Steve Cikaluk, widely known as the "golf doctor," will close his long-established business in Nanaimo by the end of the month.
Cikaluk, a golf professional who owns Golf Doctor Canada on Wilgress Road, is now 78 and, after experiencing some health problems recently, he decided that the time is right to finally retire.
Cikaluk, who started his golfing career in Edmonton, was a member of the PGA of Canada, the second oldest and third largest professional golf association in the world, and in his day played alongside such golf greats as Moe Norman and Stan Leonard.
He went on to lead and organize both golf and curling clubs and organizations across Canada before taking a job in Qualicum Beach in 1980 to run a local golf course there and was instrumental in the redesign of the course. In 2004, he decided to step out on his own and opened the Vancouver Island Golf Centre on Bowen Road in 2004, before moving the business to Wilgress Road three years ago and changing the name to Golf Doctor Canada.
But the business was far more than just a golf supply store and Cikaluk carried on his life-long passion of helping people play the game, including making custom-made golf clubs and providing lessons for those who likely wouldn't be able to play the game without his assistance.
His efforts include creating clubs three-feet longer than usual for a client with no forearms so he could grip the clubs in his armpits, teaching blind people how to golf as well as a man paralyzed from the waist down who had a custom-made golf cart that would transport him around the course and mechanically position him in front of the ball.
"I love doing what I have been doing almost all of my life, but I've had some health problems lately so I made the decision to retire," Cikaluk said at his store Friday. "I've been at this a long time but the industry is becoming much more competitive these days. I don't golf much myself anymore because of a bad shoulder so I'll probably spend much of my time just looking after my house with my wife Liliane."
Cikaluk said he's now focusing on selling his inventory at his store and he'll be holding clearance sales until he finally closes for the last time at the end of the month.
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