JUNE 1, 2021
RICHMOND, BC (PGA of British Columbia) – The PGA of BC regrets to share that Life Professional Morley (Moe) Hays passed away Friday in Victoria at the age of 74.
“Moe the Pro” was best known as the longtime Head Professional at Prince Rupert Golf Club, serving that role from 1972 until his retirement in 2013. Hays was selected as the PGA of BC’s Golf Professional of the Year in 2003 and was also named a Regional Recipient of the Association’s Teacher of the Year Award in 1998 for the Kootenays & Northern BC.
Hays got his start in the golf industry at Penticton Golf & Country Club by cleaning clubs and serving as a caddie as a teenager. He would join the PGA of Canada in 1965, working as an Apprentice Professional under Bob Kidd for many years until the opportunity in Prince Rupert arose.
Upon his arrival, the club then known as Prince Rupert Centennial Golf Course was a nine-hole layout with a simple building that served as both a snack shack and pro shop. Hays had considerable involvement in the course’s expansion to 18 holes and in the construction of a modern clubhouse and pro shop.
As one of the first PGA members to be stationed on BC’s northern coast, Hays was instrumental in promoting golf in the surrounding area, including Haida Gwaii and Southeast Alaska. He collaborated with local newspapers and regional broadcasters to provide instructional content that became popular in the area.
Hays was also well known for the welcoming environment he fostered at the club. He had an uncanny talent for remembering the names and faces of club patrons but was particularly accommodating of junior golfers. His influence undoubtedly resulted in a significant number of Prince Rupert juniors who either played at the club or worked in Hays’ shop going on to successful careers in golf. Among them was Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member and three-time LPGA Tour winner Lisa Walters, as well as several current PGA of BC Professionals such as Edd Boudreau (Gorge Vale Golf Club), Sandra Comadina (McCleery Golf Course) and Mark Strong (Sagebrush Golf Club) to name a few, plus former PGA members Ryan Webber, Ian Pattullo and Hays’ daughter, Jackie Touchet.
“Most of us kids playing there were basically pretty good kids at that point in our lives, turned out to be good adults and I really do think Moe’s influence played a part in that,” said Walters. “He enabled us to do our own thing. It wasn’t a country-club situation by any means, but it also couldn’t have been a better environment for where we lived and what we had. Moe was at that golf course every day; he wasn’t a five-days-a-week guy, he was always there.”
Even after his retirement, Hays could be found volunteering his time to provide instruction in the Prince Rupert community for juniors and teaching novice ladies’ lessons alongside daughter Jackie. He achieved his 50-year Class “A” Professional status in 2020.
Hays is survived by wife Pam, children Jackie and Bob, three grandchildren – Emma, Abby and Zae – and another granddaughter that is due to arrive in the coming months.
The PGA of BC extends its deepest sympathies to Hays’ family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.