Golf Ontario has launched a new “peer to peer” fundraising campaign to support strategic priorities of the organization as identified through the Golf Ontario Legacy Fund such as; growing the game for girls and women, youth development programs including First Tee and Youth on Course, as well as growing the game for golfers with a disability and the Indigenous golf community.
The 1000 Ball Challenge is a fun but challenging fundraiser providing individuals and teams (foursomes) a platform to raise important funds to support the game’s growth across Ontario. Challengers will commit to hitting 1000 golf balls in a day at a range or indoor simulator as an individual or collective team effort. Donors are invited to “buy a ball or balls” at $5.00 each. There is no limit on the number of balls a donor can buy or sponsor.
The organization is thrilled to include some very notable members of the Ontario golf community registered to participate and actively fundraising in this first year campaign. Thanks to our colleagues servicing the London Ontario region through our RSS program, three Hall of Famers were invited to join the cause, and have already raised some significant donations in support of their efforts. A short biography of the accomplishments of each individual is included below.
Warren Sye – https://1000ball.ca/warren-sye
Warren Sye was the Ontario Amateur Champion in 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996 and runner-up in 1989 and 1992.
Sye’s accomplishments include being named 2012 Ontario Senior Champion, 1983 and 1991 Ontario Champion of Champions and 1990 and 1994 Canadian Amateur Champion.
He, alongside three teammates, won the 1986 World Amateur Team Championship in Venezuela – Canada’s only win to date.
Warren Sye was inducted into the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 2016.
Rick Young – https://1000ball.ca/rick-young
Rick was inducted into the Ontario Golf HOF in 2023 following a 40-year career as one of the country’s trusted voices on the game and matters relating to the golf industry’s equipment and business sectors.
Young is a six-time GJAC Writing Awards recipient and was recognized by Golf Ontario in 2009 for his contributions to the game. He has written two books – From Fifth to 59 to 2009: The 100 Year History of the Oxford Golf & Country Club and The 100 Year History of The Briars Golf Club
His work has appeared in numerous publications across Canada and the United States including SCOREGolf Magazine, MyGolfSpy, Toronto Star, Golf Business Canada, GreenMaster Magazine, Golf Canada Magazine, Pro Shop Magazine, Maclean’s, LINKS Magazine, Golf World, Golf Journal (USGA), Ontario Golf Magazine, GolfStyle, ClubLink Life, Fairways Magazine, London Free Press, the National Post and the Globe & Mail. He has also provided content for Golf Town, Matchplay Golf Marketing, RBC and the Province of New Brunswick.
Rick acted as the 2008-2011, 2021-2022 GJAC President, and he remains on the GJAC board as Immediate Past President and Vice-President of Outreach and Industry Relations.
Mary Ann Hayward – https://1000ball.ca/mary-ann-hayward
Mary Ann was inducted into the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Quebec Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.
Mary Ann holds the Ontario record for most wins in a provincial championship and was the first Canadian to win the US Mid-Amateur title.
At the international level, Mary Ann has represented Canada eight times at the World Amateur Championship and 4 times at the Commonwealth Matches.
Her accomplishments include winning the 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2023 Canadian Women’s Senior Championship, the United States Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship 2005, Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship in 1993, 1996, 1999, 2004 and Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship in 1983, 1990, 1995, 1996 and 1997.
Kelly Roberts – https://1000ball.ca/kelly-roberts
Inducted into the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, and a native of London, Kelly was the back-to-back Amateur Championship in the early 70’s. He won the 1969 Junior Championship, the 1971 Ontario School Boy Championship and the 1972 and 1973 Amateur Championships. Other highlights include the 1997 Mid-Am Championship and the 2003 Mixed Championship.
Roberts is a former member of Golf Ontario’s Board and former Golf Canada Associate Governor. He has made his presence known in the golf community for nearly fifty years.
After contributing so much to the game for so many years, you would understand perhaps if Warren, Rick and Mary Ann had declined the opportunity to participate in this unique challenge, but their passion for the game continues to burn bright, and they share a collective desire to grow the game and ensure a healthy and sustainable future for golf in Ontario for years to come. They are truly committed to Shaping Lives Through Golf, and ensuring that golf is a game for all.
Please join us in celebrating these Hall of Famers, and consider contributing to their campaign, or even registering to participate yourself or through the creation of your own team!
About Golf Ontario
Golf Ontario is Ontario’s Provincial sports 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 largest 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.