During National Volunteer Week, April 16th-22nd, Golf Ontario hosted a series of Officials Days where the many volunteer officials that help deliver our tournaments and competitions gathered to kick off the 2023 season. It was during this week, and in front of their peers, that Golf Ontario CEO Kyle McFarlane presented the Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award and the 2022 Volunteer of the Year Award to Jim Davidson and Dennis McEntee respectively.
The Dick Grim Distinguished Service Award – Jim Davidson
The Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award is considered the highest honor recognizing individual service to the game of golf in Ontario. The award is named after Richard H. Grimm, who was affectionately known as “Mr. Canadian Open” for his service to the event from 1965 to 1993.
Golf Ontario’s Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual’s meritorious service as a volunteer. Recipients of this award embody the principles of integrity, dignity and commitment, which are central to the volunteer experience and to Mr. Grimm’s persona. This honor recognizes individuals who over a significant period of time have demonstrated outstanding leadership and involvement in the growth of Amateur Golf in Ontario. The recipient will also demonstrate a commitment to the vision and mission of Golf Ontario by promoting and upholding the values of the association and the game.
Jim is a deserving recipient having spent huge number of hours over the last half dozen years with Golf Ontario, Golf Canada and Golf Quebec. He is very involved with the junior program and player development. He set up a junior team to compete in OVGA events and both Ontario and Quebec summer games, he is a huge support for those athletes both in preparation and at events. He is also heavily involved in the changeover to Golf Genius and has been the main support. A dedicated referee with Golf Ontario, Golf Quebec and Golf Canada, working both amateur and professional events. He was responsible for getting two interns to support the OVGA over the last three years, writing and reporting the related government grants. He launched a junior girl’s golf league hosted at the Marshes Golf Club that includes instruction and golf for girls 12-18. He is an active OVGA board member for at least 6 years.
Volunteer of the Year – Dennis McEntee
The Golf Ontario Volunteer of the Year Award has been designed to recognize and honour a GO volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding performance and contributions. The GO volunteer of the year will be someone who has played an instrumental role in promoting the growth and development of golf while preserving the integrity and traditions of the game.
Dennis began volunteering with Golf Ontario in 2019 when he helped out at the Ontario Open. From that moment on, he immediately joined our volunteer team with Golf Ontario as a tournament official. For the past couple years Dennis has gotten involved anywhere he can and always brings a positive, and welcoming attitude to any position he is asked to do.
This past season Dennis has continued that and has worked more tournament days than any other tournament volunteer this season. He has done qualifiers and multiple championships. Many where he travelled to those events, staying overnight. And when doing so he would always do full days for us, whether it would begin at registration, moving to starting as well as scoring. On top of all the events Dennis has been at this year, he also offered to start and score at the PGA Championship of Canada at Beacon Hall in June.
Dennis has also helped the tournament team “off the course” as well this season. An avid wood worker. While at home in between events he worked, Dennis made us 4 sandwich board signs for our clocks to sit on at our events. And Dennis made us 6 wood boxes to transport our tee markers in.
Dennis has been a pleasure to work with this year. He is a delight to the players. They enjoy the friendly interactions with him at the 1st tee, and he follows that up seeing them again at scoring.
Golf Ontario appreciates the contributions of so many passionate volunteers that are an extension of our professional staff, and work together with us as we strive to deliver world class competitions.
For information on how you can volunteer with Golf Ontario and play a role in shaping lives through positive golf experiences, visit our Volunteer information page here.