Golf Canada will tee it up for 2021 National Amateur Championships
Golf Canada will tee it up in 2021 to conduct national amateur championships and is working with public health authorities in host communities to finalize operational protocols so that the competitions may proceed safely.
Following a 2020 season that saw the cancellation of all Golf Canada competitions due to the pandemic, the 2021 schedule will feature nine National Amateur Championships, eight NextGen Championships for junior-aged golfers, and several USGA qualifiers which will be hosted at member clubs across Canada.
“We are taking a measured but optimistic approach to conducting our 2021 championship season and we are excited to welcome the athletes back to our competitions,” said Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer Kevin Blue. “Golf Canada will continue to prioritize the safety of players, volunteers, host club and tournament staff, and host communities and will work with regional health authorities and our host clubs to get our national amateur competitions back on the tee. We also want to thank our roster of host clubs and volunteer committees for giving back to the game and joining us in this journey.”
CLICK HERE TO SEE GOLF CANADA’S 2021 CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Operational protocols for each competition will align with local and provincial health and safety guidelines that have allowed golf courses to open for regular play. Should public health guidelines or interprovincial travel restrictions warrant, Golf Canada will make modifications to the competition schedule including a change to the size and composition of tournament fields or an outright event cancellation should circumstances dictate.
National Amateur Championship registration will open on Wednesday, April 7 at 12:00pm EDT while registration for all NextGen Championships will open on Monday, March 29 at 12:00pm EDT.
Applications will be open to any Golf Canada members who meet the eligibility criteria. Given the current federal travel restrictions in place, Golf Canada will not be accepting registration from foreign residents for our championships at this time. More information on the application procedure will be available on each championship information page.
Golf Canada will also resume calculation of the NextGen National Junior Order of Merit to identify and give recognition to top-performing junior girls and boys across Canada who have achieved success during the 2021 season. The 2021 NextGen National Junior Order of Merit schedule can be viewed here and consists of Canadian events from the period January 1 to August 15, 2021 with a maximum of five (5) counting events for a player’s ranking.
With continued COVID-19 limitations and international travel restrictions, Golf Canada will not track a National Amateur Order of Merit in 2021. Golf Canada is carefully following the impact of the pandemic on international travel and competition and how those factors might impact the Team Canada Selection criteria for 2021/22, which are currently under review and can be accessed here once published.
Steam Whistle and Golf Canada announce multi-year partnership renewal
Toronto (Golf Canada) – Golf Canada and The Good Beer Folks at Steam Whistle have announced the renewal of a multi-year partnership that will see Steam Whistle continue on as the Official Beer of Golf Canada, the RBC Canadian Open, and the CP Women’s Open.
Through the multi-year partnership – which began in 2018 – Steam Whistle will continue to work with Golf Canada to grow their brand amongst golfers and golf enthusiasts across the country.
Through the partnership, Steam Whistle’s premium product line will be served at Golf Canada’s PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour events—the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open.
“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with Steam Whistle as Golf Canada’s Official Beer Partner,” said John Sibley, Chief Commercial Officer of Golf Canada. “There is tremendous interest in golf right now and we are fortunate to have the continued support of Steam Whistle who have aligned their premium brand with our sport. Their commitment to quality craftsmanship and proud Canadian identity are well positioned as the beer of choice to enjoy at our National Open Championships or after a round at golf courses from coast to coast.”
The renewed agreement builds on Steam Whistle’s largest partnership in company history – a significant milestone for the independent Canadian brewer.
“Steam Whistle is committed to supporting the game of golf in Canada and our partnership with Golf Canada is the best example of that,” said Tim McLaughlin, Steam Whistle’s Vice-President of Marketing. “There is so much momentum behind the sport in our country thanks to the great work Golf Canada has done at the grassroots, amateur and professional level, and we are thrilled to be a long-term partner to support their efforts.”
In the first year of the partnership, beer sales at the 2018 RBC Canadian Open were up 200 per cent to the year prior. Founded in 2000, Steam Whistle’s Premium Pilsner has long been a staple of golf courses and refrigerators across the country. The Toronto-based brewery launched a Premium Pale Ale in 2019 and a Premium Session Lager in 2020 to go along with its award-winning Premium Pilsner.
The 2021 RBC Canadian Open will be contested at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto, with nearby Islington Golf Club housing the official tournament practice facility. It is scheduled for June 7-13. The 2021 CP Women’s Open is scheduled for August 23-29 at Vancouver’s Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club.
Kevin Blue named Chief Sport Officer of Golf Canada
Golf Canada is pleased to announce that Kevin Blue has joined the National Sport Federation as its new Chief Sport Officer.
A dynamic and accomplished executive, coach, and high-performance golfer, Blue joins the Executive Team of the National Sport Federation after serving nearly five years as Director of Athletics for the University of California, Davis, an NCAA Division I institute.
His responsibilities with Golf Canada as Chief Sport Officer include the oversight, management and strategic development of key functional areas including golf services with a focus on membership; high-performance player development; sport and junior programs including First Tee – Canada; amateur competitions; and governing body activities across the Rules of Golf, Handicapping, Course Rating and Amateur Status. Blue will be a lead contact with numerous provincial, national, and international stakeholders.
“Kevin brings a depth of executive leadership experience across business, education, coaching and high-performance sport, and we are thrilled to have him elevate our sport, golf services and player development activities,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “He is a transformative leader and passionate advocate for Canadian golf who will bring tremendous energy and enthusiasm to improving the golfer, facility and athlete experience at all levels.”
For Blue, born in Montreal and raised in Toronto, the opportunity to return to Canada to champion the growth of golf was an opportunity to apply his executive leadership experiences across the sport that has been a lifelong passion.
“Golf has impacted my life in extraordinary ways,” said Blue. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to return home and help to extend the reach of our sport to more Canadians. I’m also very excited to partner with our athletes, coaches, and many others in the golf community nation-wide to continue building Canada’s global prominence in the sport we love.”
As Director of Athletics for the University of California, Davis, Blue oversaw a $41M athletic department featuring 25 collegiate teams. He led record-setting fundraising campaigns at UC Davis that supported coaching endowments, athlete scholarships, and the construction of multi-million-dollar facilities including a $52M student-athlete performance centre currently under construction. In addition to facilitating all-time academic results for student-athletes and competitive success on the field of play, he implemented a formal diversity, equity and inclusion strategy for coaches and senior-level hires as well as mandatory implicit bias training for all employees.
Prior to joining UC Davis, Blue honed his executive management skills over three years as the Senior Associate Athletic Director, External Relations with Stanford University where he had oversight of key external business units including ticket sales, sponsorships, marketing, communications, business strategy, ticket operations, fan experience, and video. As a key member of the athletic department senior executive team, he contributed to strategic planning, policy, personnel, sponsor relations, and university integration in addition to launching the Pac-12 Network at Stanford. As a Lecturer at Stanford, he taught an introductory Sport Psychology course and constructed a curriculum that surveyed topics related to peak performance, talent development and mental health. He also taught a graduate level course on Strategic Management for Sport Business at the University of San Francisco.
Other leadership roles during his time at Stanford included three years as Associate Athletic Director and two years as an Athletics Department Fellow. Prior to Stanford, Blue was involved in high-performance golf, providing sport psychology and short game coaching to professional and elite amateur golfers.
An accomplished amateur golfer growing up in Toronto, Blue played in numerous provincial and national amateur competitions and spent time with Golf Canada’s National Junior Golf Team (prior to the formation of the Team Canada program) and represented Canada at the 2001 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan. He attended Stanford University on a varsity golf scholarship where he earned his B.A. in Psychology, was a captain on the golf team, and was an NCAA Academic All-American.
He went on to attend Michigan State University where earned his Ph.D. in Sport Psychology and then completed an executive education program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Blue has authored a multitude of articles on topics related to sport, education, and business.
Blue will be returning to Canada with his wife Betsy and their four children and is set to begin his role as Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer in early January 2021.
Golf Genius Software signs multi-year agreement with Golf Canada
WAYNE, Penn. – Golf Genius Software, the leading worldwide provider of tournament management solutions, announced today that Golf Canada and Canada’s Provincial Golf Associations will begin using Golf Genius Tournament Management to manage their golf competitions beginning in 2021.
Golf Genius will provide Golf Canada-branded versions of its TM Club, TM Club Premium and TM Association cloud-based services to the Canadian golf market. Golf Canada and the Provincial Golf Associations will join a number of other national golf associations and tours in using the TM Association solution, which is purpose-built to meet the specialized needs of national and regional golf associations.
Golf clubs and other golf facilities across Canada will also be able to utilize the Golf Canada versions of the TM Club at preferred rates and TM Club Premium services. Golf Genius will provide single sign-on support to club administrators through the Golf Canada Score Centre and will integrate with the World Handicap System (WHS) services provided through the Golf Canada Score Centre. Golf Genius will also provide French language versions of its TM services as part of its agreement with Golf Canada.
Mike Zisman, Co-CEO of Golf Genius Software, commented: “We have committed substantial resources to build a significant presence in the Canadian market, including our recent acquisition of two respected Canadian software providers. Our new relationship with Golf Canada will not only enable us to serve the tournament management needs of Golf Canada and the Provincial Associations, it will also help us more rapidly expand our customer base in the club and facility market. We are honored to have been selected by Golf Canada for this critical relationship.”
Adam Helmer, Senior Director of Golf Services at Golf Canada, added, “We conducted a rigorous process to select a tournament management solution which included an RFP last year and the evaluation of several prospective vendors. Golf Genius presented the most robust product, and most importantly, can meet the needs of Golf Canada, our Provincial Golf Associations and over 1,400 of our member golf facilities in Canada with one integrated solution.”
In 2020, Golf Genius has also announced national association agreements with England Golf, the Singapore Golf Association and Golf NSW serving New South Wales in Australia.
Golf community saddened by passing of former Golf Canada President Findlay Young
Findlay Young with Chris Baldwin (CGHF Archives)
The Canadian golf community is saddened to learn of the passing of former Golf Canada President and Honorary Life Governor Findlay Young of Prince George, B.C., who passed away suddenly on Friday, October 9, 2020 at the age of 92.
Young was born in 1928 in Glasgow, Scotland, where he met his wife Nancy. They married in 1955 and emigrated to Canada in 1957.
He served as a director at B.C. Golf from 1961-1999 and was an honourary life director. He also served as president of the Royal Canadian Golf Association (now Golf Canada) in 1993 where he was also named an honourary life governor.
In total, Young won 53 golf competitions, including 11 Prince George Golf and Curling Club championships between 1959 and 1970. He recorded eight holes-in-one.
Among his many accomplishments off the golf course, Young was a director for the Prince George Mohawks senior hockey team for 10 years and was inducted into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
For many in the golf community, Findlay was a great friend and mentor whose passion for golf and contributions to the game left a lasting impact. His mark on our organization and our sport will not soon be forgotten.
Below is a message that was shared by the Prince George Golf & Curling Club and here is a link to the bio that was included with his induction into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame.
Always prioritizing junior golf, he successfully mentored many skilled amateurs locally, provincially, and nationally, including captaining the Pacific Northwest and Canadian Junior Teams. Findlay’s rules proficiency and diplomatic skills eventually led to the presidency of Golf Canada as the first ever elected from Northern BC.
As president he attended the World rules conference and served as Canada’s golf ambassador to the 1994 Masters and Canadian, U.S., and British Opens. A lethal wedge player and scratch golfer for many years, Findlay dominated golf in the Northern interior, holding 11 club championships at the Prince George Golf & Country Club, a record that will never be equaled.
“Fin” significantly influenced all aspects of our club’s development, and on behalf of the board, our condolences and best wishes go out to the Young family.
“scíth a ligean”
General Manager On Behalf of the Prince George Golf and Country Club Board of Directors