Nickerson.