Golf Ontario

Golf Ontario CEO Departure Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Uxbridge, ON – The Board of Directors of Golf Ontario (GO) today announced that current CEO Mike Kelly will be leaving the organization in March of 2023 to take on the role of Executive Director of the Southern California Golf Association.

Susan Vail, President of the Board, said, “This is a bittersweet announcement as we are very happy that Mike is taking another step in his impressive golf career and saddened by the loss of an outstanding leader who has been with the organization since 2006 and CEO since 2015.”
Over the past 16 years, Mike has created a culture of mutual respect, collaboration and innovation within Golf Ontario and the Ontario golf community. He successfully led the association toward a vision where all are welcome to participate, and those with competitive and performance aspirations are able to realize their full potential. His many accomplishments include developing the Golf in Schools program, launching the first ever Ontario Disabilities and Indigenous Championships and transforming how we work with member facilities through the Regional Support Strategy. Through his efforts and leadership, Mike’s legacy leaves a lasting impact on the over 100,000 Golf Ontario members across the province.

“I am truly heartened by where Golf Ontario sits right now, “said Mike.  “In fact, it is the favourable state of our organization that has helped me make this difficult decision.  To be sure, there will always be challenges, but I feel that Golf Ontario is now poised to enter an exciting period in its history.  The staff is led by both a committed Board of Directors and a very solid executive leadership team.  Golf Ontario’s programming, events, administration and management are all in good standing.   I believe that now is the time to secure Golf Ontario’s future by making room for new leadership with a keen eye, a fresh vision and boundless energy.”

“Mike has developed and led a committed team, each of whom plays an integral role in the everyday running of our successful organization,” said Susan.  “We will miss Mike, but he leaves Golf Ontario in a very strong position for future growth and we sincerely thank him for his vision, leadership and dedication to the game. Mike will continue to lead the organization for the next few months and he will assist the Board with the development of a transition plan including the search for a new CEO.”

Golf Ontario Thank You

Thank a Golf Course Superintendent Day

Written by: Taylor Blatchley

There is a reason the term superintendent includes the word “super.” Golf course
superintendents often work behind the scenes, which usually results in them not getting enough credit for their work. On September 13th, it is “Thank a Golf Course Superintendent Day,” where we recognize the hard work it takes to keep golf

courses enjoyable, sustainable, and in peak condition. Thanks to days like today, the
work of superintendents across the nation can be celebrated and appreciated by all.


Don Blatchley is the superintendent of Sawmill Golf Course and has worked there for 42
years. He started working there in 1979. I interviewed him on his role as a
superintendent and how it has changed and developed over the years.


How did you get into this line of work?
Don: My family golfed at Sawmill, and I asked George for a job when I was out of high
school.

#ThankASuper

Which part of being a superintendent do you find most satisfying?
Don: That moment when people approach you and comment on the condition and
quality of the golf course. When you change something, no matter how small or large,
and people notice. That’s the best part.


Which part of being a superintendent do you find most challenging?
Don: Making sure the greens, tees and bunkers are in the best shape possible.
Especially the greens because they are the heart of the entire course. If the greens are
not in perfect condition, people will know. New challenges exist now that didn’t exist a
few years ago. You have to keep adapting as the environment and conditions change.


What was it like working as a superintendent in the 1970s, compared to the 1990s
and present time in 2022? How has it changed?

Don: The main difference I can think of is the technology available. In the 1970s and
early 1980s, all your fertilizer and fungicide were granular. Now, it is all spray based. The
only sprayer we had back then was tractor-mounted. Technology has advanced through
the years to the point where the current sprayers are computerized and regulate
and control the amount of spray they put out. The equipment used now at golf courses
drastically reduces the time required to perform tasks. Back in the day, top
dressing the greens would take us around a week to do, and now we can do it in less
than a day. All of the equipment has changed from when I started. Fairway mowers,
rough mowers, and greens mowers are all more advanced and designed for maximum
efficiency. The only downside to better technology is that when something goes wrong,
it takes longer to fix it, or you may need to call in a specialist because of the electronics
involved. Irrigation used to be done manually as well. I would spend hours at night
watering, whereas now everything is automated and all I have to do is click a few keys
on the computer. The course itself looks very different too. Bunkers have been added
and removed, and I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single bunker in its original location. The
same applies to the tee decks. As for the trees, let’s just say that I used to be able to
see the clubhouse from the shop, and now I can’t. In the 1970s, they were just twigs
sticking out of the ground.


What was the most difficult on-course situation you’ve ever faced at Sawmill?
Don: Snow mould on the fourth green. This was a long time ago, the winter was long,
and we could not get snow mould protection down early enough because the golf
season ended so abruptly, and the snow stayed on the ground. We did not have the
equipment available to aerate; all we could do was put new plugs into the affected
areas. I’m not talking about a few patches here and there. What I’m talking about is
hundreds of plugs. I don’t even remember exactly where we got the plugs from because
it was so long ago. But that was one of the most difficult situations I remember having to
handle.


If you could give one piece of advice to anyone wanting to get into golf course
work, what would you say?

Don: Make sure you’re passionate about it. A lot of times, the work will seem like it is
twenty-four seven. Issues have a way of suddenly appearing at the worst time possible.
Usually at the beginning or end of the week and never in the middle. Sometimes you’ll
have to drop everything to deal with a golf course situation, which is how it is.
There could be a broken irrigation line during a drought, disease on the greens or a
pump that breaks down, leading to you hand watering for a week straight. Some things
just can’t wait until the following day. It’s challenging but rewarding work; if you love
what you do, it’s worth it.


What is your passion or favourite hobby?
Don: Golf.


What’s your favourite sports team or individual?
Don: Toronto Maple Leafs


What do you like to watch on TV?
Don: Nascar. I used to watch it a lot more than I do now because all the good drivers
are retired.


What is your favourite thing about working at Sawmill?
Don: The people and the owners. The owners have always treated me like family; some of the members have been there as long as I’ve been working there, so it’s a real
family environment.


Remember to use the hashtag #ThankASuper today on social media and show your
appreciation for our golf course superintendents.

Golf Ontario Kevin McShan

Growing Golf in Ontario: A Discussion with Kevin McShan

Our Senior Director of Marketing Nick Taylor, recently sat down to speak with Kevin McShan, a motivational speaker and journalist living with Cerebral Palsy, to discuss growing the game of golf in Ontario.

As the host of Let’s Have This Conversation, McShan strives to place all voices at the table of inclusion. He is a Motivational Speaker and Sports Journalist with Cerebral Palsy who wakes up every morning energized and excited to have authentic and meaningful conversations. He loves sports and motivating people.

In his words, “Our legacy is built by how many times we are willing to make a difference in the lives of others while no one else is watching. I’ve lived my entire life with cerebral palsy. However, rather than dwell on my personal restrictions, the greater gift I could ever give to the world is to celebrate my life and all of the life lessons I’ve been put on earth to teach and all of the wisdom I’ve been charged to share with others who simply can`t view the world through the same prism as I. Some people claim I’m an inspirational person. I simply view myself as persistently consistent.

McShan is a St. Clair College Journalism Print and New Media Program graduate. His passion lies in telling the stories of people who can’t otherwise tell their own individual stories themselves.

One of his many accomplishments was receiving the 2012 Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for my reporting on disability issues.

Follow him on Twitter here and his Youtube here

Golf Ontario Ontario Disability Championship Woodington Lake GC

Ontario Disability Championship Part of an Exciting Week at Woodington Lake GC

Tottenham, ON – Woodington Lake Golf Club once again welcomes the Ontario Disability Championship from July 25th to 26th. The fourth year of this unique Championship showcases some of the top athletes with disabilities. This helps ensure an inclusive pathway and better competition opportunities for the highest performing athletes with disabilities. 

This year is a special week at Woodington Lake, which also includes the first 2022 Ontario Hall of Fame ceremony on Sunday, July 24th, followed by the Disabilities Championship, and then leads into the PGA Tour Canada event, the Sotheby’s International Realty Canada Ontario Open July 27thto 31st.

For Mike Kelly, CEO of Golf Ontario, this event is an important pillar of Golf Ontario’s strategic plan. “Golf For All is a very important theme that is central to our strategic plan. This Ontario Disability Championship is a critical way for us to raise awareness about golfers with disabilities and to showcase some of the amazing talent at this Championship. “It is particularly exciting that this event allows participants to play for fun in a net division or the gold medal and accumulate World Ranking Points,” added Kelly.

The Championship consists of 36-holes of stroke play, as both the Men and Women will battle for their respective titles across four divisions: Men’s Gross Champion, Women’s Gross Champion, Men’s Net Champion, and Women’s Net Champion. 

Returning to try and win their fourth consecutive Ontario Disability title is Natasha Stasiuk (Heron Point Golf Links) and Kurtis Barkley (Cedar Glen GC), respectively. 

The action begins July 25th at 8:30 am. For tee times and leaderboard information, check out our Golf Genius webpage.

About the Ontario Disability Championship

Since 2019, Woodington Lake Golf Club has hosted the Ontario Disability Championship. Played over a 36-hole competition for Men and Women, the Ontario Disability Championship is an inclusive event in which athletes with disabilities compete in a provincial championship environment. The Championship promotes awareness and participation for golfers with disabilities and provides a platform for future talent identification. In addition, the Ontario Disability Championship is a counting event on the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD).

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 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.

Instagram/Twitter/Facebook: @TheGolfOntario

To stay informed on Golf Ontario’s championship play, events, and additional updates, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

For more information, please contact:

Peter MacKellar, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Golf Ontario;
PMacKellar@gao.ca

Adam (AJ) Abraham, Assistant, Marketing Communications, Golf Ontario;
AAbraham@gao.ca


Golf Canada Golf Ontario

Golf Canada partners with Osprey Valley to build a new home for Canadian golf

Golf Ontario will join Golf Canada in relocating their corporate headquarters to Caledon, Ont. and supporting its vision to establish a home campus for Canadian golf

From Golf Canada

July 20, 2022 – Golf Canada and Osprey Valley have announced a major partnership and bold vision to build a new Home for Canadian Golf – a momentous project that will see the National Sport Federation relocate its corporate base of operations to TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley in Caledon, Ont.

In addition to Golf Canada’s national headquarters and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, the vision for the Canadian golf campus on the grounds of TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley will feature the national headquarters for First Tee – Canada, which will include a publicly accessible community putting green and an indoor training centre.

Golf Ontario and the Club Management Association of Canada (CMAC) have committed to relocating their corporate headquarters to Caledon, Ont., collaborating with Golf Canada to embrace the golf community and develop a dynamic home campus for Canadian golf. The PGA of Canada has also committed to a strategic partnership with Golf Canada to assist in executing grassroots components and coaching and training activities.

The invitation for Canadian golf industry partners as well as government stakeholders, and long-time global affiliates at the R&A, PGA TOUR, and LPGA Tour to plug into the Home for Canadian Golf, will be a signature moment in the advancement of the sport of golf in Canada.

“Our vision to be a world leader in golf contemplates more than just a physical building—culture, collaboration, and innovation are critical elements,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “Establishing a new headquarters and a Canadian golf campus with our partners to meet, play, train, plan, celebrate and collaborate represents a transformative moment to advance the sport. The vision that the Humeniuk family and the leadership group at Osprey Valley have invited us to be a part of with this world-class property is progressive and incredibly exciting.”

TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley is a renowned 54-hole golf facility in Peel Region, located in the heart of Caledon, Ont. The property is currently undergoing a significant privately funded expansion and commercial development that includes the construction of a new clubhouse and conference amenities as well as improvements to the practice facility and guest experience with accommodations and hosting facilities onsite.

For Osprey Valley President Chris Humeniuk, partnering with Golf Canada and industry partners to bring a Canadian golf campus to life is part of the ongoing story of Osprey Valley becoming a signature destination for Canadian golf and an effort to uplift the game of golf in Canada.

“We’re thrilled by the vision presented by Laurence and the entire Golf Canada team and are elated to collaborate with partners who share our vision of elevating golf to new heights in this country,” said Humeniuk. “Our family has long dreamed of Osprey Valley as a great Canadian golf destination. We believe this announcement is a wonderful addition to the momentum we’ve been fortunate to experience in recent years.”

TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley has welcomed a number of signature events in Canadian golf, including the Osprey Valley Open on PGA TOUR Canada as well as Golf Canada’s Junior Skills Challenge National Event. The facility has also hosted qualifier events for both the RBC Canadian Open and the US Open and has committed to hosting the 2026 Canadian Junior Girls Championship, presented by BDO.

In 2021, the Humeniuk Family Foundation and TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley made a major chapter-founding gift to Golf Canada Foundation that aligns with the property serving as the national headquarters for First Tee – Canada.

Phase one of the Home for Canadian Golf project—which will include the corporate headquarters, a reinvigoration of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, and a 30,000-square-foot community putting green inspired by the Himalayas Putting Course in St. Andrews – will break ground in 2023 with expected completion by 2025.

The vision for phase two includes the development of First Tee – Canada National Headquarters that will support coaching education and programming for First Tee chapters across Canada. The indoor short game complex will double as a national talent identification centre for the next generation of Canadian players, bolstering Golf Canada’s goal to advance 30 Canadians to the LPGA and PGA Tours by 2032.

For the leadership group at Golf Ontario and the Club Management Association of Canada, joining forces on the Canadian golf campus was an opportunity for deeper collaboration across the sport.

“We are thrilled to rally and support this tremendous project and a new home for Canadian golf, helping to unify and provide the golf community a true base which will no doubt create efficiencies, inspire collaboration, and help introduce more participants to our great sport,” said Golf Ontario CEO Mike Kelly.

“Our purpose is to develop, promote and support the profession of club management by providing educational and networking opportunities for our members, including golf, city, multi-sport, yacht, faculty and social clubs,” said Suzanne Godbehere, CEO of the Club Management Association of Canada. “Integrating CMAC’s operation into the Canadian golf campus really is a special opportunity for thought sharing with our partners.”

The PGA of Canada and their members will plug into the Canadian golf campus with the delivery of grassroots programs as well as training, education, and coaching upon the completion of phase two.

“Having a destination for PGA of Canada professionals to come together for education and junior golf program development, including First Tee – Canada training, will be a huge boost for the growth of our sport,” said Kevin Thistle, CEO of the PGA of Canada. “Collaboration and innovation with partners have always been driving forces in Canadian golf, and there is no doubt that a campus environment will bolster these experiences.”

Cost for phase one of the Home for Canadian Golf project is estimated at approx. $20M and the financial funding model will be led by Golf Canada along with a donation from Osprey Valley. Phase two of development is expected to cost $10M and will only proceed upon successful fundraising campaigns supported by the Golf Canada Foundation and private donors as well as through naming rights, contributions from industry partners, and government support.

The Home for Canadian Golf project aligns with a multi-million-dollar Drive Campaign launched by the Golf Canada Foundation to fund First Tee – Canada headquarters, chapters, and programming, along with enhancements to Team Canada’s high-performance program. To date, $36.9M of the $70M fundraising goal has been secured through major gift donations.

“We’re excited to partner with the Humeniuk family, TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley, and Golf Canada on a new Home for Canadian Golf,” said Golf Canada Foundation CEO Martin Barnard. “Not only will this become home for the Foundation, but it will also anchor the Drive Campaign, unprecedented in Canadian sport. Our major donor Trustees have a long history of supporting up-and-coming Canadian players and have now also put substantial support behind launching First Tee in Canada, ensuring broad access for all young Canadians to the character-building life lessons the sport of golf can provide.”

The Town of Caledon has already extended its support towards becoming a hub community for Canadian golf with a recommendation to the Regional Municipality of Peel to approve a $2.5M investment towards bringing the project to life.

“I am thrilled that Caledon will be the new home of Golf Canada’s National Headquarters and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum,” said Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson. “In addition to the significant economic benefits to our community, the campus will also feature the youth development program, First Tee, an accessible program designed to empower and inspire youth through sport – This is GREAT news for Caledon.”

Hicks Design Studio has been selected by Golf Canada as the architect of record to bring the Canadian golf campus to life.

The announcement of the Home for Canadian Golf follows several years of due diligence by Golf Canada to explore a long-term solution and forward-looking vision for the relocation of its corporate headquarters as well as the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, which are currently located on the grounds of Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.

Once complete, the Home for Canadian Golf will be a multifaceted, world-class tourist facility that will support community recreational benefits; drive inclusivity and community among equity-deserving youth; and become a foundational pillar that supports grassroots participation and high-performance golf.

About Golf Canada

Golf Canada is the National Sports Federation and governing body for golf in Canada, representing more than 304,000 golfers and 1,435 member clubs across the country. A proud member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Golf Canada’s mission is to increase Canadian participation and excellence in golf. For more information about what Golf Canada is doing to support golf in your community, visit www.golfcanada.ca.

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 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.

Instagram/Twitter/Facebook: @TheGolfOntario

To stay informed on Golf Ontario’s championship play, events, and additional updates, make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Media Contacts:

Dan Pino
Sr. Director, Communications, Golf Canada
416-434-5525
dpino@golfcanada.ca

Brian Decker
Director, Marketing & Communications, TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley
905-220-9590
bdecker@ospreyvalley.com

Peter MacKellar
Manager, Marketing, Design & Communications, Golf Ontario
pmackellar@gao.ca


Golf Ontario ottawa Staff

Golf Ontario Staff Grows to Expand Regional Support for Ottawa Region

As the Regional Support Strategy expands to Eastern Ontario Golf Ontario is proud to announce Carol Ann Baxter as Regional Manager for the Greater Ottawa Region. Carol Ann joins Golf Ontario on June 6, 2022, as we expand our reach across the province in the delivery of our Regional Support Strategy. A facility owner (Archie’s Family Golf Centre) in the region, Carol Ann understands the challenges and needs of operators intimately. She will be able to leverage the many relationships she has built over the years in the Greater Ottawa Region to ensure the successful introduction of the RSS with facilities and stakeholders in the region. 


“We are thrilled to welcome Carol Ann to the team. I look forward to the launch of the Regional Support Strategy in the Greater Ottawa Region under her leadership,” exclaimed Kyle McFarlane, Senior Director, Golf Operations. “The RSS is about building relationships between facilities, associations and stakeholders and I’m extremely confident that Carol Ann brings the experience and skillset to make that happen.” 


As a PGA and LPGA golf professional Carol Ann brings a wealth of industry experience. She formally served as the  Regional Director for Eastern Ontario-Outaouais Chapter with the National Golf Course Owners Association and currently holds the role of Executive Director of the PGA of Canada – Ottawa Zone.


“To have the opportunity to facilitate the development and delivery of Golf Ontario’s Regional Support Strategy is an honour,” added Baxter. “My life and life’s work have revolved around golf on so many different levels and I am truly passionate about the game and the business. This platform will allow me to advance Golf Ontario programs and initiatives designed to support the growth and sustainability of golf in the Region and those responsible for delivering them.” 

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 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.


For more information, please contact:

Peter MacKellar,
Manager, Marketing, Design & Communications – Golf Ontario
pmackellar@gao.ca

course rating Golf Ontario Staff

Golf Ontario Proudly Announces New Course Rating Coordinator

Today, Golf Ontario is proud to announce an important new hire that has joined our staff. JJ Alexander began as Course Rating Coordinator on May 24th.  JJ joins Golf Ontario in this important service role to our member clubs and facilities and brings well over twenty years of experience to the role as a PGA of Canada Class A Golf Professional. Most recently serving as the Head Golf Professional at Lookout Point Country Club, JJ brings comprehensive experience and knowledge working the course rating system and was instrumental in the introduction of hybrid tees at the club.

“We are extremely excited to have JJ join the Golf Ontario member services team, his industry experience and knowledge of the course rating system will be a tremendous asset for not only Golf Ontario but also for all the clubs that he works,” said Kyle McFarlane, Senior Director, Golf Operations.


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 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.


For more information, please contact:

Peter MacKellar,
Manager, Marketing, Design & Communications – Golf Ontario
pmackellar@gao.ca

Golf Ontario Junior Spring Classic

The 2022 Golf Ontario Championship Season Kicks off Victoria Day Weekend with Junior Spring Classics

Girls play May 21-23 at Sawmill GC

Boys are May 22-24 from Wooden Sticks

Fenwick/Uxbridge, ON –  The Junior Spring Classic (U19) Championships are back and ready to tee off this Victoria Day weekend and the 2022 Golf Ontario Championship Season! These Championships feature many of Ontario’s best under 19 male and female golfers who gained entry into the competition through one of our qualifiers earlier this Spring or by exemption based on past results. They will all be looking to take home the WD Randolph Millage Trophy.

Ontario Junior (U19) Girls Spring Classic Championship

From May 21-23, Sawmill Golf Course will welcome the Girls (U19) Junior Spring Classic Championship. The course, designed by Gord Witteveen and Nicol Thompson, opened for play in 1976 to humble beginnings. The layout took advantage of the existing natural features and planted many trees. For over forty-five years, they’ve continued to improve and now are considered one of Niagara’s most popular courses.

“Sawmill is honoured to host the Junior Girls Spring Classic and kick off the 2022 competitive golf season in Ontario.  We are becoming known for hosting awesome junior events due to the support of our Membership, enthusiastic volunteers, special sponsors, and our unique extras,” said Manager Carrie Julie.  “We are guaranteeing the best 60 girls in Ontario a tremendous experience.  After a wet spring in Niagara, the course has come along beautifully.  The players can expect premium conditions for this early in the season.  Bring on the girls next weekend – we can’t wait to host Ontario’s best!”

Last year, Lauren Zaretsky of Ladies’ GC of Toronto/Maple Downs G&CC, took home the gold after a terrific -7 (209) performance. Her skillful play put her 10-strokes ahead of second place.

Team Ontario will be in full swing this year, with all ten Team Ontario girls competing for the Spring Classic title. In 2021, Team Ontario saw 3 team members finish in the top three. Ashley Lafontaine, Alissa Xu, and Alessandra Nagayo will try to improve upon their 2021 finish while fellow member Peyton Costabile, is coming off a win at the 2021 Ontario Junior Girls (U19) Championship.

Tee times for Round 1 on Saturday, May 21st, begin at 11:00 am. To view full tee times, tournament info and follow along with the leaderboard, visit our Golf Genius page here


Ontario Junior (U19) Boys Spring Classic Championship

While the girls compete out in Fenwick, the boys will be competing in their own Spring Classic Championship returning to Wooden Sticks Golf Course in Uxbridge, May 22-24. Wooden Sticks is more than simply a place to golf. It is a tribute to this great game’s rich history and grand traditions, with 12 of the 18 holes at Wooden Sticks inspired by different famous golf holes. During a round, you will envision yourself playing off the road in Scotland, across a famous creek in Georgia, onto an island in Florida, and through pine forests in New Jersey.

“We’re looking forward to once again being the host club for the U19 Boys Spring Championship! Our course is in superb condition, and it is always wonderful to see so many talented, promising players at this event,” exclaimed Steve Wilson, Head Professional at Wooden Sticks Golf Club. The Juniors we see are always so thrilled to have the opportunity to play a Championship-worthy course under these conditions. We’re extremely proud to contribute to their development in this manner. Looking forward to seeing you all soon!”

At last year’s Spring Classic, Owen Kim, a Team Ontario member, defeated his fellow teammates Ryan Somerville (Summit Golf and Country Club) and Andre Zhu (National Pines Golf Club). Kim sunk a great 20+ foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to claim the win. The three Team Ontario golfers all finished eight-under (205) on the weekend, while Justin Matthews (Bigwin Island Golf Club) finished closely behind at six-under.

This year, Owen Kim returns to the Spring Classic, looking to repeat his performance with all ten Team Ontario boys in the mix as well. The annual long weekend classic will be exciting between them and many other skilled players in the field as they all look to add their names to an impressive list of previous champions.

Tee times for Round 1 on Sunday, May 22st, will get underway at noon. To view tee times and the leaderboard, visit our Golf Genius page here


About the Junior Spring Classic (U19) Championships

The Junior Spring Classic (U19) Championship is contested annually usually over the Victoria Day long weekend and features many of Ontario’s best male and female junior golfers. The field of competitors gained entry to the competition through a qualifying process earlier in the season.

To read more about the boy’s and girls’ results from last year, click here.


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 over 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.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @thegolfontario for live updates on the Junior Spring Classic (U19) Championship and other tournaments this season. Our complete 2022 Championship schedule can be found here.


For more information please contact:

Peter MacKellar, Manager, Marketing and Communications,
Golf Ontario;
PMacKellar@gao.ca

Adam (AJ) Abraham, Assistant, Marketing Communications,
Golf Ontario;
AAbraham@gao.ca

Golf Ontario Staff

Golf Ontario welcomes two key members to our Staff

Today, Golf Ontario is proud to announce two new key hires that have joined our staffNick Taylor joins us as Senior Director, Marketing starting April 14, 2022, and Alexia Tam has just begun serving as our Manager, Diversity Equity Inclusion, HR & Safeguarding.  


Nick Taylor (not the golfer:) joins Golf Ontario after building a diverse career across both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, with experience working in markets across Canada and worldwide.

Most recently, Nick served as the Director of Development for Athletics & Recreation at Ryerson University. His focus was on alumni & supporter engagement and managing a portfolio of donors and prospects from annual giving levels to significant and principal gift donors.

Before working in post-secondary education, Nick was part of a high-performing team at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (PMCF), serving as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Senior Director of Corporate & Community Partnerships. Over his seven years with PMCF, Nick designed and delivered Canada’s top-grossing single-day golf fundraiser for cancer research, known as Golf to Conquer Cancer, which raised $7 million. He also served the foundation as one of two executives driving the strategy behind the celebrated Princess Margaret Lottery.

In the eight years before joining PMCF, Nick was the Director of Marketing and Commercial Operations for Rugby Canada, a National Sport Organization and member of World Rugby. From 2005 to 2012, the organization experienced its most significant growth years on and off the field.

Nick’s professional experience includes ten years with globally recognized luxury retailer Tiffany & Co. (Canada). In addition, he worked in retail management and B2B corporate sales management with some of Canada’s best-managed companies and brands among his clients.

In joining the team at Golf Ontario, Nick hopes to complement the organization’s strengths and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to achieve new heights of achievement for golf in Ontario.

“Having stepped away from the amateur sport sector ten years ago to serve one of the country’s largest healthcare foundations, the timing is right to return to amateur sport and all the wonderful values inherent with Golf Ontario,” said Taylor. “I am excited to be joining a team that has delivered significant results against their last strategic plan, as the shift towards the next four years starts to take shape.”


Alexia Tam is a Safe Sport and Athlete Welfare Expert who has demonstrated her commitment and passion for safe, inclusive and healthy sport for the last ten years. She has received several awards and scholarships for her academic contributions to the field of Safe Sport and her interest in the area has been augmented by collaboration with several sports organizations on the development of education, training, and policy implementation. In addition, she has shared her research and recommendations for best practices at several national and international conferences. Through her rich exposure to sport, as an academic, sports practitioner, a coach and an athlete, Alexia is committed to continuing to be an advocate for sport.


Alexia has collaborated with several sport organizations throughout her career with program development, stakeholder education, and program evaluation, including the Coaching Association of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Coaches Association of Ontario. Alexia is also on the Board of Directors with Football Ontario and is joining us from Alpine Canada.

After spending nearly two decades as an athlete before turning her attention to coaching, Alexia knows what truly drives success in sport – both on and off the field of play. Her football career started over 15 years ago – when opportunities for women were far and few in between. Since her first day on the field, she’s been committed to bettering herself as an athlete, a coach, and now as a professional in the field. Alexia always says that sport has played an integral role in her identity formation and is excited to create spaces for athletes to make their own positive memories of sport.

Alexia holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology and a Master’s of Science from the University of Toronto and is currently completing her doctorate degree at Canterbury Christ Church University in the United Kingdom. 

“I am thrilled to be joining Golf Ontario to support their Safe Sport and DEI portfolio. Safe, inclusive and accessible sport is fundamental for all participants,” said Tam. “I am excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to engaging with the golf community in Ontario.”


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 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.


For more information, please contact:

Peter MacKellar,
Manager, Marketing, Design & Communications – Golf Ontario
pmackellar@gao.ca


Board of Directors Golf Ontario

Golf Ontario Welcomes Two New Additions to the Board of Directors

As Golf Ontario’s valued stakeholders, staff, and Board of Directors welcome the 2022 season with open arms and a bright vision of Golf for All, we are delighted to announce the extension of President and Vice-President terms and the introduction of two new directors to the board. 

Respectively, Susan Vail and Leslie Ferrari have served on the board since 2017 and 2018. Elected to President and Vice-President of the Board of Directors in 2021, the extension of their terms for another year will allow Golf Ontario to continue its forward momentum in growing the game of golf with the support of their dedicated leadership. With our focus on Golf for All, Vail wants to build on the framework created in 2021 with the help of Korn Ferry. “We have a plan, a policy and committed staff and board members ready to help create welcoming environments for underserved groups. These groups include youth, women, people of colour, people with disabilities, indigenous peoples, the 2SLGBTQ+ community… and many others who have not yet had the opportunity to experience what golf has to offer,” explained Vail. “The bar was raised in 2021. Let’s do even more in 2022 to shape lives through golf!”

Joining the Board of Directors in 2022, we welcome David Herrera and Julian Franklin.

Head of People and Organization Analytics for Korn Ferry, David Herrera joins the Golf Ontario Board of Directors with more than 15 years of consulting experience. A passionate DE&I practitioner and subject matter expert, David has advised several organizations globally to become more diverse and inclusive to their talent and customers/clients.

“As a visible minority, immigrant, member of the LGBTQ+ community, and management consultant, I hope that I can bring my experience and perspectives to make Golf more accessible to all and continue to have a positive impact in our communities,” explained Herrera. 

While David is an amateur golfer, he has found passion in the game and supporting the development of communities and youth. He joins the board with ambitions to “develop an awareness of the benefits of golf and implement initiatives that will improve the accessibility of golf in Ontario.”

Following two challenging years, Herrera believes that “2022 should be a year of building bridges and stronger communities, and golf should be one of many enablers of this.”

A Canadian Marketing Hall of Fame member, Julian Franklin is a business leader with 20+ years of client and agency experience in consumer goods and the sporting industry. Julian’s expertise includes strategic planning, communications, and marketing. His career is distinguished by marketing leadership roles in Canada and the United States, where he has worked for industry-leading organizations.

“I am hoping to bring a perspective of someone whose affinity and passion for the game has grown as an adult,” expressed Franklin. “This perspective brings an understanding of how important a sport like golf can be to help shape our personal and professional outlooks.”

Julian’s corporate governance experience is extensive. He is also a Founding Member of POCAM (People of Colour in Advertising & Marketing). This association advocates the inclusion and advancement of Black, Indigenous, & People of Colour (BIPOC) within Marketing. 

In joining the board, he aims to help “increase the participation and positive impact of golf at the youth and adult levels, for racialized and marginalized communities across Ontario.” 

Please click here to learn more about Golf Ontario’s Board of Directors.

“The bar was raised in 2021. Let’s do even more in 2022 to shape lives through golf!”

Susan Vail, President, Golf Ontario

ABOUT GOLF ONTARIO:

The Golf Association of Ontario, operating as “Golf Ontario”, is the 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 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.

For more information, please contact:

Peter MacKellar,
Manager, Marketing CommunicationsGolf Ontario
pmackellar@gao.ca

Brianna Christopher,
Assistant, Marketing Communications – Golf Ontario
bchristopher@gao.ca