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Prince Rupert Golf Club is getting a new pro

Shawn Fagan starts Mar. 1
Shawn Fagan is started as the new golf-pro at the Prince Rupert Golf Club on March 1. (Photo: supplied)

A new golf-pro will be welcomed on March 1, after a three-year search by the Prince Rupert Golf Club, Iain Cullen, president of the club, announced on Feb. 16.

Shawn Fagan, who was born in Terrace, said returning to the Northwest was a goal he set 15 years ago when he left the region to start down this career path.

Back then, he had just returned from a trip around Europe and was deciding what to do next when a friend of his suggested he join him in Alberta to work on a golf course.

“… I cold-called the golf pro in Kananaskis and got a job there,” Fagan said.

“I didn’t even know what the process was to become a golf pro, to be honest, I just went there and got experience.”

Fagan said he has had ongoing conversations with Cullen and the Prince Rupert Golf Club’s board of directors for the last two years about filling the role and finally “the stars aligned.”

His contract recently ended at the Westlock Golf Club in Alberta and he had to make the decision to renew or return to B.C.

Fagan’s brother recently moved back to the region from Portland with two daughters and their parents live in Terrace so he chose to make a move as well.

Cullen said Fagan is a great acquisition for the course.

“It’s the first time that we have a class A pro,” he said.

The process to become a pro was a multi-year endeavour when Fagan was doing it, he said. He had to work under a class-A professional for a certain number of hours before he was signed off to try a playing ability test (PAT), which requires golfers to achieve a certain score over two days of playing. Fagan was successful his first attempt at the test.

Next, he set off to Niagara Falls College, where he completed a diploma in business, followed by a year of teaching, more courses and tests, Fagan said.

Nowadays, the process is slightly different, he does not think those working toward becoming a golf pro have to complete a business diploma.

Before his most recent position at Westlock, Fagan was working at the Edmonton Petroleum Golf Club, he said.

Cullen believes that he will fit into the Prince Rupert club well and said it is a bonus that he is already familiar with the region.

“He knows that we get the odd day of rain and we also get the even day of rain,” Cullen said.

While Fagan is still in the process of moving to Prince Rupert, he has already started putting time in at the course.

“He doesn’t officially start until March 1 but he’s been coming down from Terrace two days a week, which is absolutely awesome. He’s doing this on his own and getting familiar with the operation,” Cullen said.

“So far, it’s just been great. He’s easy to talk to and easy to get along with,” he said.

Fagan has a number of ideas for the club. One of them is to build a junior program, he said. He has already contacted the high school to inquire as to whether they have a golf program.

He is also hoping to increase participation in the club’s tournaments.

“I know numbers have declined, not just in Rupert but all around the area …,” he said.

There is also some talk of doing renovations on the golf course over the next couple of years, he said. Including fixing some of the golf greens and tee boxes.

For Fagan, his love of golf started when he was 13 years old and played his first game with his grandfather during a vacation in Scotland.

“I brought golf clubs back in my suitcase, like across diagonal,” he said.

When he got back to Terrace, he and a group of friends picked it up as an activity to do in the summertime.

“We got that golf addiction early,” he said. “Where a lot of people get it in their 30s or 40s, we got it when we were 14.”

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 Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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