GAO Team Essex-Kent Team Niagara Team Ottawa Team Waterloo Team York

GAO Announces 2015-16 Members of Regional Teams

UXBRIDGE — The Golf Association of Ontario (GAO) is very pleased to name the 2015-16 rosters for the Under-17 High Performance Regional Team Program.

The program, which debuted in 2013-14, was well received in its initial season and expanded in 2014-15 from three to five teams. Once again in 2015-16, the program will sport five squads from across the province. The team members were selected based on their 2015 tournament scores, 2015 GAO Order of Merit standing, as well as testing results from GAO Skills Combines held earlier this fall.

The five teams in 2015-16 will be Ottawa, York, Waterloo, Essex-Kent and Niagara. The program will see 54 promising young athletes on the various teams, which will include monthly technical and physical training at a regional centre and a five-day camp during March Break in South Carolina. The teams will also compete in the Team Ontario Cup, with members of the GAO’s provincial team, to be played at Grand Niagara Golf Course in Thorold, April 22-24.

“We are extremely excited about the upcoming season for our five regional teams,” said Mary Ann Hayward, GAO Manager of Sport Performance. “The regional teams continue to be a great feeder system for Team Ontario and the Team Ontario Cup is a great culminating event for our high performance athletes.”

Team Ottawa

Team Ottawa is made up of athletes from Ottawa and surrounding areas in Eastern Ontario. Adam Holden coaches the team and Allen Hicks is the team’s strength and conditioning coach. They will train out of the Kevin Haime Golf Centre in Kanata and the Ottawa Athletic Club.

Team Ottawa Athletes:

For more information on the team and its players visit the Team Ottawa page at:

Team York

Team York covers Toronto and the GTA. Jeff Overholt coaches the team and the strength and conditioning coach is Nick Martichenko. Team York will train out of Peak Performance Golf in Vaughan.

Team York Athletes:

For more information on the team and it’s athletes visit the Team York page at:

Team Waterloo

Team Waterloo is made up of players from the Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding area. Mike Martz coaches the team and their strength and conditioning coach is Angella Lee. They will train out of the Golf Performance Centre at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge.

Team Waterloo Athletes:

For more information on the team and it’s players visit the Team Waterloo page at:

Team Niagara

Team Niagara is comprised of golfers in the Niagara region, which includes Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and surrounding area. John White coaches the team and the strength and conditioning coach is Wayne Oliver. They will train out of Beechwood Golf & Country Club, in Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls Sportsplex.

Team Niagara Athletes:

For more information on the team and it’s athletes visit the Team Niagara page at:

Team Essex-Kent

Team Essex-Kent is made up of golfers from the Windsor and South-Western Ontario area. Randy McQueen coaches the team and the strength and conditioning coach is Ryan Carlone. They will train out of Roseland Golf & Curling Club, On The Green Indoor Golf (OTG), Dominion Dome, Silver Tee, and Tecumseh Golf.

Team Essex Athletes:

For more information on the team and it’s athletes visit the Team Essex-Kent page at:


The Regional Team Program is designed for golfers under the age of 17. A combination of skills combines results, tournament results and current Order of Merit standings, determine the players that are selected for each team. Team members take part in an eight-month training program with a PGA of Canada certified head coach and strength and conditioning consultant. They participate in multiple local winter indoor training sessions before a March break training camp in Myrtle Beach and the Team Ontario Cup competition to be held in Niagara at the end of April.

GAO Grand Niagara Golf Club Team Essex-Kent Team Niagara team ontario Team Ottawa Team Waterloo Team York

GAO teams set for inaugural Team Ontario Cup

UXBRIDGE – The Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) U19 Team Ontario and five U17 Regional Teams (Ottawa, York, Waterloo, Essex-Kent and Niagara) are gearing up for the inaugural Team Ontario Cup this weekend, which will see all of the teams compete against one another. The event will take place April 24-26 at the Grand Niagara Golf Club in Thorold.

The athletes will compete in a two-day, 36-hole team-format competition with main emphasis being on team results. Results will be determined by taking the three lowest of four team member scores each day for a team gross total. Low gross individuals will be also be recognized, over the 36 holes, in Juvenile and Bantam age categories for both boys and girls, along with an overall boys and girls champion.

Each regional team will enter two teams of four boys and one team of four girls. Team Ontario will enter one team of three boys (all scores to count each day) and a second team of four boys. For the girls’ team competition, Team Ontario will enter two teams of three girls, each with all three scores counting each day. The regional teams will enter a team of four girls each. At the end of the competition, one boys team and one girls team will be crowned champion.

“This is the first event of it’s kind and we are extremely excited to see all the Team Ontario and Regional team athletes competing in the same event,” said Mary Ann Hayward, GAO Manager of Sport Performance. “They have been training as teams for the past seven months and this is their opportunity to go head-to-head. It is a great kick-off to their competitive season here in Ontario and the preparation they have done leading up to the Team Ontario Cup should help them to be much better prepared for the important event qualifiers that begin in early May.”

The event will also be used to select the team for the Ontario–Quebec Matches that will be held July 27-29 at Smugglers Glen Golf Club in Gananoque. The top two juvenile boys and girls and the top four bantam boys and girls from the regional teams will be selected to the Ontario team that will compete in the matches.

In addition, the GAO will take the opportunity to conduct testing of all Team Ontario and Regional players. Players will go through a trackman analysis, physical combine testing and a putting test. The purpose of this testing is to gage how the athletes have improved over the winter training months.

The highlight of the Team Ontario Cup will be the banquet held on April 25 at Legends on the Niagara Golf Club. All teams will be in attendance and many family members will also attend. Each team has selected their own award winner for Most Valuable Contributor (MVC) and these MVC winners will be recognized at the banquet. The MVC award goes to the person on the team that best exemplifies: leadership, integrity, sportsmanship, team spirit and work ethic.

The Team Ontario Cup will be a great event to kickoff the tournament season in Ontario and will showcase the finest junior golfers in the province. Tee times for the competition will be from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. each day, April 25-26, with play starting on both the first and 10th tees. Trophy presentations are scheduled immediately following the completion of play on Sunday, which will be approximately 3 p.m.

GAO Team Niagara

Team Niagara hosts community during successful fundraiser

NIAGARA FALLS— It turned out to be a very successful evening on Feb. 27, for Team Niagara, one of the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) five regional under-17 teams, as they hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to raise funds for their upcoming training trip.

The team was able to bring in more than 300 members of the community through tickets sales to the event that took place at the Niagara Falls Hilton. The evening managed to raise close to $6,000 for the team to use towards a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, during March Break, March 16-20.

Vince Dicosimo, owner of the Niagara Falls Hilton and father of Vincent, one of the members on the team, donated the room and food, along with the staff for the event.

The evening was a total team effort as in addition to selling the tickets, each of the players’ families brought a desert and members of the team even served up the meal.

Team Niagara Coach John White expressed his appreciation for his team and their families’ efforts. “I am so proud to be a part of Team Niagara! The fundraiser was a huge success, mostly due to the players and their families. The players sold more than 300 tickets and gathered many prizes. They worked very hard at the event. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of Joy and Vince Dicosimo from the Niagara Falls’ Hilton who donated the room and food and all the staff. The hotel is beautiful and the venue was fantastic. I also appreciate that Mary Ann Hayward and Mike Kelly of the GAO took the time to attend the event. Also, thanks to my friend Ken Tarling who spoke to the players with advice from a world class player.”

“It’s hard to put into words how proud the GAO is, that this community rallied around these great kids to support them in achieving their golfing dreams,” said Mike Kelly, GAO Managing Director Sport. “From parents to grandparents to local businesses and politicians, these Niagara residents took on this initiative themselves illustrating that they all play for Team Niagara.”