John Bate

Dobber Classic at Cedar Hill Golf Course hits 21st year

Former CFAX 1070 sportscaster Ken Dobson's invitational golf tournament raises funds for Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame

When former CFAX 1070 sportscaster Ken Dobson started an invitational golf tournament, he wanted it to be fun and inexpensive above all else.

Twenty-one years later, the Dobber Classic is sticking to Dobson’s vision with its June 5 tournament at the Cedar Hill Golf Course.

“Dobson was a devoted community-minded person who supported all the amateur sports groups,” says Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame director John Bate, who chaired the Dobber Classic for 20 years before passing on the role. “If anyone asked, he would show up and speak. He was committed that way.”

Ken Dobson (1923 to 1995) was a colourful and much loved sportscaster and sports director at CFAX. After his death, CFAX initiated the Ken Dobson Athletic Scholarship in his memory for graduating grade 12 students who are active in sports.

Before he retired, Bate managed the old Memorial Arena and was the director of Parks and Recreation at the City of Victoria. His family lived in Saanich, two doors down from Dobson’s family.

“We got to know Ken quite well and really see what he was about,” Bate says.

While the tournament entry price has slowly grown – it’s up to $110 per person – Bate points to the loyalty of the tournament players and the number of goodies that come with each registration including tickets to the Victoria Shamrocks, Victoria Royals and UVic Vikes, among other items.

“This is one of our two annual fundraisers and it’s a big deal to us, as our goal is to produce a new display (for the Hall of Fame) at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre each year, usually on that year’s inductees,” he says.

“The tournament still a great deal for what you get. You don’t find golf tournaments as fun as this where you come out with as many sponsored gifts for the price.”

And the same players keep coming back each year, Bate adds. Organizers see a return rate of about 85 to 90 per cent from the previous year.

“It’s an annual reunion with a core of players who’ve been coming out since it started,” he says. “Even the foursomes are the same, slowly changing one player at a time.”

Among the big draws is an impressive sports auction with autographed Vancouver Canucks sticks and Toronto Maple Leafs memorabilia, as well as a prized Jose Bautista bat, signed by the Toronto Blue Jays slugger.

It’s safe to say a bat like that would fetch an auction price in the thousands of dollars in Vancouver.

“Sometimes we need to remind ourselves there are other perks of being in Victoria. Though, all it takes is two bidders,” Bate says wryly.

Registration is open now for the 2015 Dobber Golf Classic. The entry fee includes golf, roast beef buffet dinner and a quality prize for every golfer.

To register, visit or

Just Posted

Final bell could sound for project that allows Victoria grads to dress in style

Magic Wand must find space to store its prom attire for Greater Victoria students by end of June

Man accused of Brentwood Bay murder appears in court

Alan Chapman tells judge he wants next court appearance to be “as far away as possible”

Grass fire on Henlyn Drive sees quick response from Sooke Fire Rescue

An early afternoon grass fire at the north end of Henlyn Drive… Continue reading

Pizza brightens Saanich public hearing

Acting mayor Coun. Colin Plant orders snacks during marathon session

Staff recommend major boost to Langford council pay

After 13 years without an increase, mayor’s pay would double over next five years

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Slain friend motivates rookie football player to make it with hometown B.C. Lions

Jaylen Sandhu, stabbed to death in 2014, a source of inspiration for promising RB Jamel Lyles

Sooke council urged to move faster on off-leash dog park plan

Resident questions why five of seven restricted parks are in Sooke

Driver of stolen vehicle caught after fleeing accident scene in Island community

Section of Chemainus Road closed until suspect located and eventually taken into custody

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

Most Read