Henson doesn't have any regrets about his move

PGA of B.C. Championship

Ian Henson talks about his new life as a business owner as if it was the greatest move he could have made - but he still talks like a golf professional when it comes to his game.

Henson, the former head professional and general manager at Sun Rivers, shot even-par 72 in the first round of the PGA of B.C. championship, which continues today and Wednesday at Rivershore Golf Links.
It was a windy, cool day at Rivershore, but Henson's score was a little disappointing, he says, considering how well he struck the ball.

Once a golf pro, always a golf pro.

Henson stepped down last fall after seven years at Sun Rivers - the first four as head professional, the last three as general manager - so he could pursue personal business interests.

He and his wife, Lisa, bought two Booster Juice franchises in Kamloops and operate them. It's been a change for Henson, who still gets out to golf at least once a week, but a very positive one.

"I'm very happy for so many reasons," Henson says. "First, the business itself, and also the changes in my life and my family. It's been fantastic."

Most of the professionals taking part in the PGA of B.C. championship are employees of golf courses, but Henson is unaffiliated. He is registered as a Class-A professional, meaning he still pays his dues to be a member of the PGA of B.C., but this might be his last event.

"I just realized that halfway through my round," Henson says. "It was kind of bitter, more than bittersweet. It's not that I wanted to leave, but opportunities came up and it's worked out better for me and my family."
Henson's golf career began in West Vancouver, where he grew up.

He became a professional in 1990, and worked at his hometown course, Gleneagles, before moving up to Westwood Plateau in Coquitlam and getting his first head-professional job at Redwoods in Langley in 1995.

After five years there, he tried his hand at playing and teaching, but the need for a regular paycheque brought him back into the pro shop - this time at Vancouver's Capilano - a few years later.

He ended up in Kamloops in 2004 and hasn't left, although his career path is going in a completely different direction. And it's the perfect direction for the Henson family.

"This was the first year that we didn't need any daycare through the summertime," Henson says. "My wife's been at the store more than I have, so I've been able to spend a lot of time with the kids, which I never would have been able to do before."

More than 20 years of playing pro-ams and other professional tournaments got Henson accustomed to whatever pressure each would have brought.

But being away from tournaments like these for part of a season - Henson did play in the Canadian Tour's Western Championship at Rivershore in June, missing the cut - led to some dicey moments in Monday's round.

"It's ridiculous how I can go and play with my friends . . . or in a pro-am with three amateurs, and everything is easy," said Henson, who made an eagle on the pr-5 eighth hole. "Today, when the putter was in my hands, I was awful and, mentally, I got worse as the day got on."

But, for most of a regular week, Henson's mind couldn't be further from golf.

He gets excited talking about the Booster Juice smoothies and paninis, and says he's much healthier now. He even had a smoothie before teeing off Monday.

"It kicked in somewhere on the back nine, right when I started making birdies," Henson says, with a chuckle. "It's been a great change to my life."

mhunter@kamloopsnews.ca

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