Retired pro golfer Alvie Thompson passed away Oct. 26 at the age of 81. The Wilson Creek resident was known for his contributions to golf locally and was inducted into the BC Golf Hall of Fame in 2015 and the PGA of Canada Hall of Fame earlier this year.
Thompson started his golf career in the early 1950s and became a professional in 1957. He worked as an assistant at the Marine Drive Golf Club and then worked in Ontario and Quebec and returned to the Marine Drive club as head professional in 1972 for a four-year stint.
He spent 18 years as head professional at McCleery Golf Club before finishing up his career at the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club in Roberts Creek and retiring to the Sunshine Coast in 1994. He was at the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club during the expansion from a nine to 18-hole course.
During his career and after his retirement, Thompson had an impact on a number of young B.C. professional golfers including Jim Pringle, Mike Smedstad, Norm Jackson, Derek Thornley and Pat Dunn. He also impacted the career of Richard Zokol, who was a junior at the Marine Drive club while Thompson was the head professional.
In 1963 he placed 28th in The Masters’ and collected a number of impressive titles over the years including the 1962 PGA of Canada Championship, and the 1963 PGA of Canada Match Play Championship. He was the three-time winner of the Manitoba Open. He was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from the PGA of B.C. in 2014 and was named to the Golf Hall of Fame in B.C. in 2015. The PGA of B.C.’s Teacher of the Year Award is named in Thompson’s honour.
– Coast Reporter, with files from the Professional Golf Association of British Columbia