Print Edition: October 2, 2013
Since its creation UFV’s men’s golf team has been one of the top programs in PACWEST (formerly BCCAA) and has even clinched bronze and silver medals at the national championships. However, the golf program has always lacked diversity, being exclusively a men’s program until this year, which has seen the addition of the first women’s team in varsity history.
Chris Bertram, the Cascades golf coach since the 2005-2006 season, is leading the new women’s program as well as the men’s, which finished eighth last year in the CCAA national championship and is currently ranked first in the division (and third nationally). The women are doing even better than their male counterparts early in this season: they hold the number one slot in their division, and are also the top-ranked team nationally.
Bertram had many positive things to say about the up-and -coming women’s program when questioned about their progress.
“It’s been great. I have been talking with our ladies for quite a long time trying to get the program off the ground. I knew that if I could find a way to get them here we would be instant contenders and that’s exactly what’s happened. They are going into the national championships in two weeks as the team to beat.”
The men’s team has also been competitive, despite some off-season roster shuffling.
“This was an interesting recruiting year on the men’s side. We lost some players from last year’s PACWEST championship team and so there is always some uncertainty when those things happen. But our new additions have really stepped up and suddenly it looks like we might have the strongest team top to bottom in our school’s history.”
The woman’s team currently holds a 32 stroke lead in division play over second place Vancouver Island University after placing first in their first two tournaments of the year, the VIU and UBC-O invitationals.
Not only has the women’s team as a whole received national recognition for their strong play so far this season, but fourth year student athlete Jen Woods has also received UFV’s “Player of the Week” award for her performance at the UBC-O invitational. Over the two-day tournament, the Kelowna native shot an impressive 152, putting her five strokes ahead of teammate Dani Shap for the conference’s individual title.
Not to be outdone, on the men’s side third-year veteran Darren Whitehouse also earned Player of the Week honors for his strong efforts in the UBC-O invitational where he shot a 132 over the two day span, leading all players at the tournament.
With only two more tournaments left during the regular season, both squads are preparing for the road to nationals. Both the men’s and woman’s teams will be playing at the Chilliwack Golf and Country Club, hosting their own tournament, the final one of the regular season, on October 5 and 6.