PGA of Canada

De Groot, Rutherford, Ward, Ciot and Wong to represent Canada at 2nd PGA Women’s Cup in New Mexico 

Teams from Canada, USA, Australia, Great Britain & Ireland, South Africa, and Sweden are set to head to Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico from October 24-29 for the second PGA Women’s Cup, where Canada will look to build on their runner-up finish from the 2019 event in Texas. 
 
Two new players, Caroline Ciot and Katy Rutherford, will join second-time competitors Emma de Groot, Casey Ward and Christine Wong at Twin Warriors Golf Club. Wong was the top player on the Canadian squad in 2019, firing the team’s low score two out of three days in the form of a 70 and 71. 
 
“I am so excited to head to New Mexico with this talented team of Canadian women to represent the PGA of Canada as playing captain,” said Emma de Groot. “The inaugural event in 2019 was such an amazing experience, and after a COVID hiatus we are excited to head to New Mexico and proud to represent the PGA of Canada. This event showcases women in the industry and provides an opportunity for collaboration, networking and competition against likeminded women with a desire to grow the game.”
 
Each of the five players will play their own ball each day, with the low three scores on each team counting for that round. The low aggregate score following the third round will determine the champion. 

The players:

Emma de Groot  
Playing Captain  
Age: 34-years old  
(Modern Golf Teaching Professional)  
 
Member of the 2019 Canadian Women’s PGA Cup Team. Holds the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s golf school records for tournament wins (6) and lowest career scoring average (74.5). She has notched 20-career top-5 finishes at the NCAA level. Since turning professional, the Modern Golf Director of Women’s Development has placed in the top-25 at the ORORO PGA Women’s Championship six times.
 
Katy Rutherford  
Age: 23-years old  
Silver Springs Golf and Country Club Apprentice Professional  
 
Received an exemption into the 2021 ATB Financial Classic on the PGA TOUR Canada. Finished as the runner-up at the Glencoe Invitational in 2021, won the Calgary Ladies Amateur and finished 42nd in the 2021 Canadian Women’s Amateur in her final summer as an amateur. Was the runner-up to Christine Wong at the 2021 ORORO PGA Women’s Championship of Canada. Most recently, won the PGA of Alberta Women’s Championship by nine strokes last month.  
 
Casey Ward  
Age: 32-years old 
(Credit Valley Golf and Country Club Professional) 
 
Member of the 2019 Canadian Women’s PGA Cup Team. Prior to turning professional, won the 2015 Ontario Women’s Mid-Amateur, firing 3-under par over the three-day event. Was named the 2021 PGA of Ontario Teacher of the Year as the Head Teaching Professional at Credit Valley Golf Club and was also nominated for Canadian Teacher of the Year.  
 
Caroline Ciot 
Age: 31-years old  
(Golf Chateau Bromont Apprentice Professional)  
 
Held status on the Symetra Tour in 2019, playing in two events. Finished as the low PGA of Canada professional at the 2022 ORORO PGA Women’s Championship in Bromont, Quebec and finished fourth at the event in 2021. Also won the professional division of the 2022 Glencoe Invitational earlier this summer in Calgary, Alberta.  
 
Christine Wong 
Age: 30-years old  
(University Golf Club Apprentice Professional)  
 
Member of the 2019 Canadian Women’s PGA Cup Team. Alumnae of the Golf Canada National Women’s Amateur Squad (2011-2013) and National Junior Squad (2010), and represented San Diego State University from 2009-2013, winning four individual titles. In addition, Wong is a two-time BC Women’s Amateur Champion and was the second-lowest amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open held at Oakmont Country Club in 2010. Most recently, Wong claimed the PGA of B.C.’s Women’s Championship in 2020 and claimed the 2021 ORORO PGA Women’s Championship of Canada.  
 
The first round is set to begin on October 27. More information and scoring can be found here.

PGA of Canada

Titleist & FootJoy renew partnership with PGA of Canada

The PGA of Canada announced it has renewed its partnership with Titleist & FootJoy, who will continue on as presenting sponsor of the PGA Training Academy.

The exclusive sponsorship will help the PGA of Canada continue to innovate within the PGA Training Academy – the association’s dynamic world-class education system designed to increase the value, integrity and employability of PGA of Canada professionals

“We are thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with Titleist and FootJoy as they remain presenting sponsor of the PGA Training Academy,” PGA of Canada CEO, Kevin Thistle. “PGA of Canada members have raved about the innovation and usability of the PGA Training Academy ever since its launch, and it could not have been accomplished without the help of our partners at Titleist & Footjoy, who have played an integral role in the support of the PGA of Canada and its members for decades.” 

As part of the partnership, PGA of Canada Zone education seminars will have the opportunity to secure keynote speakers and sponsored content that will be funded out of the national sponsorship on a rotational basis. The PGA of Canada will also provide marketing support for Titleist University and FootJoy University.

“PGA of Canada professionals play an important role in the leadership of the game in Canada, and we are beyond excited to continue supporting their education and professional growth. It has been incredible to see how many professionals have taken advantage of the PGA Training Academy in their development and we are committed to continue supporting the 3,700 PGA of Canada members from coast-to-coast for years to come,” said Acushnet Canada President Ted Manning. 

Titleist & FootJoy are also the founding partner of the PGA of Canada Retirement Advantage Program, which gives members an opportunity to increase their RRSP contributions through various offers. 

To view the PGA of Canada Training Academy presented by Titleist & FootJoy, click here.

PGA of Canada

Gord Percy named 49th President of the PGA of Canada

Gord Percy
Credit: PGA of Canada

An introduction from his daughter, Paige Percy 

Today, Gord Percy was named the 49th president of the PGA of Canada at the association’s Annual General Meeting. The PGA of Canada, first established in 1911 is the second oldest and third largest professional golf association in the world. 

Percy is an esteemed community member, golf professional, and golf industry leader. I would also say he is the best father in the world. He once said in an article about his career that his primary motivation is his children, so it feels only fitting that his daughter is the one to introduce him as the new President of the PGA of Canada. 

I was lucky enough to work for my dad for many years at Carleton Golf and Yacht Club as a back shop and pro shop employee (since then, my dad has moved to become the Head Professional and General Manager at Smiths Falls Golf Club). 

One of my favourite parts of working for him was our drives to and from work. Sometimes during those drives, we would listen to the news or music, but more often than not we would talk about golf – not just about how he was playing, but about growing the game, changes in the industry, and memories over his lifetime. These conversations brought up industry challenges, dreams of what golf could be in the future, and a lot of nostalgia.

My favourite stories my dad tells are often about his adventures and experiences as a young golfer in his hometown of Verona, Ontario. He was first introduced to golf, not at a course, but at home, by his babysitter while his parents were at work. He transitioned from playing golf around the house to Rivendell Golf Course (although he certainly still plays a lot of golf around the house, even today).

He still holds the course record of an 11-under par, 60 at Rivendell!

Growing up, I often heard stories about him giving golf lessons to senior members, setting course records, and making shots he sometimes still considers his best. 

Although an injury changed his career trajectory, he still aspired to work in the golf industry and ended up getting a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education from Queens University and a Professional Golf Management Graduate Certificate from Humber College. 

His ability to change direction, persevere and still follow his passions are the same qualities he has instilled in my brother and me. He has always emphasized the importance of pursuing education, whether formal or informal, which the PGA of Canada has further supported through their Ian Webb scholarship program for members’ spouses, children, and grandchildren. 

At home and at work, supporting education and professional development is a top priority for my dad.

“I think the big things for me are finding ways to get pros into jobs where they can have successful careers and can stay with it,” he says. “You used to hear stories about pros working a ton, not making a lot of money, and not having that work-life balance. I think we’re moving in the right direction but there is still some work to do. The education, continuing being innovative with it, and getting more people interested and using that platform – that is all very important to me.” 

It’s clear that growing the game of golf has always been a passion for my dad. This is particularly evident when he runs junior golf camps or gives junior lessons. During these camps I got to watch so many young people become passionate about golf through his teaching. His ability to inspire and teach is a talent he’s had since the beginning of his career. 

I’m so proud that to him growing the game isn’t just about getting more people to play. Rather, it is about making sure that as the game of golf grows in an inclusive way. Whether it is attending events for military veterans golfing, working with organizations to provide youth memberships, or prioritizing growing the game for women, he works to make sure golf grows inclusively. 

He was instrumental in having Brooke and Brittney Henderson both join the PGA of Canada and is proud he was part of naming our Female Player of the Year award after Brooke.  Having known the family since his early days of being a professional he is proud to have fit Brittney for her first set of Ping Clubs that would later become Brooke’s.  Brooke went on to use an old 46 inch extra stiff driver with his name imprinted on it that she had much amateur success with.  He jokes its his fault she chokes up on her clubs.   

The PGA of Canada has also taken this up through their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, which he was involved with and personally invested in. This extends his commitment to making sure that golf takes care of its professionals. He says priority for him going into his presidency is ensuring golf professionals across Canada have access to support, such as through the Members Assistance Program, the mentorship program, and the Benevolent Fund. 

 “Another thing that really is important to me; I’d like to find a way to help our members more – in sync with the Benevolent Fund – whether it is getting them more benefits from being a golf professional, or more value added so that we can help everybody out,” he says.

Over the last several years, it’s been so exciting to watch my dad take on his board leadership roles, first with the PGA of Ottawa, and most recently with the PGA of Canada. I’ve seen him work with people across the country and globally, making sure the golf industry is not only innovative, but fun. I most recently witnessed this during the 2021 RBC PGA Scramble, which brought professional and amateur golfers from across Canada together in Cape Breton. The event highlighted how golf experiences can change people’s lives and bring people together, something my dad truly appreciates and emphasizes in his work. 

The 2021 season marked his 25th season as a PGA professional. During his career he has won numerous tournaments and has received accolades such as Ottawa Zone Teacher of the Year, Assistant of the Year, and Golf Professional of the Year. Although he has amassed many trophies and awards over the years, he always says he’s most proud of being a father. Likewise, as he becomes President of the PGA of Canada, I am still most proud along with my brother Ethan that he is our father. 

Percy succeeds Teejay Alderdice as President, while Scott Kolb becomes Vice-President of the Association. In addition, Tiffany Gordon becomes the first female Secretary of the Association. 

The full list of Directors of the Association includes: 

For 3 years 
Alberta – Mrs. Tiffany Gordon 
Ontario – Mr. Simon Bevan 

Québec – Mr. Rémi Bouchard 

For 2 Years
Northern Ontario – Mr. Travis Spiess
Manitoba – Mr. Adam Boge 

Ottawa – Mr. Gordon Percy 

For 1 Year 
British Columbia – Mr. Scott Kolb 
Saskatchewan – Mr. Jeff Chambers 
Atlantic – Mr. Gordon Smith

  

PGA of Canada

PGA of Canada to conduct tournaments in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, New Brunswick and Arizona

PGA of Canada

(ACTON – ON) – The PGA of Canada is pleased to announce the national championship schedule for the 2022 season. While the 2021 season saw all events condensed into the final few months of the summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are excited to return to spreading our events throughout the summer and fall months this season. 

The 2022 schedule is highlighted by the 100th playing of the BetRegal PGA Championship of Canada. With a list of champions that includes greats of the game like Arnold Palmer, Moe Norman and Lee Trevino, the 100th edition of the event is going to be a special celebration for the association and history of the tournament.

The 72-hole event will lead off our tournament season, June 20-24 at Beacon Hall Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario. The defending champion is Riley Fleming, who teaches out of Lynx Ridge Golf Club. 


From there, we will quickly move east to Bromont, Quebec, for the PGA Women’s Championship of Canada. Chateau Bromont will host the top professional and amateur women in the country June 28-July 1 for the 54-hole event. This is the first year that the PGA of Canada will run the event alongside our friends at Golf Quebec. Christine Wong, who teaches out of University Golf Club, is the defending champion. 

For the first time, in 2021, the Seniors’ Championship of Canada was held in conjunction with the BetRegal PGA Championship of Canada due to the condensed schedule. We are pleased that the top senior players aged 50 and up in Canada will have a standalone event this year. Supported by the event’s new presenting sponsor GOLFTEC, the 54-hole PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada is set for August 23-26 at Connaught Golf Club in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Last year’s event was won by tournament player Dennis Hendershott.  

The first of those two events is our final championship hosted on Canadian soil this year, as the 54-hole PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada presented by Callaway Golf is slated for September 11-14 at The Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. The 2021 event was won by Vespra Hills Golf Club Apprentice Professional Branson Ferrier. 

Finally, the top head professionals, head teaching pros, executive professionals, and general managers from across Canada will look forward to December sunshine as the Head Professional Championship of Canada presented by Callaway Golf with support from G&G Brands will be played at Verrado Golf Club – VICTORY COURSE in Buckeye, Arizona, December 5-8. The defending champion is Nick Kenney, Head Teaching Professional at The National Golf Club. 

Verrado Golf Club previously hosted the Head Professional Championship of Canada in 2015, when Danny King won by two strokes over James Skrypec. Participants this year are in for a new experience, as the 2015 event was held at the Founders Course at Verrado Golf Club, while this year’s event will be played on the VICTORY COURSE. 

Please note that as of 2019, the Board of Directors approved guidelines allowing female members to participate in the PGA, Seniors’, Assistants’ and Head Professional Championships from a yardage of 86-88% shorter than the other competitors.

“We are heading into this year’s national championships with a lot of momentum after successfully crowning champions at all of our events in 2021,” said PGA of Canada president Teejay Alderdice. “We are so thankful to all of the venues that have stepped up this year to host events. We have an incredible group of courses across Canada and the US that will allow us to find five more worthy champions.”

Registration for the championships will open in the coming weeks.

PGA of Canada

Golf Canada becomes Official Handicap Partner of RBC PGA Scramble

The PGA of Canada announced today that the RBC PGA Scramble has added Golf Canada as the Official Handicap Partner of the program, welcoming the national governing body’s involvement throughout the local and regional qualifying stages and leading into the National Championship at Cabot Cape Breton. 

The partnership position will see Golf Canada play an enhanced role in competitor handicap verification—an important consideration towards the fairness and integrity of the RBC PGA Scramble—as the national program continues to add more qualifiers throughout Canada. 

“Adding Golf Canada as the official Handicap Partner is absolutely massive for the RBC PGA Scramble and further establishes it as the premier amateur team event in the country,” said PGA of Canada CEO Kevin Thistle. “The reputation Golf Canada has is second-to-none, and there is no other entity more qualified to ensure the integrity of the program and its participants.” 

New this year, the Handicap Index that a player competes with at a local qualifier will act as the ceiling as that player advances through the following stages of the RBC Scramble. Handicap Indexes that decrease between qualifying stages will be used at their current status. 

While other team handicap rules for the RBC PGA Scramble remain consistent with past years, Golf Canada’s involvement will help verify each player’s scoring records prior to the respective local, regional, or national competition.

While Golf Canada has previously supported the PGA of Canada in this capacity, the two organizations will streamline the handicap verification process and ensure the competition continues to be fair for all teams. 

“A fair and equitable competition makes for a fun golf experience and we are very excited to take a larger position in supporting the growth of the RBC Scramble,” said Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer Kevin Blue. “The RBC PGA Scramble has become a must-play grassroots competition for golfers across the country and we are thrilled to support our partners at the PGA of Canada and RBC in this terrific program.” 

The PGA of Canada and Golf Canada have a long history of collaboration, working together to advance the sport through a number of programs and initiatives including Safe Sport, high performance and grassroots golf, player development, coaching, and the launch of First Tee – Canada. 

Registration for local RBC PGA Scramble qualifiers across the country is now open. For a full list of RBC Scramble qualifiers and to register your team, click here. PGA of Canada golf professionals interested in hosting a local qualifier can click here for more information. 

PGA of Canada

PGA of Canada honours newest inductees and award recipients

During a virtual award ceremony held Thursday evening, the PGA of Canada recognized its newest class of Hall of Fame inductees, as well as recipients for annual awards.

“We are blessed to have a family of over 3,600 professionals who proudly share their passion and expertise with golfers from coast-to-coast,” said Teejay Alderdice, the association’s president. “On behalf of the PGA of Canada, I would like to congratulate all nominees and finalists for their outstanding accomplishments this year”

Award recipients are as follows:

Moe Norman Apprentice Professional of the Year

Winner: Bri-Ann Tokariwski

Bri-ann Tokariwski’s overall performance can be summed up by three things: ‘ambition’, ‘hard work’ and ‘can-do attitude.’ No matter the day, she greets members and guests with a smile on her face and is always looking for ways to help the other staff at the club. Developing herself professionally each day through various programs, seminars and podcasts, she puts the information into practice with all the programs she runs and participates in, making every professional around her strive to do better.

Tokariwski has completely revamped the junior program at Elmhurst, consistently bringing new, fun programming, working to grow the game at the grassroots level. Over 500 hours of Tokariwski’s season is spent teaching and coaching, with more than half of those hours going towards women and juniors. She stops at nothing to help her students reach their goals.

Outside of her work at the club, Tokariwski’s focus in 2021 was taking over the Provincial Junior Girls Development Team as Head Coach. She put together a program that focused on developing skills, the mental game, nutrition, conditioning, and confidence. Two provincial champions ended up coming from Tokariwski’s program, and eight girls competed in the National Junior Championship.

Tokariwski motivates and inspires those around her by leading by example and showing what can be accomplished through hard work. Through her work in the shop at Elmhurst, her work with juniors, both at the competitive and grass roots levels, and her leadership, she is succeeding in growing the game.

Finalists: 

Dominik Boucher, GreyHawk Golf Club, Ottawa Zone
Chris Carlaw, The Links at Brunello, Atlantic Zone
Matt Gillett, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, British Columbia Zone
Natalie Gleadall, Whistle Bear Golf Club, Ontario Zone
Sarah-Andréa Landry, Club De Golf Pinegrove, Quebec Zone
Bri-ann Tokariwski, Elmhurst Golf & Country Club, Manitoba Zone
Rachel Wiebe, Windermere Golf & Country Club, Alberta Zone

Ben Kern Coach of the Year

Winner: Mike Martz

Despite already being one of Canada’s most educated coaches, Mike Martz, Teaching Professional at the Ontario Golf Academy, never stops his pursuit of learning to grow even stronger in his craft. While Martz has coached a long list of professionals and amateurs alike, many of whom are NCAA champions, it’s his work towards making the game more inclusive that truly makes him a role model. 

For 12 years, Martz spearheaded the Golfers with Disabilities program, each summer introducing 20 children and young adults with mental or physical challenges to golf. Martz also coached Natasha Stasiuk to victory at the first Ontario Disability Golf Championship. His students know him as a harder worker, a mentor and a leader who always puts his students first and is passionate about their success. Finally, Martz has never failed to share his knowledge with others, giving his time to various podcasts, golf magazines and fellow professionals looking for mentorship from one of the country’s best.

Finalists: 

Derek Ingram, Elmhurst Golf & Country Club, Manitoba Zone
Conner Kozak, Okanagan Golf Club, British Columbia Zone
Mike Martz, The Ontario Golf Academy, Ontario Zone
Louis Melanson, Louis Melanson Golf Academy, Atlantic Zone
Jamie Reimer, Golfuture, Alberta Zone
Jason Schneider, Wildwood Golf Course, Saskatchewan Zone
Antoine St-Jean, Génération Golf, Quebec Zone

Tex Noble Professional Development Award

Winner: Anne Rogerson

Whether it’s by organizing Home and Home women’s events for clubs around Quebec, working with her many students to help them excel, mentoring other staff at Hillsdale, continuously learning through educational opportunities or volunteering her time and sharing her ideas on the PGA of Quebec Board of Directors, Anne Rogerson excels in everything she does, and does so with a smile and kindness that is infectious. 

Though she has only been at Hillsdale Golf Club for a year, the members already refer to her as “our Anne” because of her tireless work throughout the season and her constant positive energy. Her mantra is “get 1% better every single day and never stop learning”, which she has demonstrated throughout her entire career and continued through the 2021 season. 

Rogerson is known by her peers as responsible, organized and dedicated, with a business sense and a straightforwardness that is appreciated by all. Entrusted with the development of a beginner program, she thrived and the renewal rate for next season is 95%. Her tangible presence among the leaders of our industry shows her constant desire to grow the game of golf collectively. Her extensive knowledge is noticeable, and her ideas are always genuine and administratively logical. Although her resume already testifies to her vastly sharpened business skills, it is her emotional intelligence that stands out the most.

Finalists: 

Dennis Bradley, Copper Point Golf Club, British Columbia Zone
Tyler Cameron, Credit Valley Golf & Country Club, Ontario Zone
Anne Rogerson, Hillsdale Golf Inc., Quebec Zone
Chris Ward, Edmonton Petroleum Golf & C.C., Alberta Zone

Stan Leonard Class “A” Professional of the Year 

Winner: Stephanie Lam

Through her leadership, values and work effort, Stephanie Lam’s professionalism has rubbed off on everyone around her at The Pulpit Club. Lam excels in all aspects as a golf professional, in particular her outstanding service to customers, her eye for detail and her ability to lead by example and mentorship. Those who have been around her have greatly benefitted from her leadership and many have advanced their own careers thanks to her. Lam works to make the industry better through collaboration and an inclusive mindset. 

Despite a heavy workload, she still finds time to teach students from the Pulpit Club, and her former club, Beacon Hall, and she approaches each lesson with an outstanding amount of preparation. In addition, she was central to the success of multiple philanthropic events – the Southlake Regional Health Center Golf Tournament and a local Soldier On golf event for veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces. The dedication Lam brings to the sport and the Pulpit Club make her the deserving recipient of the Stan Leonard Class “A” Professional of the Year award.

Finalists: 

Shawn Banfield, Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club Ltd., Ottawa Zone
Travis Carr, Belvedere Golf Club Inc., Atlantic Zone
Brent Eikelenboom, The Legends Golf Club, Saskatchewan Zone
Jeremy Gallant, St. Charles Country Club, Manitoba Zone
Stephanie Lam, The Pulpit Club – Pulpit, Ontario Zone
Alexandre Ouellette, Club De Golf Le Blainvillier, Quebec Zone
Gord Scutt, Victoria Golf Club, British Columbia Zone
Chris Ward, Edmonton Petroleum Golf & C.C., Alberta Zone

George Knudson Teacher of the Year 

Winner: Tim Wilson

Since joining Shaughnessy in 2017, Wilson has increased his lesson revenue each year and has helped the club increase their lesson revenue in total by 30% in 2021. In addition to Wilson’s work at the club, he is the swing coach for both the UBC men’s and women’s golf teams, and St George’s Academy team. 

Wilson worked with over 150 different players in 2021, including the club’s men’s, women’s and junior club champions, the men’s club captain and the runner-up at the 2021 BC Men’s Amateur Championship. Wilson also pitches in 24-30 hours per week in the golf shop, supporting the golf professionals and the active membership at Shaughnessy. 

After being named Lead Teaching Professional this past season, Wilson took it upon himself to create a welcoming lineup of instruction and courses after being unable to due to Covid in 2020. In total, Wilson created seven new programs and camps for members at the club, in addition to his regularly scheduled lessons. 

Finalists: 

Josh Fleming, GOLFTEC (Calgary Beacon Heights), Alberta Zone
Derrik Goodwin, St. Charles Country Club in 2021, Manitoba Zone
Patricia Jonas, Saskatoon Golf & Country Club, Saskatchewan Zone
Derek MacDonald, Royal Ottawa Golf Club, Ottawa Zone
Jeff MacDonald, Ashburn Golf Club, Atlantic Zone
Sylvie Schetagne, Golf-Tonus PTMT, Quebec Zone
Casey Ward, Credit Valley Golf & Country Club, Ontario Zone
Tim Wilson, Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, British Columbia Zone

Mike Weir Male Player of the Year

Winner: Mike Flemming

Fleming managed to pick up what he called “the biggest win of (my) career” this past summer at the BetRegal PGA Championship of Canada – and he did it in record breaking fashion. In the history of the event, won in the past by the likes of Arnold Palmer, Moe Norman and Lee Trevino, nobody has gone as low as Fleming, who shot 66-63-68-66 to win by three strokes at Parcours du Vieux Village in Bromont, Quebec. 

In addition, Fleming managed to battle back from an opening round 74 at the PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada with rounds of 66 and 69 to place in a tie for third. 

A month before his triumph at the National Championship, Fleming won the PGA of Alberta’s Cobra Puma Golf Assistants’ Championship in a playoff over Grant Numrich, firing 64-71 at the two-day event.  

Finalists: 

Marc-Etienne Bussieres, Golf et Académie Longchamp, Quebec Zone
Riley Fleming, Lynx Ridge Golf Club, Alberta Zone
Danny King, The Performance Academy at Magna, Ontario Zone
Alan McLean, Echo Valley Golf Club, Ontario Zone
Kevin Stinson, Cheam Mountain Golf Course, British Columbia Zone

Jack McLaughlin Junior Leader of the Year 

Winner: Chris Dickenson

Chris Dickenson, the Head Teaching Professional at the Ontario Golf Academy at Whistle Bear Golf Club, has done a tremendous job growing the game for juniors at the club, both at the grassroots level and for competitive players at the club. In total, over 450 juniors were put through various programming in 2021, including a girls and boys club, a “Toonie Tuesday” junior league (Dickenson worked with the club to secure 10 tee times every Tuesday morning during the summer for the juniors) and a competitive players team. Dickenson coached the competitive players to 47 wins at various tournaments throughout the country in 2021.

In addition, Dickenson was imperative in the creation of the Michael Gligic Scholarship, with support from Titleist and Levelwear, which provided the recipient with a golf membership, as well as a year-long coaching package, clothing, and golf clubs. Dickenson also helped many of the juniors who were feeling down during the pandemic with a “Let Us Play” campaign and helped them send over 250 letters to members of parliament, paving the way for the re-opening of golf in the province last Spring.

Finalists: 

Elizabeth Asselin, Club De Golf Royal Quebec, Quebec Zone
Travis Carr, Belvedere Golf Club Inc., Atlantic Zone
Chris Dickenson, The Ontario Golf Academy, Ontario Zone 
Derrik Goodwin, St. Charles Country Club in 2021, Manitoba Zone
Paul Schatz, Joanne Goulet Golf Course, Saskatchewan Zone
Dale Trafford, Canadian Golf & Country Club, Ottawa Zone
Stephanie Wong, Point Grey Golf & Country Club, British Columbia Zone 
Stephen Yanitski, Valley Ridge Golf Club, Alberta Zone 

Warren Crosbie Community Leader of the Year

Winner: Todd Keirstead

Todd Keirstead has dedicated his life to philanthropic purposes. To Keirstead, golf is more than a game, golf has the power to open the mind to what is possible. Formerly a successful trick shot artist who has helped raise millions of dollars for numerous charities and beneficiaries in his career, Keirstead now works steadfast with ParaGolf Canada, an organization he founded that empowers, challenges and inspires individuals to strive to achieve their own goals and live life to the fullest regardless of their disability. 

Keirstead currently serves on multiple boards and has spoken to various organizations on the importance of the involvement of individuals of all abilities to the game of golf. ParaGolf Canada serves individuals with physical disabilities and sensory disabilities, including vision impairment, plus those with spinal cord injuries, wounded veterans and first responders. Keirstead looks to continue making positive change in the golf industry, striving to make the game more inclusive every day. 

Finalists:

Michael Feyko, Soldier On Canada, Atlantic Zone
Todd Keirstead, Paragolf Canada, Ontario Zone
Naixin Li, So Golf Academy, Ontario Zone
Jacklynn Miller, South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club, Ontario Zone 
James Steep, Southwood Golf & Country Club, Manitoba Zone

Dick Munn Executive Professional of the Year

Winner: Alan Scott

Alan Scott lends his expertise to all 10 of Lakeland Golf Management’s facilities and is heavily involved in the management of its five Manitoba Courses. In the past, Scott has served on the Board of Directors for both the PGA of Canada, which he was president of in 2004 and 2005, and the Manitoba Zone, which he was president of in 1995 and 1996. Scott leads by example and is well respected by not only the golf professionals and departments heads at Lakeland, but professionals throughout the zone and country. Scott encourages everyone to come in and discuss anything, including suggestions that may improve the overall operation of the business. 

Scott’s passion for junior golf has always burned bright. Scott played a large role in the creation of the “Future Links” junior program and the courses he oversees take part in the NGCOA’s “Kids Play Free” program. Scott’s hard work and professionalism led to his induction into the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame in 2018. 

Finalists: 

Chris Barber, The Landings Golf Course and Teaching Centre, Ottawa Zone
Adam Chamberlain, Gowan Brae Golf Club, Atlantic Zone
Patrick Coli, Carnmoney Golf Club, Alberta Zone
Russ Latimer, Black Mountain Golf Club, British Columbia Zone
Chris Neale, Summit Golf & Country Club, Ontario Zone
Andre Raymond, Club de Golf La Tempete, Quebec Zone
Alan Scott, Lakeland Group of Companies – Falcon Lake Golf Course, Manitoba Zone
McLaren Taylor, Saskatoon Golf & Country Club, Saskatchewan Zone

Pat Fletcher Retailer of the Year

Winner: Dennis Firth

For the first time in its 147-year history, Royal Montreal transitioned to a club-owned merchandise concession starting with the 2020 golf season. The shift in business philosophy has resulted in a rewarding and highly successful partnership between the golf club and its professional staff. The member shopping experience was elevated while also engaging and retaining shop employees.

Prior to last season, Firth built out a full 12-month marketing campaign to empower and engage the team at Royal Montreal during the busy summer months. Because the club has 45 holes and 50 staff members, including nine PGA of Canada professionals, much of the day-to-day goes toward member services, so this plan was imperative to the merchandising success of the club in 2021.

Daily and weekly checklists were created for the shop. Everything from uniform schedule to proper spacing of the hangers was considered to provide an exceptional retail environment for members. Inventory was also changed out four times, exceeding their goal of three, in 2021, to account for a spring, summer, fall and holiday season.

The dedication that Firth and the entire staff at Royal Montreal demonstrated to make these changeovers happen in the shop was exemplary – with everything from displays to a “feature wall” being taken care of with exceptional attention to detail. This was key to the club having their most successful retail season ever, registering a gross revenue increase of 48% compared to 2020 and 94% from 2019, making Firth a worthy recipient of the Pat Fletcher Retailer of the Year Award.

Finalists:

Rob Anderson, Kelowna Golf & Country Club, British Columbia Zone
Kyle Corriveau, Fort McMurray Golf Club, Alberta Zone
Kris Ehnes, Breezy Bend Country Club, Manitoba Zone
Dennis Firth, The Royal Montreal Golf Club, Quebec Zone
Brennen Gee, Saskatoon Golf & Country Club, Saskatchewan Zone
Bryan Mackasey, Summit Golf & Country Club, Ontario Zone
Danielle Nadon, Loch March Golf Club, Ottawa Zone
Chad Townsend, Gowan Brae Golf Club, Atlantic Zone

Brooke Henderson Female Player of the Year

Winner: Christine Wong

Christine Wong dominated the field this year at the DCM PGA Women’s Championship of Canada, shooting 70-69, winning by five strokes to claim the newly named Lorie Kane Trophy. Just a few short weeks later, she competed in the PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada, making the cut, and placing in a tie for 32nd

The tremendous performance on the course came after she took a two-year hiatus from golf following a year on the Symetra Tour. 

“I found a new outlook in life that helped me as an individual – balance. I learned that I needed balance in my life, and I was going to find out how,” says Wong. “I would have never found this balance if I didn’t take a step back from the game. It was suddenly one day, I thought to myself, I think I want to get back into golf.” 

Wong fully committed to teaching and playing in July of this past year, and the balance has paid off for her in her life. Wong is more than worthy of being the inaugural recipient of the Brooke Henderson Female Player of the Year Award. 

Finalists: 

Emma de Groot, Modern Golf (Oakville), Ontario Zone 
Katy Rutherford, Silver Springs Golf & Country Club, Alberta Zone
Grace St-Germain, Cedar Brae Golf Club, Ontario Zone
Casey Ward, Credit Valley Golf & Country Club, Ontario Zone
Christine Wong, University Golf Club, British Columbia Zone

Murray Tucker Golf Professional of the Year

Winner: Danielle Nadon

In 11 years as the Head Professional at Loch March, Danielle Nadon has done a fantastic job improving the club’s visibility through creativity and work ethic, proven by the number of rounds played per year increasing from 10,000 to 26,000 in her time at the club. 

Just this past year, Nadon launched a “Girls Night Out” class, which included four one-hour lessons, four glasses of wine and two nine hole playing passes per person – the initiative turned out to be an incredible success, with 119 registrants. 

In addition to her 12-years spent on the Ottawa Board of Directors, two of those years spent as President, Nadon spends much of her time giving back to the community. At the local YMCA, Nadon has given kids free lessons as part of their “Tee it up For Kids” program. Nadon also helped in establishing the Jeanne Fuller Red Dress event in the community, which raises funds in support of the Ottawa Heart Institute. The event has raised $1.5 million in its 13-year history. 

Mentored by the likes of Ray Haines, Richard McBrearty and Murray Tucker himself, Nadon lives by their mantra: “persevere and always try, never say no.” She now mentors those around her, inspiring young men and women to pursue their career by spending time with them, teaching them, giving them responsibilities, showing them great work ethic and rewarding them for their achievements.

Finalists: 

James Chapman, Glendale Country Club, Manitoba Zone
Marc Hurtubise, Club de golf le Parcours du Vieux Village, Quebec Zone
Jeremy Johnson, British Columbia Zone
Phil Kavanagh, Islington Golf Club, Ontario Zone
Jamie Moran, Belvedere Golf Club Inc., Atlantic Zone
Danielle Nadon, Loch March Golf Club, Ottawa Zone
Chris Schatzmann, Stewart Creek Golf Resort, Alberta Zone

George Cumming Distinguish Service

One of the most revered and recognized female golfers in Canada and around the world, Marlene Stewart Streit personifies the dedication and determination of Canadian golfers. Streit is the only player to have won the Canadian, U.S., British and Australian Amateur Championships. She is an inspiration to many of Canada’s top young female amateur golfers.

In total, Marlene has won 30 national or international amateur championships, with at least one championship in six different decades between 1951-2003. 

In addition to her unmatched playing pedigree, Streit went on to establish the Marlene Streit Awards Fund to support promising young golfers, and in 2004, she became Canada’s first member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Streit is also a Member of the Order of Canada, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Streit is also one of seven PGA of Canada Honorary Life Members. 

Hall of Fame Inductees

Harry Brotchie

Harry is a respected long-standing member of the PGA of Canada, current President of the NGCOA, Past PGA of Canada President (1993-1994), Past PGA of Manitoba Zone President (1985-1986), and has earned the PGA of Canada Master Professional designation (2003).  

Harry is the President and sole owner of Lakeland Golf Management Inc. which operates 5 golf courses in Manitoba, 4 facilities in Saskatchewan, and recently added a golf course in Alberta.

Warren Crosbie

Warren is a respected 50-year member of the PGA of Canada, Past PGA of Canada President, worked as head professional at Bayview Golf & Country Club for 33 years, and is an extremely involved PGA of Canada Member at both the National & Zone Levels. 

Though currently retired, he remains actively involved in several association affairs and is widely regarded as a benevolent and visionary leader. He was also inducted into the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame (Builder category) in 2018 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the game.

Gar Hamilton

Gar’s amateur and professional achievements span much of his lifetime. He has excelled in provincial, national and international play throughout his career. His most coveted wins were his four PGA of Canada Club Professional Championships (1997, 1992, 1990 & 1987) against his Canadian peers, qualifying him as one of the very best playing club professionals in Canada. He also triumphed by winning the 2002 PGA of Canada Seniors Championship and the Super Senior Championship in both 2014 & 2017.

Possibly his greatest achievements have come as Director of Golf at Mississauga Golf and Country Club – for 23 years he has directed all aspects of the Club. Gar is an excellent teacher to his members and tutored many young professionals. Gar was able to serve in his capacity as Director of Golf while still maintaining his own game at the highest level.

Stanley Horne (posthumous)

Stan was considered by many as a pioneer in the world of golf in Canada and Quebec. He was an exceptional player, with a unique talent who played in both PGA of Canada and PGA TOUR events, winning three successive PGA of Canada Championships (1936, 1937 and 1938) and finishing as runner-up in 1939 and 1941. He also claimed the 1962 PGA of Canada Seniors Championship. In addition, he also received two invitations to play the Masters – with his best finish in the form of a 15th place showing in 1938.

Don Price

Don’s accomplishments speak for themselves. Whether it was his five PGA of Alberta Club Professional of the Year awards in a row, (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 & 1980) the PGA of Canada Club Professional of the Year (1983), or the two PGA of Alberta’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. Countless hours of Association work on behalf of both the PGA of Alberta and PGA of Canada were done with the sole intent of advancing the standing and reputations of both in the community.    

Don was the President of the PGA of Alberta from 1976 to 1980 and was a very involved PGA of Alberta Advisor who mentored many professionals from 1989 to his retirement in 1998. 

Jim Rutledge

Jim has been successful throughout his entire lengthy career, from his win at the Canadian Juvenile Championship to his time on the PGA Tour Champions. In between, he has taken his talents to the four corners of the world, eschewing the traditional path of staying in North America. He has also represented Canada on numerous occasions in both the World Cup and the Dunhill Cup.

Jim has been a long time Tournament Professional with the PGA of Canada, winning the PGA of Canada Seniors Championship 6 times (2019, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2012 & 2010), and he also won the PGA of Canada Championship in 1984.

Nicol Thompson (posthumous) 

From 1923 to 1926, he served as the President of the PGA of Canada. Nicol won the PGA of Canada Championship in 1922 and was runner up in both 1919 and 1924. He also finished tied for second in the 1913 Canadian Open. In the 1930 Canadian Open, he led after two rounds, but was eventually defeated by Tommy Armour. 

Nicol Thompson was the older brother of Stanley Thompson, who is credited with being Canada’s greatest golf course architect. When Stanley Thompson returned from the First World War, he created a design firm alongside Nicol and George Cumming. 

Nicol is credited with designing much of Brantford, the original nine holes at Owen Sound, nine holes at Royal Muskoka, the original layout at Summit, the Windermere club (along with Cumming) and nine holes at Midland. He also worked with Stanley on both courses at Chedoke in Hamilton. Following his retirement from Hamilton G&CC, he worked with Stanley at Whirlpool, Niagara Parks in Niagara Falls, where he became that club’s first Pro/manager.

Click here for more information on the PGA of Canada Hall of Fame.

Inside Golf House PGA of Canada

Women in Coaching program applications now open for 2022

Women in Coaching program - Team Canada golf

Together with the PGA of Canada, Golf Canada is excited to announce the continuation of the National Women in Coaching program and formally open applications for the 2022 cohort. 

The Women in Coaching program is an initiative started in 2021 with nine participants, that strives to reach a stronger gender balance among high-performance coaches. Each participant receives in-depth career development support that is focused on four main areas: individualized learning plans, virtual and in-person coaching education, hands-on training experiences with coaches and top players, and new for 2022, integration with the PGA of Canada mentorship program.  

“The Women in Coaching program has given me access to a wealth of knowledge that I did not have and has allowed me to meet our country’s leaders in coaching,” said Sarah-Andréa Landry, 2021 program participant and PGA of Canada professional. “The opportunity to share experiences and leadership tools developed during this program allows me to actively contribute to my club, the players I coach and the golf industry in general.”

The 2022 cohort will kick off with an in-person session at the national junior squad training camp in Phoenix, Ariz., where participants shadow national team coaches and engage in content including technical skill development and women in sport leadership.  

“The Women in Coaching program presents an opportunity for some of Canada’s most-accomplished female leaders to further their career developments together,” said Jennifer Greggain, coach of Team Canada’s Junior Squads. “The strong collection of coaches will drive the initiative forward through knowledge and experience sharing on the way to building a foundation for the future.” 

Now in its second year, the program is led by Greggain, Glenn Cundari (Technical Director, PGA of Canada) and Emily Phoenix (Manager, High Performance Sport, Golf Canada). The program receives financial support through Sport Canada’s Safe Sport and Gender Equity Fund, along with contributions from the R&A and the Golf Canada Foundation Women’s Fund. 

How to apply

PGA of Canada professionals 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 Monday, Dec. 6 at 12 p.m. ET. 

PGA of Canada

Nick Kenney wins 2021 PGA Head Professional Championship of Canada by by four strokes

Nick Kenney

Fonthill, Ont. – When Nick Kenney’s second shot on the par-5 12th hole at Lookout Point Country Club hit the cart path and sailed 50 yards over the green, just minutes after Dean North hit it to tap-in length on the hole prior to get within two, it looked like the momentum may have been shifting at the PGA Head Professional Championship of Canada.

Momentum shifted alright – fully in Kenney’s favour. 

From behind the green, he blindly hit his next shot, with the green running away from him, to five feet – where he would make his birdie putt and take a four-stroke lead of the championship. 

The National Golf Club of Canada Head Teaching Professional never looked back, making three more birdies on his way into the clubhouse to win by four strokes over Danny King and defending champion Gord Burns. 

“I don’t think it’s settled in yet,” said Kenney with the trophy in hand. “I think by far this is the biggest win of my career so far. This is the first time I’ve played the Head Pro Championship, so to be the champion with some of the others on that trophy, it hasn’t settled in yet, but it’s quite an honour and I feel so lucky to have won.”

Kenney noted that this was the first time he has been in a situation with a chance to win since the 2019 PGA of Ontario Zone Championship, which he thought back to and had a similar mindset, trying to get as low as possible.  

“I figured I had to keep going under par,” said Kenney, who takes home $9,000 with the victory. “I had a great feeling this week and my putter felt good in my hands. You have to think about every shot at this golf course, which really kept me in the moment, and I was able to execute.”

Kenney also noted that he received lots of support between the first and final round – which continued into the post-round celebration. 

“Every pro I’ve worked with and all my friends and family, I’ve heard from all of them, and with social media these days, it has really brought my friends and family into the mix a little bit,” said Kenney. “I briefly looked at my phone, I have lots of messages to get back to, and it’s amazing they get to see what is going on.” 

Moreover, a relatively recent father, Kenney notes how their support and having them in his life has changed his mindset playing tournament golf.  

“Being a parent puts everything in perspective. Having kids now, you appreciate everything, and it calms you down on the golf course,” said Kenney. “The pressure isn’t quite there. if I don’t perform, I’m not too upset and I’m a role model for them as well.”  

Lookout Point Country Club, which is set to celebrate its centennial season in 2022, was a true test of golf this week, with only four players finishing the week under par. In addition, 30 volunteers, most of whom are members at the club, stepped up to help put on the terrific event which was hosted for the first time in Canada since 2003. 

“The golf course, volunteers and sponsors stepped up big time,” noted Kenney. “For the volunteers to come and sit out for hours and show us where our golf balls are and give up their golf course for four days, it was incredible. I had heard nothing but good things about Lookout Point and now it holds a very special place in my heart. I can’t wait to come back here.” 

See the full leaderboard here.



PGA of Canada

Team from Whitetail Golf Club wins 2021 RBC PGA Scramble National Championship

winning team of four men holding trophy
Jonathan Schaler, Jouni Jutila, Manraj Grewal, Josh Hooper and Head Pro Jason McGrath at the 2021 RBC Scramble

When you think of the great pressure players of all time, you think of Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky. Well, Joshua Hooper better be in those conversations from this day forward. 

That’s a hyperbolic statement; but nonetheless, an amateur player hitting the shots down the stretch Hooper did is clutch. 

While it was a nail-biting finish on the back nine of the 2021 RBC PGA Scramble National Championship, the team from Whitetail Golf Club in Eganville, Ontario separated themselves from the pack during the final two holes at Cabot Links, thanks to team member Hooper. 

Maybe it was something in the water, or maybe it was something in the Cabot Cape Breton air, we may never know, but we do know that Hooper has that clutch gene.  

From 40-feet away on the 17th hole and trailing the team from Black Mountain by a stroke, Hooper stepped up and curled in the left-to-right breaker, sending his team, consisting of Jonathan Schaler, Jouni Jutila, Manraj Grewal, and Jason McGrath, the Head Professional at Stittsville Golf Course, into a frenzy.  

On the very next hole, from a downhill lie, Hooper clutched up again, hitting a 7-iron to two feet, as one of his teammates yelled, “Hooper is so clutch it’s disgusting.” 

For the full leaderboard from the final round, click here.

After all was said and done, the team from Whitetail were victorious by a stoke over the team from Black Mountain Golf Club. 

“Everything was incredible, the courses were outstanding, the people were a blast, breakfast and dinner was awesome, everything was great, there was nothing that could have been better,” said Jonathan Schaler after the win. “Winning was pretty cool too, we started in the back of the pack and moved up in crazy weather on moving day on the Cliffs.” 

Schaler is correct about the weather – the 50 km/h gusts led to scores being 5.7 strokes higher than a day prior on Monday. 

“We were pumped we got to play in such high winds, then we got a day like this, there was nothing that could have been better,” continued Schaler. 

Located in Inverness, N.S., Cabot Cape Breton is Canada’s first and only authentic links golf resort. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the picturesque town of Inverness, the Cabot Links course represents a dramatic departure from the typical golf excursion. With six holes playing directly alongside the water and every hole offers an ocean view, Cabot Links is where traditional links-land golf comes to life against the spectacular Nova Scotia landscape.

This year’s RBC PGA Scramble was bigger than ever, with a record-setting 154 local qualifiers across the country hosting nearly 13,000 participants. In short – it was once again the amateur golf event of the summer. 

“RBC was great, Cabot was great, our caddies were awesome,” said Schaler. “After we played the first round, nobody that we saw the whole night had anything but great things to say about the event. When can we sign up for next year?” 

Playing earlier in the day, the group from Oakfield Golf Club echoed the Whitetail group’s statements about the event. 

“Thank you very much to RBC, Cabot and the PGA of Canada  for this week and making it happen,” said Oakfield Golf Club Head Professional Ryan O’Connor. “We really appreciate all the hard work and long hours and everything that goes into an event like this, it was excellent, so well done to everyone.”  

PGA of Canada

Cabot Cape Breton set for RBC PGA Scramble National Finals

The trip of a lifetime is back.

80 amateurs from across the country who managed to claw their way through local and regional qualifiers are joined by 20 PGA of Canada Professionals, who comprise the 20 teams looking to claim the title of RBC PGA Scramble National Champions.

For these 20 teams, qualifying was quite the journey as a record-setting number of over 12,500 golfers competed in the RBC PGA Scramble this year. The journey finally comes to a peak October 3-5 as players set foot on Cabot Cape Breton in Inverness, Nova Scotia for the 54-hole championship at the Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links courses.

“We are so thrilled, here at Cabot Cape Breton, to once again host the RBC PGA Scramble,” said Cabot Cape Breton General Manager Andrew Alkenbrack. “We have been looking forward to this day for some time now and are excited to welcome everyone back from across the country. There is nothing quite like seeing players reactions when they arrive on site for the first time. This is going to be a very exciting week for everyone involved.”

In 2020, Cabot Cliffs was ranked the No. 1 course in Canada by ScoreGolf while Cabot Links was ranked No. 5.

Located in Inverness, N.S., Cabot Links is Canada’s first and only authentic links golf resort. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the picturesque town of Inverness, the Cabot Links course represents a dramatic departure from the typical golf excursion. With six holes playing directly alongside the water and every hole offering an ocean view, Cabot Links is where traditional links-land golf comes to life against the spectacular Nova Scotia landscape.

The Cabot Cliffs course, designed by the decorated team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, is exquisitely carved out of the breathtaking Cape Breton landscape. With postcard-worthy panoramas vying for your attention and every hole calling out to the sea, it is links-land golf at its best.

“To play those Cabot courses, it’s a dream come true. They’re about as good as it gets for golf in Canada,” said Ryan Secord, who qualified for the National Championship alongside his father, Kelly, as well as another father/son duo in Kyle and Don Scott. “None of us have been out to Cabot before, I’ve never been east of Quebec City, so we keep pulling up pictures and videos from their website, we’re really pumped about it.”

The Secord’s and Scott’s, who are joined by PGA of Canada member Matt Lorenz at the Championship, originally qualified for the Regional Finals from the Bridges Golf Course in Starbuck, Manitoba.

While the qualifiers were relatively smooth sailing for the Bridges players, who qualified from the Elmhurst Country Club Regional Final, the same can’t quite be said for the team from Langara Golf Course. A fender-bender prior to the B.C. West Regional Final almost squashed their Cabot hopes before they could begin.

“Two teammates and I ended up getting rear ended on the Sea to Sky Highway, so it was a pretty crazy day and we arrived just in time and didn’t get a warmup,” said Kevin Sandher. “Luckily my car was drivable, and we gave ourselves lots of time in the morning, but we realized we had to get there quick after we ensured everybody was okay.”

Sandher’s team, consisting of a group of friends who, like many across the country, picked up the game during the pandemic as it was the only way they were able to see each other, didn’t let the crazy morning affect their play as they won by two strokes.

Other anecdotes from teams ahead of the National Finals includes one team who needed birdie on the final hole of the Regional Qualifier to qualify, and hit their approach shot to 2-feet just as the drums dropped in In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins from the team’s speaker – you know what I’m talking about.

One other team noted that they had scheduled multiple meet ups prior to the event at an indoor simulator to practice on the Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs courses – we’re willing to bet their experience on the East Coast is going to one-up the time spent in the simulator.

The RBC PGA Scramble promises to be a golf trip of a lifetime and includes numerous receptions, an authentic east coast kitchen party, a night golf experience under stadium lighting on Cabot’s newly opened par-3 course called “The Nest”, prizing, meals, activations and much more.

Players and tournament staff are following all government mandates regarding COVID-19 to ensure the safety of everybody on site, including requiring full vaccinations from all participants.

Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member and golf media personality Bob Weeks will be on-site during championship week as an honorary starter, as well as Canadian professional golfers Stuart MacDonald and Jared du Toit.

MacDonald had quite the 2020-2021 season on the Korn Ferry Tour. Heading into the season with conditional status, four top-10 finishes led to MacDonald finishing 60th on the money list, granting him full status in 2022 as he chases a PGA TOUR card.

Meanwhile, Du Toit is fresh off what may be the biggest win of his career, winning the ATB Financial Classic on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada in his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, just a matter of weeks ago.