Uxbridge, Ontario- With the 2023 Golf Ontario season getting underway, the association returned to a familiar location and time in the calendar, to play host to one of the most celebrated events of the season, the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame ceremony. Held last night at Wooden Sticks Golf Club, following the annual Partner Golf Day, three new members were welcomed into the Hall of Fame, and the prestigious Lorne Rubenstein Media Award was presented in front of friends, family, industry partners and media numbering well over 120 strong.
The event was presided over by acclaimed Canadian sports presenter and commentator, Rod Black who returned to the celebration as the MC. While the evening was to be a celebration of the many accomplishments by each of the inductees and award winner, Black started the evening in a somewhat somber way by recognizing the loss within the community of 2017 Lorne Rubenstein recipient Ian Hutchinson, who passed away over the previous weekend. Ian’s contributions to the game for many years were well known, and in many ways he was also known to be connected to past inductees by way of his many nominations of colleagues across the sector.
The 2023 Hall Of Fame featured two individuals who were recipients of the Builder Category award which recognized their achievements in growing the sport. Bob Beauchemin and Garry McKay. Beauchemin, an individual who had an illustrious playing career himself, competing in various tours across North America, was recognized for his achievements in progressing the sport. His notable accomplishments were gaining his PGA Tour card in 1981, and his development and execution in numerous teaching programs for golfers of all ages. Garry McKay who was a former recipient of the Lorne Rubenstein Award in 2015, has been immersed within the Golf Ontario community for many years. His commitment to providing extensive coverage of the sport through journalism and various other forms of media was recognized and praised by all.
The late Audrey Bendick-Akins (1967- 2022) was inducted in the Players category for her numerous accomplishments throughout her career as a competitive golfer. An icon within the Windsor-Essex community, Bendick-Akins was a member of the Canadian National Women’s team (1986-88) and won gold at the 1987 Commonwealth games, a feat that has not been matched by another female Canadian golfer since.
The 2023 Lorne Rubenstein Media Award was presented to the founding member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada (GJAC), Rick Young. Young is regarded as one of the pioneers of journalism within the sport as his career began in the early 1980s and is still prominent to this day. His notable pieces of work have been featured in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Toronto Star and other notable sports media newspapers.
After the event had concluded, Golf Ontario CEO Kyle McFarlane shared his thoughts regarding the 2023 Hall Of Fame induction ceremony saying; “On behalf of Golf Ontario, I extend our warmest congratulations to Audrey’s family, Bob, Garry and Rick on this momentous occasion. Each has made a significant contribution to the sport of golf in Ontario, and we are thrilled to honor their achievements and impact on the game. The induction ceremony has been a wonderful celebration of their dedication, skill and passion for golf. Their extraordinary contributions will forever be a part of the rich history of golf in our province”.
About The Ontario Golf Hall of Fame
The Ontario Golf Hall of Fame is dedicated to the recognition of extraordinary contributions and accomplishments in the game of golf in Ontario. To be considered for election to the Hall of Fame, the nominee must have made an EXTRAORDINARY provincial, national or international contribution to the game of golf in Ontario. These achievements may be in the form of golfing accomplishments, an illustrious golf related career or some other exceptional contribution to the sport. Nominees may be amateur golfers, playing/club professionals, course designers/managers, administrators and others.
About Golf Ontario
Golf Ontario is Ontario’s Provincial Sport Organization focused on enhancing participation, elevating performance, and supporting the passion of golfers in Ontario. With over 100,000 individual members and 500 member clubs, Golf Ontario is one of the most significant golf associations in the world. From rating courses and keeping the integral rules of the game intact to growing the game at the grassroots level and hosting the best amateur tournaments in Canada, Golf Ontario is a passionate group dedicated to Shaping Lives Through Golf.
For more information, please contact:
Greg Mitchell, Coordinator; Brand, Communications & Marketing Golf Ontario,