Getting to compete in any sport at the provincial level takes dedication, discipline and a lot of practice. Tyler Powell is no stranger to this level of commitment as he has been spending his summer working hard on the greens to get ready for provincial-level competitions. Powell was one of four Columbia Valley youth to compete at the BC Summer Games, held in Abbotsford, B.C. from July 21st to 24th.
“It’s a challenge to get there. You have to put in time to get there and practice,” said Powell.
The 14-year-old athlete qualified for the Summer Games at two zone competitions: one in Cranbrook and the other in Fernie.
“It’s based on scores from your zone tournaments, so you’ve got to qualify through the zone,” Powell explained.
He said he was excited when his parents got the phone call saying he made the BC Summer Games team, recognizing it as a great opportunity to compete at the provincial level.
The Kootenay zone team was made up of competitors from both the east and west Kootenay regions.
“I knew most of them, I knew one of the guys from the west and I knew both the guys from the east who were coming with me ‘cause I played against them in several tournaments,” said Powell.
Preparing for the Games, he stuck to his usual training routine by practising at both the Copper Point Golf Club and the Windermere Valley Golf Course.
“I usually practice two, three hours a day and maybe just try to play a game a day or two a day. I just make sure I’m doing something golf-related each day,” said Powell.
At the BC Summer Games, golf competitors played on the Ledgeview Golf and Country Club course. For Powell, the course was difficult. He said it was firm conditions on the course, and the athletes ran the course twice during the Games.
“You go out each on a different tee time and then you’ll all finish at different times. For the second round, they’ll reseed who you play with based on how you did the day before,” said Powell.
He finished the Summer Games ranked 31st out of the 42 athletes who competed in the golf portion of the Games. He now is back playing the greens of the Columbia Valley and hopes to improve for next year’s season, with his eye set on competing again at the BC Juniors and hopefully the BC Juvenile tournaments.
“I’m one of the youngest guys when I go to these BC Juniors. There are 18, 19 year olds who can hit it 20, 30 yards past me, really strong guys,” Powell said.
Learning from other athletes by watching what they’re doing, Powell understands that if he wants to play professional golf in the future, he needs to stay focused and continue to improve. For now, the Grade 10 student plans to finish out his summer working on his skills.