Diversity Month Golf For All Fund Golf Ontario Indigenous Championship

From Lone Player to Community Leader: Chief Ted Williams’ Golf Journey

Chief Ted Williams is a complex individual, yet his reason for taking up golf nearly 40 years ago—and why he continues to play today—is quite straightforward.

“Golf is enjoyable,” Williams concedes. “Now, what I find most rewarding about the sport is the opportunity to meet new people and cultivate relationships on the course.”

In his youth, Williams was an avid hockey and softball player. He ventured into golf at the age of 28 with a solo round at Lake St. George Golf Club in Washago, Ontario. For the initial six or seven years, Williams exclusively played alone.

“I used to have this pronounced left-to-right shot that I was somewhat self-conscious about, so I’d play alone, early in the morning,” Williams recalls. “I also had a young family and that meant if I wanted to play, I had to be out at dawn and back by breakfast time.”

Eventually, Williams grew increasingly fond of golf and, in 1993, was invited to participate in the club championship at Lake St. George. He had never played competitively, but without any preconceived notions or competitive history, he entered the championship—and won, igniting a remarkable streak of victories and notable finishes that continues to this day.

“The triumph at that first club championship in ’93 spurred my interest in competitive golf,” Williams reflects. “I dedicated myself to improving, to mastering the diverse shots and learning how to score even on off days.”

Williams reclaimed the Lake St. George club championship in 1999. He dominated the Hawk Ridge Golf Club championship for eight consecutive years and won the Horseshoe Valley club championship in 2011. He’s competed in numerous Ontario and Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur tournaments and even attempted to qualify for the PGA TOUR Champions Tour at age 50. While he didn’t qualify, he was the leading amateur finisher that week.

He has also competed in the Indigenous Ontario Championship and is an enthusiastic supporter, planning to participate again this year.

“The Indigenous Ontario Championship is a magnificent event for many reasons,” Williams states. “It celebrates the remarkable talent of Indigenous golfers throughout the province.”

Williams has been a steadfast supporter of Indigenous communities nationwide for many years. He was elected Chief of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation at the age of 27. Now, approaching 70 and with extensive corporate experience, he has returned as Chief of Rama First Nation, serving his community in various capacities.

Once predominantly a softball community, Rama First Nation has embraced golf.

“Just a decade ago, you could count on two hands the number of golfers in our community,” Williams acknowledges. “Today, we have over a hundred people of all ages enjoying the game.”

Williams credits the pandemic with introducing many in his community to golf, but believes there are additional factors that have sustained their interest.

“The pandemic certainly boosted golf’s popularity province-wide, and that’s reflected in our community,” he says. “Yet, our people have kept at it because the game is enjoyable and the golf course feels like a welcoming place, where they can connect with familiar faces from the community.”  

As he reflects on a lifetime of achievements, both on the course and within his community, Williams looks forward to nurturing the next generation of golfers, ensuring that the legacy of unity and enjoyment he helped to establish continues to flourish for years to come.

As April marks the observance of Celebrate Diversity Month, it presents Golf Ontario with a wonderful opportunity to share inspiring stories and honour the diverse backgrounds and contributions of our members, volunteers, players, and colleagues.

1000 Ball Challenge Golf For All Fund Golf Ontario

Drive for a Cause: Join the 1000 Ball Challenge

Golf Ontario is thrilled to invite you to the heart of our community spirit and dedication – the 1000 Ball Challenge!

This year, we aim not just to meet but to exceed our collective potential in supporting the wonderful game of golf across our province. Inspired by our shared passion for golf and commitment to making it accessible to everyone, the 1000 Ball Challenge stands as a testament to what we can achieve together.

Why Your Participation Matters

All funds raised will directly fuel the GOLF FOR ALL FUND, supporting critical areas like:

Women and Girls Golf
Youth Development
Adaptive Golf
Indigenous Golf

How It Works

Reach your fundraising goal of $5,000, then showcase your endurance by hitting 1000 golf balls at your chosen location. Whether individually or as a team, your effort will ripple across our community, inspiring and making a significant impact.

Rewards & Recognition

To honour your remarkable fundraising achievements, we’re excited to present rewards as you reach each fundraising milestone. Rewards are cumulative, the more you raise the more you earn.

Plus, your stories will be featured to inspire others, showing the real impact of our collective efforts.

Join the Conversation

Share your journey using #1000BallChallenge on social media. Let’s make this challenge a trending testament to our love for golf and community.

1000 Ball Challenge Golf For All Fund Golf Ontario Partnership Public Player Championship

Golf Ontario Renews Baka Communications Partnership

Golf Ontario is excited to announce the continuation of its longstanding partnership with Baka Communications, celebrating 20 years of unwavering collaboration. This renewal underscores Baka’s role as the presenting partner for the Ontario Public Amateur Championship and its support for the Public Player membership program

Since initiating their partnership in 2004, Baka Communications has passionately supported amateur golf in Ontario, aligning its mission with Golf Ontario’s dedication to nurturing golf’s growth at the grassroots level. The Ontario Public Amateur Championship stands as a pinnacle event in the golf calendar, offering a competitive platform with both gross and net flights, and showcasing Baka’s commitment to fostering competition and sportsmanship within the amateur golf scene. 

“Our partnership has not only endured over time but has also adapted to the evolving dynamics of the sport,” says Baka Communications President, John Marion. “Baka is honoured to continue as the presenting partner for the Ontario Public Amateur Championship, support the Public Player membership program, and contribute to Golf Ontario’s broader fundraising initiatives.” 

Beyond the championship and membership program, Baka Communications will support Golf Ontario’s 1000 Ball Challenge, aiding in fundraising efforts for golf programs and initiatives across the province. Additionally, Baka will sponsor a yearly Golf Ontario scholarship to assist an aspiring student-athlete golfer from Ontario, demonstrating Baka’s commitment to developing golf talent both on the course and in the classroom. 

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Baka Communications for the 20th year,” says Golf Ontario’s CEO, Kyle McFarlane. “Their consistent support has been crucial in elevating the quality of our events and programs,” he says, adding, “we anticipate another year of fruitful collaboration, as we work together to promote golf’s growth and positively impact lives through the sport.”

The enduring partnership between Baka Communications and Golf Ontario reaffirms their joint commitment to the advancement of golf, building upon two decades of success, and contributing to a lasting legacy within the Ontario golf community.