The self-effacing president of British Columbia Golf does that, and that, and that, and so much more
by Jim Sutherland
The Pacific Coast Amateur is easily one of the most illustrious championships in amateur golf.
For proof, one need only glance at results from the 2015 edition, held at the Eugene Country Club.
That year, current PGA Tour player Aaron Wise topped the leaderboard, trailed in order by Beau Hossler, Maverick McNealy, Bryson DeChambeau and Will Zalatoris, with Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa further down the list. Big names all, now on the pro circuit.
And that wasn’t a one-off.
Every year the leaderboard is sprinkled with big names. In 2016 and 2017, Wise was followed as winner by Zalatoris and Doug Ghim, yet another pro in waiting.
This year’s Pacific Coast Amateur will be held July 25-28, at Capilano Golf and Country Club in West Vancouver, and you’d expect Championship Chair Greg Moody to be stoked.
And he is, except that Moody’s summer by that point will already have included running 10 BC Golf Zone 4 Men’s junior tournaments, plus assorted Rules official and course set-up roles at other events of various stripes, all while also serving as president of both British Columbia Golf and the Pacific Coast Golf Association, with BC Golf serving as the host association of the 2023 Pacific Coast Amateur.
At 74, Moody just might be the hardest working guy in golf. You won’t hear that from him, though.
In fact, Moody claims that his various roles have mostly resulted from a series of happy accidents, while attributing a lot of the work to others and deflecting much of the credit in the same direction.
“I was mentored by some of the best,” he says, before rattling off a veritable who’s who of B.C. golf officials and personalities.
At one point, not too long ago, Moody could devote only a portion of his time to volunteering, because he had a real job.
“I was a paperboy,” he says.
After moving to Vancouver, B.C. from Toronto in 1974, he found work in the distribution department of Pacific Press, publishers of the Vancouver Sun and The Province newspapers.
A few years later he launched his own company, which distributed the Globe and Mail and New York Times, employing as many as 70 people.
He had played golf as a youth, but left the game behind as an adult, only finding his way back after a work outing.
“I went the next day and bought clubs, and I was hooked again,” he says.
His first club was Iron Mountain, since renamed Eighteen Pastures, a mountaintop creation that’s notorious as the most difficult course in B.C. “It was great for my golf game,” Moody says with a laugh. “I was a five or six handicap, and I went to a 12.”
Soon enough, he switched to Seymour Golf and Country Club, where he managed to briefly tickle being a scratch player, while also serving stints as captain and president of the club.
“It’s been a great club to belong to,” he says of a property that he’s helped transform from also-ran into one of the pre-eminent clubs in the region.
One of his proudest achievements as captain was to institute pace-of-play rules and penalties that scoured about an hour from a typical round. While running Zone 4’s junior program for big chunks of the past 20 years, he’s been on the same war path.
“We try to break them of some of these terrible habits that some of these coaches instill in them,” he says. “I start them on the first tee and, some of them, I’ve told them, ‘Son, you’ve got to speed that up, that’s too slow.’”
Another of his initiatives with the junior program has been to recruit girls, based on his feeling that otherwise they don’t have enough opportunities to compete.
“There are several girls signed up,” he says of this year’s 10-event tour, which charges entrants $30 each and encompasses all of the top private and public courses in the region.
Moody was named president of British Columbia Golf in 2022 after several years on the board, and expects to serve in this role until the end of 2023. Governance concerns due to changes in the Societies Act are one of his preoccupations there, as is succession planning. But a lot of the energy of the association is going toward reenergizing programs and tournaments in the wake of COVID.
“We have to get back in the business of player development and running camps that we haven’t been able to,” he says, adding, in typical, self-effacing fashion, “Not that I’ve got much to do with it.”
“It’s a good board to work with,” he sums up. “My job there is pretty easy.”
Likewise his role with the Pacific Coast Amateur, at least according to him. The championship returns to Capilano about every 10 years, and of course Moody was there the last time around, in 2013.
“I was the referee with the final group,” he says. “I had zero rulings that day. Being a referee is 90 percent boredom, and 10 percent sheer terror when you get called.”
Perhaps the one golf-related activity Moody rarely gets around to any more is playing actual golf himself, but he does retain one golf-related goal. “I feel like I should be able to shoot my age,” he says. “I just have to find the right tee.”
We’re pretty sure he can find his way around a golf course.
Jim Sutherland is a former editor of Vancouver and Western Living magazines in British Columbia who amuses himself by writing humorous novels with a golf connection, including Snap Slice (2013) and Good Grief (2020), both set in the Pacific Northwest and available on Amazon.