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Robert Bateman golf team celebrates pair of wins, preparing for regionals

Abbotsford-based high school golf team aiming to finish in top-three at provincials
The Bateman golf team celebrates a win at the Delta Police High School Golf Tournament on April 24. (Submitted)

The Robert Bateman Secondary School golf team wrapped up an amazing April with wins at two major events and are now eyeing success at both regionals and provincials.

The Bateman foursome of Ryan Burns, Owen Crockett, Emerson Bronsema and Maxim McKenzie won the overall championship at the Victoria Police High School golf tournament at Olympic View Golf Course in Langford on April 19 and 20.

Bateman edged out Oak Bay Secondary by three strokes and were led by McKenzie – a Grade 9 athlete – who carded the lowest two-day score of 147 (72 and 75) to win the overall low gross. Several of the players that McKenzie bested have already committed to NCAA Division I schools for the fall.

According to Bateman’s golf academy coordinator Clarke Wismer, this is the first time any golf team from Abbotsford or the eastern Fraser Valley has ever won the Victoria Police tournament.

The school’s strong play continued at Delta’s Kings Links by the Sea for the Delta Police High School Golf Tournament on April 24. The five-player team consisting of Burns, Crockett, Bronsema, McKenzie and Aiden Cook won by four strokes. Crockett also took home top prize in the closest to the pin competition.

Wismer noted that the last Abbotsford team to win the Delta event was the Yale Lions in 2006. That team was led by current PGA athlete Nick Taylor.

The Bateman golf team trains and perfects their play at the school as part of the RBSS Golf Academy – the only academy of its kind in the Lower Mainland for public schools. For a cost of $2,500 (increased to $2,800 starting next school year), students work with CPGA professionals on and off the course to develop their skills.

Those enrolled in the program have one block each semester devoted to the sport. About 40 per cent of the program is held at Abbotsford’s Ledgeview Golf Club and Fraserglen Driving Range and the remaining time involves golf-specific athletic performance training, mental training, rules, etiquette, anatomy, and nutrition taught by certified instructors and trainers.

The academy was initially launched in 2011. Bateman came the third in school in Abbotsford to offer academy behind Yale’s hockey and baseball/fastpitch programs and Abbotsford Senior’s soccer academy.

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The team competes at high school tournaments across the province and also travels to other spots in North America to compete. The ultimate goal for the program is to help students achieve a scholarship and continue on with the sport. This year has been particularly successful, with Burns and Bronsema both committing to Hastings College in Nebraska and Crockett joining College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Wismer explained that there are 20 students in the golf academy this year, with many of those students competing for the Bateman golf team. Some members of the academy are still honing their skills and will be competing in future years.

RELATED: Abbotsford players win skills competition at BC AAA golf championships

He added that he believes the sport is growing in Abbotsford and noted that they also run a junior golf academy at Clayburn Middle School that has seen interest with 14 students. Those athletes will then hopefully continue that journey to the Bateman academy. Wismer added he believes it helps that young golfers can regularly see local stars Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor compete on the world stage at the PGA.

Bateman heads to the Eastern Valley Athletic Association golf championships on May 9 (juniors) and May 16 (seniors). The top two teams from that event qualify for the provincials, which occur in Parksville from June 5 to 7. Bateman finished fifth at provincials in 2022.

“Anything short of a top-three finish would be a disappointment this year,” Wismer stated.

Another big event later this year is the second annual Robert Bateman Open Golf Tournament, which takes place at Ledgeview on June 12.

“It’s designed to raise funds for the kids in the program to offset the high costs of competing and travelling for all of the competitive tournaments,” Wismer said.

To register for the tournament, visit or contact Wismer at

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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