Inside Golf House

Golf Canada makes rules of golf more accessible via its Mobile App

Plus, enhanced sharable scorecard graphic now available.


Accessing the Official R&A Rules of Golf has become easier as Golf Canada has integrated them into its popular Golf Canada Mobile App.

This inclusion allows golfers of all levels and abilities to quickly reference the Official Rules of Golf and find answers to common situations that emerge on the course through the Player’s Rule Finder.

With nearly 30 diagrams and over 50 how-to videos, golfers will reduce confusion and uncertainty by learning the ins-and-outs of the game directly from the R&A. Along with the USGA, the R&A has been golf’s leading governing body responsible for the rules of the game.

“The integration into the Golf Canada Mobile App allows more straightforward access to the rules of golf,” said Mary Beth McKenna, Director, Amateur Championships and Rules, Golf Canada.

“Golfers will be able to determine the specific rule-related situations they encounter on the course more easily through the Player’s Rules Finder interface. In addition to the rules of golf, there are resources on committee procedures and the Rules of Amateur Status, amongst other helpful tools. To provide access to even more Canadian golfers, the app is available in both English and French,” added McKenna.

With more than 300,000 Canadian golfers using the Golf Canada Mobile App on an annual basis to post scores, find courses from coast-to-coast, build scorecards, discover course maps, and specific GPS distances, the inclusion of the Rules of Golf will allow Canadian golfers to access first-hand situational knowledge by applying golf’s official rules during their round.

To view the Rules of Golf on the Golf Canada Mobile App, select “More” then scroll down and click on “Rules of golf”.

Also included in the latest version of the Golf Canada Mobile App is an enhanced scorecard graphic. This feature builds on the August 2023 app feature release aimed to help golfers stay connected off the course, highlighted by the ability for golfers to post images and videos to document their rounds.

Increase the fun, shoot lower scores, impress your group by flashing your newfound golf knowledge and share your scorecards.

Join Canada’s largest golf community by downloading the Golf Canada App today. It’s free and available in the App Store and Google Play.

Heritage Inside Golf House

Simeon Pompey and Rosie Allen named 2023 recipients of the Lorie Kane Community Spirit Awards

Pompey wins Community Leader Award; Allen wins Future Leader Award following submission of nominations from the Canadian golf community


Golf Canada and the Golf Canada Foundation are pleased to announce that Simeon Pompey of Montréal, Que. and Rosie Allen of Corner Brook, Nfld. have been named the 2023 recipients of the Lorie Kane Community Spirit Awards.

Following a national call for nominations to the Canadian golf community, Pompey and Allen were identified by the selection committee as recipients of the Lorie Kane Community Spirit Awards. The recognition celebrates a pair of individuals who demonstrated excellence in using golf as a platform to positively impact their communities.

“We were pleased to receive so many worthy nominations from across the country recognizing the contributions of individuals who use the game of golf in a way to inspire and contribute to their community,” said Golf Canada President, David McCarthy. “Golf Canada and the Foundation are incredibly proud to celebrate Simeon Pompey and Rosie Allen as our 2023 Lorie Kane Community Spirit Award recipients and I am pleased to congratulate both on this much deserved honour and thank them for their continued contributions to our sport in their communities.”

2023 Lorie Kane Community Spirit Award Winners Rosie Allen and Simeon Pompey

Pompey earned the 2023 Lorie Kane Community Leader Award for his continuous devotion to helping others in his community through the sport of golf. Pompey has been a long-time supporter of First Tee which led him to be at the heart of the program’s success in Montréal since the launch of First Tee – Premier départ Quebec in 2021.He has also played a key role in the launch of golf programming in the Indigenous community of Kahnawake, on the south shore of Montréal. Pompey has been leading life-skills focused golf classes for over 15 years for children and families coming from underrepresented communities and low-income neighbourhoods in Montréal. Pompey also teaches in the Community, Recreation and Leadership Training at Dawson College, where he serves as a mentor to many of his students.

“I am still shocked to have been selected as the winner of the Lorie Kane Community Leader Award for 2023. Now that it has sunken in a bit, I want to thank you all wholeheartedly for this prestigious recognition. I humbly accept the award on behalf of all the children and their families who have benefitted from the values learned through the great game of golf especially First Tee. Thanks to Golf Canada and First Tee, I have been able to introduce the game of golf to mostly inner-city children whose path in life would not have included the great game of golf and the many life-skills that it teaches,” said Simeon Pompey. “I thank Golf Canada, Golf Quebec and First Tee – Canada for this incredible honour as it validates my life’s mission of helping young people reach their true potential. Thanks to First Tee, the trajectory of a child can be changed positively in a profound way.”

Allen has been named the recipient of the 2023 Lorie Kane Future Leader Award. The 15-year-old has played an instrumental leadership role in helping to develop the First Tee – Canada program at her home course, Blomidon Golf Club in Corner Brook, Nfld. Allen has devoted her time to First Tee programming as well as helping to plan and run events for her club’s junior girls’ program. She has also been a key influence working with the Autism Society in Corner Brook on both developing and running a program for junior golfers between the ages of 5-9 with various forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Allen is an accomplished player having been a member of the provincial development team for four years and winning events in her home province. She has future goals of playing in the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, presented by BDO, and competing in the 2025 Canada Games.

“It is amazing to win this award and I’m very grateful to win something named in Lorie Kane’s honour. I was lucky enough to meet Lorie at the CPKC Women’s Open in 2019 when I was just 11 years old, and she was so nice. I hope I can inspire children in the game of golf the way she inspired me,” said Allen. “I love teaching kids and really enjoy seeing their development through the different programs that we offer. My favorite group of children are those with ASD. They are amazing kids, and it is so rewarding to watch them enjoy the game of golf and the different games we design for them. To know that I can be a part of their development is an honour.”

Pompey will receive a $5,000 donation from the Golf Canada Foundation to advance a golf program or golf-related initiative of his choice. Allen will receive a $5,000 donation towards her post-secondary education.

Submissions for the Lorie Kane Community Spirit Awards were evaluated by a selection committee that includes representatives from Golf Canada, the Golf Canada Foundation, Honoured Members of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, industry representatives and the Golf Journalists Association of Canada.  

The Lorie Kane Community Leader Award celebrates individuals over the age of 19 with a demonstrated ability to lead community initiatives; who have contributed a measurable impact through volunteerism or charity; or have showcased excellence in their involvement with, or support of youth programs such as First Tee – Canada or other junior golf activities.

The Lorie Kane Future Leader Award honours an individual 19 years of age or younger who embodies community leadership; has a history of sportsmanship or demonstrated activities to make the game more inclusive; or an individual who has used golf to create a meaningful impact in their community.

The Lorie Kane Community Spirit Awards were named to honour the Canadian golf icon for a longstanding commitment to advancing the sport, charitable work and giving back to the game that defined her Hall of Fame career. Kane is a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Canada Sports Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Order of Canada.

A call for nominations for the 2024 Lorie Kane Community Spirit Awards will go out later this year.

Inside Golf House

Québec Golf Community Mourns the Passing of Patrick Rhéaume

Golf Canada joins the Golf Québec community in extending our deepest respect and condolences to the family and friends of former colleague Patrick Rhéaume of Québec City following the news of his recent passing.

Patrick joined Golf Canada in 2019 as Membership Regional Director for Québec and worked with the organization until stepping down in 2023 following his diagnosis of Lou Gherig’s disease. A passionate advocate for golf, Patrick spent 31 years working in the golf industry in Québec.

Below is a message shared from our friends at Golf Québec in celebration of Patrick’s impact on the association and his outstanding contributions to the game.

—-

THANK YOU, PATRICK, | A great friend in the golf industry has left us far too soon. Lou Gehrig’s disease, which Patrick had been suffering from for more than a year, progressed much more quickly than desired and we are left with unforgettable memories of our friend and colleague.

The Golf Québec community extends its most sincere condolences to his wife, his two children and the family.

Hardworking and dedicated. Patrick always brought innovative ideas to advance the sport of golf in Québec. Teacher and coach for more than 22 years at the AGFC with his BFF Fred Colgan, he allowed countless others to discover the joy of golf, several who went on to excel in competition. Patrick was a colleague as Regional Director of Golf Canada for Québec for three years until his retirement. His enthusiasm and expertise brought a major impact in the relationship with golf clubs across the province. His knowledge, rigor, and his desire to always do better earned him the respect of his peers as an agent for change in the golf industry.

Patrick, we will miss you. Your sense of humour and your sense of duty will remain in our memories. Thanks Pat, and rest in peace, dear friend.

Inside Golf House

Golf Canada announces addition of Canadian U15 Championship to 2024 Amateur Championship schedule

Oakville, Ont. – Golf Canada is pleased to announce the addition of the Canadian U15 Championship and player development educational summit to its 2024 Amateur Championship schedule. The event will take place August 27-30 at the Elmira Golf Club in Elmira, Ont.

The Canadian U15 Championship, presented by BDO will bring together a field of 78 girls and boys, aged 14 and under from across the country to compete over 36-holes, followed by a player development educational summit.

“We are excited to add the Canadian U15 Championship, presented by BDO and its associated player development educational summit to our amateur tournament schedule this season,” said Golf Canada’s National Head of Talent Identification, Tristan Mullally. “This event is an opportunity for Canada’s top young players to compete for a national championship and also receive important education about the high-performance journey.”

The half-day player development educational summit scheduled for August 30 is required for all participants in the Canadian U15 Championship, presented by BDO. Players, along with their families and coaches, will participate in various interactive clinics to learn about navigating the modern pathway in high-performance golf. Topics will include sport psychology, physical training for young golfers, parenting high-performance athletes, and talent development research. Players will also participate in select Team Canada skills tests and learn about the structure of the national team system.

Elmira Golf Club will play host to the inaugural championship. Founded in 1963, the picturesque 18-hole, par 70 course is situated in a country setting just west of Elmira. The clubhouse, also home to “The Grill on the Green” restaurant, sits perched above the 18th green and provides panoramic views of the golf course below as it flows through the “Eldale Valley” below. Gently winding through the valley and rolling hills is Larches Creek, offering players interesting shots through the unique mixture of finishing holes. Elmira Golf Club celebrated it’s 60th anniversary in 2023 and recently underwent renovations that saw the addition of 20 new tee decks along with a complete white sand bunker restoration.

“Elmira Golf Club is thrilled to be hosting the inaugural Canadian U15 Championship. After celebrating our 60th anniversary this past season at EGC, this special event will certainly create the momentum for the next 60 years in the Club’s history. We are looking forward to welcoming Canada’s best U15’s, their families, and Golf Canada to Elmira this August,” said Jeremy Logel, General Manager and Executive Professional, Elmira Golf Club.

Entry into the Canadian U15 Championship, presented by BDO, can be gained through the following avenues:

  1. Top 10 U15-aged players from the 2024 Canadian Junior Boys Championship and Canadian Junior Girls Championship (players must make the cut)

The boys and girls individual champions will earn exemptions into their respective 2024 Team Canada NextGen Selection Camp as well as their 2025 Canadian Junior Championship, presented by BDO. The top five finishers in each division will earn spots into two 2025 NextGen Championships.

In addition, the Canadian Junior Financial Assistance Program supported by the Gary Cowan Heritage Fund and the Canadian Seniors Golf Association will extend to this championship. The Canadian Junior Financial Assistance Program provides travel grants to qualifying families to mitigate the costs of participating in Golf Canada national championships. For more information, click here.

The full 2024 Canadian Amateur Championship schedule is expected to be announced next month. Registration for all National Amateur Championships will be open on Wednesday, March 6.

Inside Golf House

Applications Open for the 2024 Women in Coaching Program

Together with the PGA of Canada, Golf Canada is pleased to announce the continuation of the Women in Coaching program and formally open applications for the 2024 cohort.

Now entering its fourth year, the Women in Coaching program improves the balance of female high-performance coaches to better reflect the Canadian golfing community. To date, the program has supported 25 coaches and aims to increase the number of trained female high-performance coaches through intentional delivery of professional development opportunities.

The year-long program is focused on four main areas: virtual learning sessions, individualized learning plans with monthly check-ins led by coach developer Beth Barz, coach shadowing opportunities, and an in-person technical development session.

The program is financially supported through the Jocelyne Bourassa Legacy Fund (JBLF), a fund created to provide critical educational opportunities for women who are developing their careers as professional coaches, thereby helping to increase the number of Canadian women who are prominent leaders and role models for golf in our country.

“We are excited to partner with the PGA of Canada to continue to deliver professional development opportunities to female coaches as we work collaboratively to address the gender gap in high-performance coaching.” said Emily Phoenix, Golf Canada’s Manager of High-Performance Sport. “We are very grateful to the donors of the Jocelyne Bourassa Legacy Fund who continue to make this program possible through their generous support.”

The Women in Coaching program is led by Phoenix, Jennifer Greggain (Associate Coach, Team Canada – Women), Salimah Mussani (Team Canada Stollery Family Women’s Head Coach), and Beth Barz (Master Coach Developer).

“The Women in Coaching Program has accelerated the development of my coaching skills by providing valuable knowledge and offering high-level coaching experiences,.” said Kat Kennedy, 2023 program participant. “Thanks to the incredible support I received from Golf Canada, the PGA of Canada, Team Canada coaches and the women’s golf professional community, the program has significantly boosted my confidence in coaching.”

The 2024 cohort will kick off with an in-person session February 24-27 in Phoenix, Ariz., where participants will shadow national team coaches during a training camp and engage in two days of technical skill development education.

Coaches interested in the Women in Coaching program can click here to apply and are encouraged to reach out to Emily Phoenix (ephoenix@golfcanada.ca) with any questions.

Applications close on Sunday, January 7 at 11:00 p.m. ET.

Inside Golf House

2023 – A momentous year in Canadian Golf

Twenty years ago, Mike Weir won The Masters to become the first Canadian male to win a major championship. The Green Jacket came north of the border – to borrow a line from Jim Nantz.

The impact of Weir’s Masters triumph has been long felt. And in 2023, two decades on, there were more Canadians who won on the PGA TOUR than in any other 12-month timeframe. Emphasized, of course, by Nick Taylor’s dramatic playoff victory at the RBC Canadian Open in June.

“I think it’s a tournament that we’ve circled on our calendar since probably junior golf. But ever since I’ve been on the PGA TOUR, this is one that we want to do as well as we can in, and the crowd support was the most unbelievable thing I will probably ever experience in my life,” Taylor said. “To, kind of, break that curse – I’m pretty speechless.”

“I don’t think it’s going to sink in for quite some time what happened today.”

Along with Taylor’s win at Oakdale Golf and Country Club, Mackenzie Hughes captured the Sanderson Farms Championship, Adam Svensson broke through for his first PGA TOUR title at The RSM Classic, and Corey Conners won the Valero Texas Open for the second time. Adam Hadwin also added three runner-up finishes this past season.

Conners and Taylor would advance to the TOUR Championship in August, marking the first time that there has been more than one Canadian in the final-event field on Tour during the FedExCup-era. There were excellent major-championship efforts, in-the-mix weeks at almost every tournament, and plenty of momentum behind the mid-30s group on the top of their games on the biggest stage in men’s golf.

And that’s just what happened on the PGA TOUR over the last 12 months.

Add in Brooke Henderson’s season-opening triumph on the LPGA Tour along with a handful more impressive results on the professional and amateur circuit, it’s been a magical time in Canadian golf – one that could be the pillar for even more big-time inspiration to come.

“Our specific goal is to help heroes grow the game,” says Tristan Mullally, Golf Canada’s Head of National Talent Identification. “There’s a Canadian from a small town and if they can do it, I can too.”

Taylor and Henderson are the only golfers in this country’s history to win the Canadian Junior Championship, Canadian Amateur Championship, and Canadian Open on their respective Tours. Henderson won the Canadian Junior Girls in 2012, the Canadian Women’s Amateur in 2013 and the CPKC Women’s Open in 2018. Taylor won the Canadian Junior Boys in 2006 and the Canadian Men’s Amateur in 2007.

“When (junior golfers) see these guys winning and when they see Brooke doing well… they have to see it to know they can do it,” says Kevin Blue, Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer. “The success the players are having, they have earned over their own hard work and their achievements. It shows up-and-coming players that Canadians can and are doing it on the world stage.”

While the impressive victories – and seasons overall – by those on the PGA and LPGA Tour are the world-beating newsmakers, it doesn’t take long to see how incredible the results have been by so many other Canadians on planet golf.

Alena Sharp earned Canada’s second ever medal in golf at the PanAm Games, winning bronze in Santiago, Chile in early November. Sharp, who once again earned LPGA Tour for 2024 status through final qualifying, also enjoyed success this past season on the Epson Tour, winning one tournament in June and adding five top-10 results while not missing a cut in 14 tournaments played.

Two Canadians, won on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023 – Ben Silverman and Roger Sloan. Both Silverman and Sloan have locked up their PGA TOUR cards for next season.

Another two won on PGA TOUR Canada this season. Long-time Golf Canada National Team members Etienne Papineau (Royal Beach Victoria Open presented by Times Colonist) and Stuart Macdonald (Commissionaires Ottawa Open) each found the winners’ circle in Canada in 2023, with Papineau finishing fourth on the season-long points list to earn conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour. He also, as the top Canadian on PGA TOUR Canada, earned an exemption into the 2024 RBC Canadian Open. Papineau also had an impressive run at the PanAm Games coming up just short of the podium, finishing tied for fourth.

Kudos, too, to Myles Creighton, a winner on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica. And of course, Stephen Ames, who won a remarkable four times on PGA TOUR Champions this season.

Canadian amateurs also gave us impressive moments throughout 2023.

Lauren Kim of Surrey, B.C. captured the 109th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship and Ashton McCulloch of Kingston, Ont. won the 118th Canadian Men’s Amateur, marking only the third time both tournaments were won by Canadians in the same year since 2011. Even more impressive for Kim, she played in the U.S. Junior Girls, U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Open in addition to the Canadian Women’s Amateur and CPKC Women’s Open, a checklist that very few players have crossed off in a single season.

A pair of 14-year-olds won their respective Canadian Junior Championships with Eileen Park of Red Deer, Alta. winning the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, and Alex Zhang of Richmond, B.C. taking home the Canadian Junior Boys Championship.

Judith Kyrinis of Thornhill, Ont. had another great season, highlighted by winning the Canadian Women’s Mid-Am for a third time. Kyrinis also earned the best finish by an amateur at the U.S. Women’s Senior Open, finishing tied for sixth in August. Another Canadian golf icon, Mary-Ann Hayward, won the Canadian Women’s Senior Amateur in a thrilling final round by one over Kyrinis.

Monet Chun, a senior at the University of Michigan, became the first Canadian to make the cut at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. She finished tied for 14th after her final round at Augusta National and made the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach.

Natasha Stasiuk of Oakville, Ont. won her third straight Canadian All Abilities Championship, while Chris Willis of Aurora, Ont. won the men’s championship for his first national title.

The UBC Thunderbirds Women’s team continued their dominance by winning a sixth straight national title at the Canadian University/College Championship. Sonja Tang of Victoria, B.C. not only helped lead her team to victory but also won back-to-back Women’s individual titles and made her first appearance at the CPKC Women’s Open.

Canada added its fourth Tailhade Cup in November as Felix Bouchard of Otterburn Park, Que. and Brady McKinlay of Lacombe, Alta. led Canada to victory by four strokes over Denmark and Switzerland.

The most successful season in Canadian golf history added another exciting chapter in early October as Team Canada won its first-ever team title at the World Junior Girls Golf Championship.

The Canada 1 Team comprised of 14-year-old Anna Huang of Vancouver, Vanessa Borovilos of Toronto and Vanessa Zhang of Vancouver shot a team-total 138 at Brampton Golf Club in Brampton, Ont. to finish a single shot clear of the Republic of Korea. Huang’s runner-up finish was the best Canadian individual result since Brooke Henderson’s finished fourth in 2014.

“The excitement level for results we’re seeing is fantastic and it rubs off on the young players,” says Blue. “The younger players will see this and think, ‘why not me?’ and that’s great.”

While there were several milestones that deserved recognition on the golf course, there were many off it as well this year.

Golf Canada celebrated two successful launches this year with the creation of the BDO National Golf League and the She Plays Golf Festival.

The BDO National Golf League is a nationwide, season-long competition that was created to enhance the league experience for men, women, and junior players. In its inaugural season, 11,000 golfers and 107 leagues competed coast-to-coast for a spot in the Regional Playoffs. Through the Regional Playoffs, 51 teams qualified for the BDO National Golf League Championship, which will be taking place during tournament week at the 2024 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. The 51 teams will be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime, all expense paid trip to compete for the championship.

The She Plays Golf Festival was a week-long women’s golf celebration that took place this June in Calgary in partnership with The Glencoe Golf and Country Club. The festival was designed to celebrate women’s golf at all levels and address gaps in the participation pathway for women and girls; the festival ran concurrently with the Digital Commerce Bank Glencoe Invitational. Events during the week included try-golf clinics for women and girls, a team nine-hole scramble along with a networking event for women in sport and professional development events for women leaders in golf. Following the successful pilot this summer, the She Plays Golf Festival is set to expand to more cities across the country in 2024.

First Tee – Canada welcomed over 57,000 participants at 240 locations with programming delivered at golf courses, schools, and community centres across the country in 2023. This past year saw a 151% increase in participants and a 114% increase in locations offering programming. First Tee – Canada expanded to six chapters with the addition of Alberta, joining British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. All chapters provide children life-enhancing experiences through the game of golf.

The growth of First Tee – Canada, and success of our athletes in our high-performance programs reflects the sustained impact of champion donors driving the philanthropic excellence of the Golf Canada Foundation which experienced another banner year, raising over $8 million dollars in support of the game.

Creating a safe and welcoming sport environment continued to be a focus for the National Sport Federation, as Golf Canada became a Program Signatory of Abuse-Free Sport, the new national independent mechanism to prevent and address maltreatment in sport. All high-performance athletes, coaches, employees and athletes support personnel are under the jurisdiction of the new mechanism. As a program signatory, all participants have access to the Abuse-Free Sport Helpline where operators with expertise in counselling, psychology and sport will listen, offer support and refer individuals to appropriate reporting mechanisms..  Golf Canada was proud to launch a new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Safe Sport Resource to support its member clubs in this critical mandate.

The success of 2023 for Golf Canada’s two National Open Championships was rightfully recognized by the LPGA and PGA Tours in their season-ending tournament recognition. The RBC Canadian Open took home “Best Marketing Initiative” and “Best Tournament Sales” while the CPKC Women’s Open was once again awarded the LPGA Tour Tournament of the Year Award (the second consecutive year taking home the Tour’s top honour), in addition to recognition for “Best Sponsor Activation” and “Best Volunteer Appreciation.”

The year ends with another celebrated milestone—the first time ever that Golf Canada members surpassed the 10 million mark for scores posted to the Golf Canada Score Centre for handicap tracking. Let that sink in—10M scores—an increase from the previous record 9.7M scores posted a year prior as the resurgence of golf continues. Be part of the celebration and share your own #MyGolfYear achievements to wrap the year!

From Weir’s win to Henderson’s heroics, Taylor’s triumph and the many milestones celebrated through the season, there’s never been a more exciting time in Canadian golf, and this year has been a shining example.

Be sure to follow our social channels over the coming weeks as we continue to celebrate 2023, a momentous year in Canadian golf.

Inside Golf House

#MyGolfYear is back!!

Golf Canada is excited to announce the return of #MyGolfYear presented by BDO for year three.

Look back and celebrate your 2023 golf season at a glance! Golf Canada members get access to a snapshot of their golf season highlights and their personal #MyGolfYear can be proudly shared with friends and fellow golfers across their social media channels.

After the successful launch of #MyGolfYear following the 2021 golf season, the 2022 campaign saw the addition of new achievements and golfing milestones available for every member who logged their scores into the Golf Canada Score Centre over the course of the season.

Golfers can share their #MyGolfYear stats, highlighting total rounds, best round, total holes played, total distance played along with personalized achievements from the 2023 golf season.

“We have seen record levels of play in 2023 and Golf Canada members have shown great enthusiasm in sharing their #MyGolfYear stats. It’s a great way to look back on their season and be proud of what they have accomplished on the course and then be able to share with those milestones with their friends and networks,” said Tim McLaughlin, Chief Marketing Officer, Golf Canada. “We are continually looking into the data and have increased the number of achievements since the program’s inception that members can highlight. We encourage all members to take advantage of this fun way to reflect on their golf season.”

The #MyGolfYear campaign wraps up one of the most successful years in Canadian golf including a record 10 million scores posted by Golf Canada members in 2023 – the first ever that that 10M milestone has been reached!

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A post shared by Golf Canada (@thegolfcanada)

The full list of #MyGolfYear achievements for 2023 include:

Thank you for being a Golf Canada member and enjoy sharing #MyGolfYear across your social networks!

To learn more about Golf Canada and the benefits of membership, please visit join.golfcanada.ca

Inside Golf House

Golf Canada members post a record 10 million scores in 2023

Oakville, Ont. – Golf Canada members posted a record number of scores in 2023, with over 10 million being recorded, breaking the previous high of 9.2 million set in 2022. 

On December 12, 2023, the 10 millionth score in 2023 was recorded. The round was placed at Boca Raton Golf and Racquet Club in Florida, United States by Jocelyn Deschenes who is a member at Lanaudière Golf Center in Quebec.

The provinces of Ontario and British Columbia accounted for just over half of all scores recorded in 2023 while the month of July saw the most rounds played at almost two million.

ProvinceScores Recorded
British Columbia20%
Alberta17%
Saskatchewan2.5%
Manitoba2.5%
Ontario33%
Quebec17%
New Brunswick3%
Nova Scotia4%
Prince Edward Island0.5%
Newfoundland and Labrador0.5%

Additional data from player’s who kept hole-by-hole scoring:

Number of holes in one this season3,401
Number of eagles56,789
Number of birdies2,472,058
Month with the most scores July (1,989,016)
Day that had the most scores inputted August 2, 2023 (80,177)

The first known recorded online round was played on June 23, 2005, at Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club in Victoria, B.C. Most of the early scores were posted in offline systems that were eventually imported in batches as the clubs migrated to the online system. Uplands Golf Club in Victoria, B.C. was one of the first courses to adopt the online version of Score Centre with 85 of the first 100 scores recorded were played at that course.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a boom in the sport of golf with a large increase in participation since 2019. Between 2019 and 2023, almost 45 million scores were recorded. This can be attributed to the numerous health benefits associated with the sport including, relieving stress, improving your mental health, weight loss, reducing the chance of developing heart disease and increased interaction with friends and family.

“Golf Canada is thrilled to see the sport of golf continuing the momentum and success it experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen increased levels in membership and more people spending time out on the golf course. With that, we have reached this incredible milestone of 10 million scores being posted this year,” said Ryan Logan, Director of Memberships, Golf Canada.

As the sport continues to grow in popularity, we look forward to beating this milestone in 2024. Not a member? Join Golf Canada’s largest golf community.

Inside Golf House

GJAC Virtual Summit presented by RBC: State of the Golf Industry

The Golf Journalists Association of Canada (GJAC) Virtual Summit presented by RBC: State of the Golf Industry took place Nov. 21, 2023, as part of an ongoing GJAC series intended to help golf journalists stay connected, as well as to generate discussion and opportunities around important issues in the game.

GJAC Virtual Summits presented by RBC are recorded for public viewing. You can watch this one below.

The format consists of a moderated question and answer period, followed by a brief opportunity for questions from attendees. 

Panelists for this Virual Summit included:

Moderator: Rick Young, SCOREGolf

Inside Golf House

Busy golf courses can be great places for junior activity

Photo Bernard Brault, Golf Canada

Carrie Julie knows Sawmill Golf Course won’t be around in 30 years if she and her husband, Jeremy – the owner-operator pair at the course near St. Catharines – don’t put in a grow-the-game effort now.

“That’s simply what it comes down to,” she says.

Sawmill was one of the inaugural winners of Golf Canada’s National Facility Award for Junior Golf in 2022 (awarded “to a facility that provides exceptional access and membership opportunities for junior golfers”) and Julie knows that drumming up even more interest in the game amongst youngsters starts with one thing leading to another – opportunity to access.

National Facility Awards for Junior Golf

There is a myriad of junior programs at Sawmill, she explains, including a golf-and-hockey camp that targets that hockey-playing group if kids and gets them interested in golf (“The retention has been off the charts”) and Try Golf Days, supported by Stephen Ames, that happen on Saturdays. Three hundred and fifty-two kids tried golf this year.

The club also made a pact with its members that the only tournaments it will host are for juniors.

When Julie and Sawmill won the Junior Golf Opportunity Award last year, she said she accepted it on behalf of the 300-or-so members. They step up. They know the importance of this program. She often turns away volunteers for junior tournaments because she has just too much interest.

The club made this choice, and she knows it was the right one.

“We certainly haven’t made the commitment to juniors for pats on the back, but I have to tell you, it was a really nice honour in the inaugural year to win the award,” Julie says. “It really cemented we’re doing the right things for the right reasons.”

Through the start of the COVID-19 pandemic golf saw a boom unlike any other in recent history in Canada. Tiger-Mania couldn’t hold a candle to how many people started to play golf, picked golf up again, or played more golf than they ever had before. It resulted in the popularity of the sport in Canada being as high as it ever had been. A lot of courses, however, needed to make a choice they were never faced with before on junior golf because of the demand for tee times. Could they still give up a tee-time for $20 for a youngster if they had a line of adults waiting to pay $100+ for the same time?

“We’re super empathetic about some of the unintended challenges that a participation spike creates,” Golf Canada chief sport officer Kevin Blue says. “But at the same time, we’re trying to think about the health of our sport over the next 30, 40, or 50 years and clearly junior golf is a part of that.”

Blue has spoken at length about his time growing up as a non-family sponsored junior member at the Bayview Country Club, which, he says, allowed him to develop as a golfer significantly. A non-family sponsored junior program allows junior golfers to play and practice at a private club for a reasonable annual fee without their parents having to join. While many clubs across Canada continue to have programs like this, some have scaled back access for juniors due to increased demand for tee times. Blue suggested that all private clubs in Canada should consider adding a limited number of non-family sponsored juniors – for example, two girls and two boys – to help some tournament-playing youngsters have access to quality facilities.

“They pay a reasonable annual fee for being there […] and the club rallies behind these players,” Blue says. “A casualty (due to golf’s increased popularity through the COVID-19 pandemic) in some instances has been these non-family sponsored junior programs. Or at least shrinking them. We understand the influences involved and why these choices are made. But at the same time, that’s had a direct impact on (junior) opportunities to be able to train and practice and develop.”

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Nick Taylor, the three-time PGA Tour winner and – of course – the reigning RBC Canadian Open champion, was one of those youngsters able to take advantage of an affordable junior program. Growing up in Abbotsford, B.C. (about an hour outside of Vancouver) Taylor recalls his parents paying about $220 to have full access to the course (minus, he thinks, sometimes on the weekend) where he would be at the course every day from sun up to sun down.  

“It was the greatest babysitter,” Taylor says with a laugh.

Now as a father of two, he reflects on the opportunity afforded to him by this junior-golf program and those are the two key things he hopes other clubs across the country will be able to offer – accessible, affordable golf for kids.

With Taylor’s win at the RBC Canadian Open now four months in the rear-view mirror, he’s been able to reflect on his position in Canadian golf as someone who can inspire the next generation, like Mike Weir did to him after Weir’s 2003 Masters triumph.

Taylor has his own charity golf tournament each year at home in B.C. and this year there was the Nick Taylor Junior Golf Day, with 94 young golfers asking questions and watching Taylor hit balls. Monies from his charity event went right back into the community.

“It’s obviously very important […] to maybe be that person to get some more kids in the game and get them determined to be as best as they can be,” Taylor says.

Taylor had affordable access to a course that was supportive of kids learning the game and becoming the next generation of golfers in this country. Julie, at Sawmill, is committed to having a place like that.

There are plenty of other great examples across the country providing a safe space for kids to learn – and love – golf. But there’s still even more room to grow.

“I often say to my peers, ‘go on and copy and paste our program. It would be an honour,’” Julie says. “It’s who our club is.”

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On Oct. 2, 2023, Blue took part in a Golf Journalists Association of Canada (GJAC) Virtual Summit with the topic being Courses Supporting Junior Golf.

The series is part of an ongoing GJAC series intended to help membership stay connected, as well as to generate discussion and opportunities around important issues in the game.

Panelists for this Summit included Blue, as well as Nick Taylor, 2023 RBC Canadian Open Champion and Carrie Julie, Owner/Operator, Sawmill Golf Club. The Summit was moderated by Dan Pino, Golf Canada’s Senior Director of Communications. You can watch it below.