For the first time since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Golf Canada had a full slate of amateur championships – from coast-to-coast – contested in 2022. The venues were spectacular, the competition was impressive, and the momentum heading into next season is at an all-time high.
Mary Beth McKenna, the Director of Amateur Championships and Rules for Golf Canada, called 2022 “incredible.” Thirty-two championships were contested, including national, elite junior, qualifiers, or NextGen efforts.
“It’s great to be out at all of our courses, engaging with our member clubs, all the volunteers, and working with our officials and providing playing opportunities to our competitive players,” said McKenna. “It was just a really great year, all-in-all.”
There was, of course, so much momentum behind the game of golf in general in Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of recorded rounds by Golf Canada reaching never-before-seen levels. That buzz, McKenna said, was definitely felt through the full summer schedule of Golf Canada championships.
There was success at every level, she continued.
Monet Chun was a perfect example. Chun, the Golf Canada National Team Member, won the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship presented by BDO but also went on to play in the finals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur and teed it up at the CP Women’s Open. There was also Shelly Stouffer, who won the Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur and proceeded to go on and win the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur plus the Canadian Senior Amateur.
“There were just so many great champions along the way,” said McKenna, pointing as well to the spectacular play of 12-year-old Lucy Lin. “Just to see the progression of some of these players through the calendar year… was just incredible. It was just great to be back at our host clubs seeing the dramatics of amateur golf and seeing their success throughout the summer.”
Golf Canada’s key partners also played an important role in the support and amplification of the amateur championships through 2022. There were also new sponsors like BDO, which came on board as the presenting sponsor of all of the amateur championships and Sargent Farms, which sponsored the World Junior Girls Championship.
“It’s certainly important to support our amateur championships. It just elevates our championships into premiere events. We were so fortunate this year having a number of new partners,” said McKenna. “In concert with our national partners with Titleist, Canadian Pacific, and Levelwear, just the continued support makes our events better and better for our players.”
While the partners play an important role in continuing to elevate the championships, the golf courses where they take place are also important. They could not be played without venues, of course.
In 2022 golfers had the opportunity to tee it up at such fine facilities as Royal Colwood Golf Club in Victoria, B.C., TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley, Westmount Golf and Country Club in Kitchener, Ontario, The Marshes in Ottawa, Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, The Thornhill Club, Essex Golf and Country Club near Windsor, Breezy Bend Country Club in Manitoba, and Red Deer Golf and Country Club – just to name a few.
While not all the golf courses are confirmed for 2023 yet, McKenna said her team is particularly thrilled to bring the Men’s Amateur to The Pulpit Club’s two courses, plus Ashburn Golf Club in Halifax for the Women’s Amateur.
“Across the board,” said McKenna, “we’re going coast to coast at really some incredibly facilities.”
With lots of excitement from a fabulous 2022, great players, and amazing courses ready to host, 2023 is set to be another fantastic year of Golf Canada championships.