For over seventy years Ernie Brown has been an ambassador of British Columbia golf. First as a caddie, then as a player, head professional, instructor, club-maker, course designer, tournament organizer, rules official, and scorekeeper, Ernie has been one of the key builders of golf in BC. He started as a caddie when he was 17, after his doctor suggested he spend time outdoors to speed his recovery from pneumonia and pleurisy. Ernie became hooked on the game, started taking lessons and eventually won the city caddie championship.
In 1934 he became an assistant pro at Jasper Park Lodge and then four years later moved to Jericho Golf Club. In 1945 he became head pro at Old Quilchena. In 1948 Ernie started the High School Golf League, which grew from two to over 140 schools competing in regional and provincial play. Ernie also started a junior program at Old Quilchena that produced Canadian Junior and amateur champions. In 1959, he began his own consulting and golf course designing company. Ernie was involved in designing over twenty golf courses, including Burnaby Mountain, Pender Harbour, and the Prince George Golf and Curling Club. In 1966 he was responsible for preparing Shaughnessy Golf Course for the Canadian Open. In the 1960’s Ernie also developed a golf handicap system that is still used by the BCGA.
For more than ten years he acted as rules chairman, started and scorer for BC Open golf tournaments. In 1970, Ernie was the non-playing captain of BC’s Willingdon Cup Team. In 1972 and 1973 he won the BC Senior’s Championship and remained a tournament player into the 1980’s. For many years, Ernie served as an honorary director of the BC Professional Golfer’s Association.