Cindy Soukoroff, head golf professional at St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino, came away a big winner at the PGA of British Columbia award celebrations.
She was not only an award winner once, but twice, winning the Dick Munn Golf Professional of the Year and the B.C. chapter of the National Golf Course Owners Association Canada’s Fore Seasons Golf Award.
“To be recognized with two provincial awards is a great honour,” she said.
When she learned she came on top for both of the awards, Soukoroff said her initial feeling was flashbacks to people who have helped her along the way.
“People that paved the path for you to get to where you are. Growing up in Fernie, small town you know, it was kind of a whole community. They say it takes a village, and that was sort of that,” she explained, noting being mentored by Doug Robb and Kevin Maffioli who have also won the golf professional of the year award in the past.
Soukoroff has been with St. Eugene since 2007 and has been the head golf professional since 2016.
“The support from the resort itself, I couldn’t do a lot of the stuff I do, and the team in the golf shop and the team at the golf course, they are like my family as well,” she said.
The encouragement from people, Soukoroff says has been a huge factor to her success. Not only encouragement from friends and family, but from other golf professionals in the area.
“It’s a tightknit group, you can reach out to anybody and everybody is there to help out and answer questions. It’s a great industry to be in and there are so many great people,” she said.
To win the golf professional of the year: recipients must demonstrate outstanding qualities of leadership; strong moral character; maintain a substantial record of service to the association and game of golf; be regarded as a role model to other golf professionals.
To be regarded as a role model, Soukoroff said she wasn’t sure if she saw herself like that, but hoped she could be a role model like to others, like Chris Medford and Conor Carnall — both golf professionals at St. Eugene.
“When you can all work together and help somebody, that’s good,” she said.
Soukoroff is the first woman to receive the two awards.
“In this industry, there are more woman coming in — definitely not a lot in this area — but so many times you feel like one of the guys anyway. Everyone has been so supportive it doesn’t feel female-male. It’s obviously an honour to be the first woman to get these, and if it helps the little girl who likes golf to try and want to do stuff than there is a place.”
Now that she has won these awards, Soukoroff said she is just going to continue to do what she has been.
“I don’t know if anything needs to change. As a resort we are trying to do more to reach out the community … with our Support Sundays, trying to raise funds for different organizations in the community. I think it’s just building those things and starting to get those off that helps to get those awards,” she said.
Other winners in the area at the awards include Jeremy Johnson of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, who was the provincial award recipient for Golf Teacher of the Year.