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.

Indigenous Indigenous Championship

Golf Ontario Announces New Indigenous Ontario Golf Championship

Uxbridge — Golf for All is a statement that is extremely important to Golf Ontario. Golf Ontario believes that the great game of golf should be enjoyed by, and accessible to, all Canadians. The core principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is central to this and are why the advancement of DEI has been championed within Golf Ontario.

Today, and with this commitment to DEI in mind, Golf Ontario is thrilled to announce the launch of the Indigenous Ontario Golf Championship, the first provincial golf championship for indigenous people in Canada. “It is our honour to play a role in this inaugural championship event,” said Susan Vail, President of Golf Ontario. Open to golfers of First Nations (North American Indian), Métis, or Inuk (Inuit) descent, the inaugural Indigenous Ontario Golf Championship will be held on September 19-20, 2022, at the MontHill Golf and Country Club, hosted by Chief Mark Hill and the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. “Step by step, we are transforming the face of golf,” added Vail.

The Indigenous Ontario Golf Championship will be a 36-hole competition, taking place over two days and will be open to Ontario residents who are of First Nations, Métis, or Inuk descent. There will be both a Gross Championship division, and a Net Stableford division, and will be open to men and women of all ages.

Following the successful launch of the Ontario Disability Championship in 2019, the Indigenous Ontario Golf Championship will be another example of new ways to engage more people as part of Golf Ontario’s Championship schedule. “We are very excited to be launching the inaugural Indigenous Ontario Golf Championship in 2022 at Monthill Golf & Country Club”, said Mike Kelly, CEO of Golf Ontario. “As an organization, we have made significant strides in championing the advancement of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and this new Championship will be another great example of new opportunities for all golfers and platform to build relationships with Indigenous communities for years to come. MontHill Golf & Country Club is built on First Nations land and will be a fantastic host for the first year of the Championship”, continued Kelly.

Golf Ontario will continue working closely with Indigenous leaders across the province to ensure that the launch of this Championship will be met with significant interest and excitement.

We want to thank Golf Ontario for their commitment to growing the game of golf, and for launching the new Indigenous Ontario Golf Championship” said Championship Co-Chair Steve Tooshkenig. “This new Championship represents an amazing opportunity for people of all indigenous backgrounds to play in a true provincial championship and test their games against some of the best indigenous golfers in the province. Having both a net and gross division, will ensure that this event will attract golfers from a wide range of playing abilities, making it truly an inclusive event”, said Tooshkenig.

MontHill Golf and Country Club will be an ideal host for the inaugural Indigenous Ontario Golf Championship. “MontHill G & CC is honoured to host the inaugural Indigenous Golf Championship. Our 27 holes and world class facilities will provide a great setting for this special tournament. We look forward to an event that not only showcases great golf, but also leads to introduction, access, and growth of the game in First Nation communities,” said Championship Co-Chair Jesse Smith.

Details on player eligibility and registration will be available in the coming weeks.

We are very excited to be launching the inaugural Indigenous Ontario Golf Championship in 2022 at Monthill Golf & Country Club

Mike Kelly, CEO, 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.


MontHill is one of the premier golf destinations in Southern Ontario. Located in the heart of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, built on Indigenous land, and just 15 minutes from Hamilton airport, MontHill Golf & Country Club is committed to providing its members with an exceptional experience, both on and off the course. The professionally designed 27-hole, well-maintained golf course has some of the finest manicured greens in the area and will provide a great test for the Championship golfers.

For more information, please contact:

Peter MacKellar,
Manager, Marketing CommunicationsGolf Ontario

Brianna Christopher,
Assistant, Marketing Communications – Golf Ontario