Russ Latimer

Russ Latimer's picture
Professional Category: 
Executive Professional
Golf Course Name: 

PGA of BC Professional Spotlight -- Nov. 10, 2021

Why did you become a PGA of Canada Professional? 
It seemed like a cool profession; to hang around the golf course all day; I was right. I spent my first two years after university working in the insurance industry in London, Ont. I hated wearing a suit every day and working in an office. I despised the weekly pot luck lunches.. I needed to find something else to do. At this time, my younger brother and I were falling in love with golf, and becoming a golf professional seemed very plausible. I certainly have no regrets.

What is the most rewarding part about being a member of the PGA of BC? 
The relationships we have formed. The majority of my friends are due to the golf industry, whether they are members, regulars or staff. We get to meet so many amazing people at the golf course. Most of which have a lot of respect for the golf professionals. As I've mentioned before, we are lucky to work in an industry where people are happy to be there. Sure there are complaints and some tough days, but overall we are very lucky to do what we love.

At which golf facility did you first begin working within the industry, and who was the PGA Professional? 
Whitevale Golf Club in Pickering (Toronto). I worked under Head Professional Tony Wilkins, and alongside Steve Rodriguez and Steve van Putten who were all a big help during my first years. I was 25 at the time and hadn't worked in the golf industry up to that point.

Who has influenced your career the most, and how? 
Would have to say my younger brother Cameron has influenced my career the most. He is currently the HP at Woodside Golf Club in Airdrie. We both love the golf industry and we speak often about our successes and challenges. Don't forget, you can learn a lot from people in terms of what not to do, so don't just learn from the good professionals, learn from the bad ones too. (Not that there are any bad ones in the PGA of BC of course!)

What career path led you to where you are today? 
My first golf course job was as a "Candidate for Membership" then Assistant Professional at Whitevale GC at the age of 25. I then became an Associate at Gallagher's Canyon in 2009, followed by Head Professional at Black Mountain in 2012 and finally General Manager at Black Mountain in 2014.

Which significant accomplishments are you most proud of? 
Winning the PGA of BC Golf Facility of the Year in 2018 was awesome, especially as General Manager. We are so proud of who we are at Black Mountain, the product we put out and the atmosphere we provide to our pass holders, guests and staff. It's truly an awesome place to spend time at and it gets better every year. We continue to use our Facility of the Year Award in most of our marketing and will for many years, until we win that award again!

If you had to share one piece of advice with a new member of our Association, what would it be? 
How about a few; There are many different avenues you can take within the golf industry. So figure out what your strengths are, and what interests you about the golf industry, then set some goals and find a facility that will help you grow as a professional and towards your goals. Every golf facility is different; if you aren't happy at your current facility, find somewhere else that is a better fit. Lastly, just because you are a good player, does not make you a good golf professional.

What is your most cherished golf memory? 
From what I recall, my most cherished golf memory would be making a hole in one in front of two of my brothers. It was our last hole of a fun event here at Black Mountain. Cost me a good amount of money but it was a great night. I still really enjoy playing with my brothers when we get the chance.

What is your favourite golf course in British Columbia, and why? 
So many amazing facilities, though it's tough to go against Greywolf when you can catch it on a nice day. Amazing holes and incredible views; looking forward to getting back there. A few other shout outs to Fairview Mountain, Talking Rock, Kelowna G&CC, Sandpiper & The Rise.

What is a common misconception that golfers make about what your job entails? 
Many people think I just golf all day, or assume that I teach. Though mostly when people find out what I do, they are generally very interested in knowing more, which is great. My position has a lot of different responsibilities and moving parts, but in the end, all I really have to do is hire great people, put them in a position to succeed, watch them flourish and be there for support.


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