Meet the man behind Pacific Links Bear Mountain Golf ChampionshipPosted on September 18, 2016
Organizing the upcoming Pacific Links Bear Mountain Golf Championship has been almost a homecoming for tournament director David (Skitty) Skitt.
Skitt, a 41-year-old Montrealer, took his first putt on the little putting green in Beacon Hill Park at the age six or seven during a visit to his grandmother’s home on St. Charles Street.
“How many Montreal boys can say they took their first putt at Beacon Hill Park?” he said.
Skitt is now married with two young daughters living in Montreal, and has been organizing golf tournaments since he was 25.
He has also been in Victoria for most of the summer organizing the upcoming PGA Tour Champions event, Sept. 19 to 25, going home the occasional weekend to see his kids.
But he has also always carried a sense of family connection to Victoria through his maternal grandmother, who died just two years ago.
She married a French-Canadian then serving in the Royal Canadian Navy and they moved and raised their family in Montreal. But upon retirement, the couple returned to Victoria to live in the house on St. Charles Street, still remembered by Skitt.
Victoria is also where Skitt’s connection with golf began, starting with that first putt in Beacon Hill Park, but progressing to instructions from his grandfather in and around the home and then progressing to a little par-3 course at Henderson Park.
Eventually, while still a boy, he was introduced to his first full game of real golf, at the Victoria Golf Club. And it was an introduction from family friend and Canadian Golf Hall of Famer Margaret Todd.
Looking back on it, Skitt said he can still hardly believe his start in golf began with such historical flourish.
“She was one of the trail-blazers in women’s golf,” Skitt said. “And she was the first person to ever take me to play a game of golf and it was at the Victoria Golf Club.”
His great-grandfather, Hal Beasley, was a sprinter in the 1912 Olympics, and he said his great-uncle, Art Beasley was a well-known Victoria golfer.
Skitt said ever since his early introduction to golf he has always been devoted to the game.
He credits himself with being reasonably skilled, with a handicap of two or three, but felt he never had what it takes to make pro.
On the other hand, even before he started organizing tournaments as a career, he would set them up for fun with friends. Now, to do it on behalf of some of the best golfers in Canada is an honour.
“I’ve always liked that side of it, bringing everything together,” Skitt said.
“And if you are a serious golfer and you love to watch it, then it’s a privilege,” he said.
Schedule of Events:
Tuesday: Practice round
Wednesday: Pro-Am, gates open at 8 a.m.
Thursday: Pro-Am, gates open at 8 a.m.
Friday: Championship Round 1, gates open at 7 a.m., play is scheduled to finish at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: Championship Round 2, gates open at 7 a.m., play is schedule to finish at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday: Championship Final Round, gates open at7 a.m., trophy presentation at 5:30 p.m.
Available at selectyourtickets.com
$26.25 (general admission Pro-Am day pass)
$42 (GA Rds. 1, 2 or 3 day pass)
$104 (GA full week pass)
$210 (Champions Club which offers fans a retreat from the crowds and the elements before, during and after the golf action, located on the terrace of the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa and overlooking the 18th green. Televisions, live scoring monitors, bar service and comfortable seating with food and beverages available for purchase).
Prices do not include applicable convenience charges and/or taxes.
All ticket holders who purchased a weekly pass to the 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship, will receive complimentary parking at the Western Speedway for the event with a shuttle ride to the event.
General parking is also at Western Speedway from Wednesday to Sunday for a cost of $10 a day.
Shuttles will depart every 10 minutes, the first at 7 a.m. and final at 7 p.m.
Story by: Richard Watts