As all local golfers will know by now, Randy Panton has retired as the Creston Golf Club head professional after 29 years of dedicated employment. Members wish him a relaxing, happy retirement.
Many applications were received to fill the position and after very careful consideration, the selection committee appointed Brian O’Keefe from Shuswap Lake Estate Golf and Country Club near Salmon Arm.
Brian has been a Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association professional for the past 27 years, with the unique asset of having his family as pro shop co-workers. His wife, Janet, is a keen golfer with pro shop experience and his two sons, Karson and Kowan, presently attending college on golf scholarships, will be behind the counter during the summer months.
Brian’s golfing skill is indeed impressive. As an outstanding junior, age 15, he won the BC Juvenile Championship at Capilano Golf Club and a year later carded his best round to date of 64 (eight under par) at Vernon Golf Club, evidence enough for his career decision.
After a year at Oral Roberts University, Brian completed his CPGA apprentice professional training at Rivershore Golf Links in Kamloops. As a professional, he continued his strong play in the ’90s; his most recent success was in 2002 at Aberdeen Hills Golf Club in Kamloops in the King of the Hill Pro Am with a seven-under-par score.
Of course, playing competitively is only a small part of the job, and Brian is well prepared in all areas of this complex position. Golf instruction, pro shop management and merchandizing, customer service and visitor promotion are a few of the areas of expertise he has developed over the years.
In addition, his personable, friendly manner will ensure good relationships with all his co-workers, the club executive, the course superintendent, visitors and, most importantly, members.
Brian, a family man first and foremost, lists his interests as hockey and coaching kids sports. He likes to golf socially as well as competitively.
We wish a warm welcome to the O’Keefe family, surely a great asset to our golf club and our community.
Phil Thomas is a longtime Creston resident and volunteer.