A tribute to Canadian golf ❤️

2021 RBC Canadian Open cancelled due to ongoing COVID-19 challenges

RBC Canadian Open
Round 3 of the 2019 RBC Canadian Open at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club,

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA AND TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA – Due to logistical challenges related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the PGA TOUR, title sponsor Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Golf Canada announced today that the 2021 RBC Canadian Open, scheduled for June 7-13 at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Etobicoke, Ontario, has been cancelled.

“Even with an extensive health and safety plan in place, we faced a number of significant logistical challenges that led us to this decision,” said PGA TOUR President Tyler Dennis. “While we are disappointed to cancel Canada’s National Championship, we are thankful to our partners RBC and Golf Canada – along with our Canadian fans — for their unwavering support and cooperation throughout this process. We look forward to the RBC Canadian Open returning to our schedule next year.”

The RBC Canadian Open had put together a comprehensive health operation protocol with consultation and direction from local, provincial, and federal government and health officials, and was working together with a multitude of partners to navigate the impact of the travel restrictions and quarantine measures currently in effect, given the number of stakeholders required to cross the border for the week of the event. A decision timeline was also established to allow the PGA TOUR a sufficient window to fill the event date.

Tournament organizers will now redirect efforts to the return of the RBC Canadian Open to the PGA TOUR schedule in 2022.

“Together with RBC and the PGA TOUR, we set a decision timeline based on the most up to date travel and quarantine restrictions in effect along with consideration for the TOUR’s ability to pivot and successfully fill a significant date on the schedule,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “It was also important to be respectful partners to the health leaders and government officials who have helped inform our operation protocols and provided great direction on this journey. The timing simply did not align for us and we are deeply disappointed that the celebrated return of the RBC Canadian Open will have to wait another year.”

Since assuming sponsorship of Canada’s National Golf Championship in 2008 and the RBC Heritage in 2012, RBC continues to be a strong advocate for the game, supporting PGA TOUR and LPGA players through Team RBC, and funding youth and amateur golf initiatives in Canada through the Golf Canada Foundation.

“We share in the disappointment with our RBC Canadian Open community over the cancellation of this year’s tournament,” said Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “Persistent challenges and health and safety considerations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, including international travel restrictions, quarantine measures and government mandates, presented significant logistical challenges for this year’s tournament. We are immensely proud to be title sponsor of Canada’s National Open Championship, and to promote this great sport. We are more excited than ever to return in 2022 and bring this world-class event to new and existing Canadian golf fans.”

Established in 1904, the RBC Canadian Open — the third-oldest national championship in golf behind The Open Championship and the United States Open — had been previously conducted every year since 1904, with the exception of wartime cancellations from 1915-18 and 1943-44, and as the result of complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The RBC Canadian Open was last played in June 2019 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario, with Rory McIlroy winning in his debut appearance.

To fill the week left open on the calendar, the PGA TOUR will secure an alternative venue in the United States to host an official FedExCup event for one year only. Details on the replacement event are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Liz Hoffman: Golf Canada’s 116th President

Liz Hoffman

Liz Hoffman has served on Golf Canada’s Board of Directors since 2012 and has been a recognized leader in Canadian sport as an athlete, coach, and administrator.

She honed her executive leadership skills over a 39-year career with the University of Toronto including 16 years as Director of Athletics and High-Performance. She has been active with many sport organizations, serving as a past president of Canadian USport and Ontario University Athletics and as an officer and board member of both Ontario and Field Hockey Canada. She also served on the Board of Directors of Coaches of Canada and as a member of the Sport Development Committee of Swim Canada.

During her time with Golf Canada, she has contributed across a multitude of committees, councils and working groups including most recently serving as Chair of the Compensation Committee, the World Junior Girls Steering Committee and as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Governance Renewal. She has previously chaired the Amateur Competitions, Sport Development and Human Resources Committees, as well as the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the COC Report. She has been a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, the Diversity Enhancement Working Group, and the Volunteer Services Working Group. Hoffman is also a member the Board of Directors of the Golf Canada Foundation, serving on the Executive Committee as Secretary and chairing both the Scholarships & Grants and the Women’s Fund Committees.

Liz Hoffman

A past President of the Golf Association of Ontario, she was also the non-playing captain of Canada’s Women’s Team at the 2012, 2014 and 2016 World Amateur Team Championships and served as Golf Canada’s delegate to the Biennial meeting of the International Golf Federation in 2018. In 2020, she participated as a program mentor in the R&A’s Women in Golf Leadership Development Program and also joined the PGA of Canada’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. She has been active as a tournament chair and starting & scoring official at Golf Canada amateur, professional, and international competitions.

A former provincial, national, and international golfer who won both the Ontario Junior and Quebec Women’s Amateur Championship, Hoffman is a member of both the Thornhill Golf Club and the Mad River Golf Club and shares her passion for the game with her husband Rick and their sons Matt and Mark.

Corey Conners finishes 3rd at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Corey Conners
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 07: Corey Conners of Canada prepares to putt on the 16th green during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 07, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The long ball helped Bryson DeChambeau outlast Lee Westwood on Sunday in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, only the key shots were as much with his putter as his driver.

DeChambeau holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the front nine and a 50-foot par putt early on the back nine. He closed it out with a nervy 5-foot par putt for a 1-under 71 and a one-shot victory over the 47-year-old Westwood.

It matched the low score of the day, one of only three rounds under par in the toughest final round at Bay Hill in 41 years.

DeChambeau and Westwood were never separated by more than one shot over the final 15 holes, a fascinating duel of generations that came down to the last shot.

DeChambeau took a one-shot lead to the par-4 18th and hit his most important drive of the day – in the fairway. Westwood’s tee shot settled in a divot, and he did well to get it on the green and two-putt from 65 feet. DeChambeau’s birdie putt slid by some 5 feet and he shook his arms in celebration when the par putt dropped.

Westwood closed with a 73, not a bad score considering the average of 75.49 was the highest for a final round since 1980.

Corey Conners was third at 8 under after a 74.

DeChambeau said he received a text Sunday morning from Tiger Woods, who is recovering from serious leg injuries from his car crash in Los Angeles. He said Woods, an eight-time Bay Hill winner, told him to “keep fighting.” He also considered the words from Arnold Palmer to “play boldly.”

DeChambeau rose to No. 6 in the world with his ninth PGA Tour victory, and he became the first player this season with multiple victories, to go along with his U.S. Open title in September. It matched the longest it took for a multiple winner on the PGA Tour since 1969. Nick Price won his second title in the 21st week of the season in 1994.

Golf Canada partners with First Tee to establish First Tee – Canada

First Tee – Canada

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]OAKVILLE, Ont. – Golf Canada and First Tee announced today a new partnership to launch First Tee –  Canada. First Tee’s Board Chairman, PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan, shared the news during a global announcement that Presidents Cup will return to Royal Montreal Golf Club in 2024.

First Tee – Canada

Together, the partnership will bring First Tee’s youth development emphasis to strengthen Golf Canada’s junior golf activities – previously conducted under the Future Links brand – that reach kids in schools and at golf facilities. The innovative First Tee curriculum will focus on empowering young people to build their strength of character through the game of golf. Golf Canada will serve as the national headquarters of First Tee – Canada.

“Partnering with First Tee towards the 2021 launch of First Tee – Canada will provide Canadian youth and especially those in underrepresented groups access to affordable and meaningful character education programs through golf,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “Golf Canada and the PGA of Canada have developed a strong foundation for junior golf programming over the past twenty plus years through Future Links. We are excited going forward to partner with the globally recognized First Tee brand and work collaboratively with the Golf Canada Foundation to strengthen our youth development activities.”

First Tee - Canada

“Golf Canada has made a significant impact on the growth of the sport in Canada through their multi-faceted junior golf initiatives and was a natural fit for us to partner with the launch of  First Tee – Canada,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO, First Tee. “Together, we will bring the First Tee youth development program nationwide and build on Golf Canada’s impressive grassroots success with programming that reaches kids via nearly 600 golf facilities and 4,100 participating schools.”

The PGA of Canada will play a leading role in the training of coaches who will serve as mentors to the kids and teens in the program. Coaches will help bring the curriculum to life by introducing youth to fun and active experiences that help them build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that can carry to everything they do.

“We are proud that PGA of Canada professionals will play an important role in utilizing golf to teach First Tee core values of honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, judgement and courtesy,” said Kevin Thistle, CEO of PGA of Canada. “We look forward to supporting the development of youth and junior golfers through the coaching and mentorship of PGA of Canada professionals in alignment with the National Coaching Certification Program.”

First Tee – Canada

First Tee – Canada will target to launch multiple chapters in 2021 with a growth strategy to establish First Tee chapters in markets across Canada through 2023. The inaugural First Tee – Canada chapter launching in 2021 will be located in Victoria, British Columbia at the Bear Mountain Golf & Tennis Resort Community which is also home to Golf Canada’s National Training Centre. This was made possible by the support of the Matthews and Kusumoto families. Dan Matthews is a global Trustee and a member of the Board of Governors of the First Tee and a member of the Board of Directors of the Golf Canada Foundation.  A First Tee chapter in Quebec will also be launched shortly thereafter, continuing the incredible legacy of past  Presidents Cups. With support from the Presidents Cup, First Tee has successfully launched global chapters in Australia (2019) and Korea (2015).

Through its deep network of donors and trustees, Golf Canada Foundation will be a critical partner in supporting the launch and advancement of First Tee – Canada through its fundraising and philanthropic efforts. Canada’s Provincial Golf Associations will also play a role in the advancement of First Tee – Canada as chapters begin to form in markets across Canada. In addition, Golf Canada will continue to work with the NGCOA Canada (National Golf Course Owner’s Association) and other key industry stakeholders towards a more inclusive golf experience for Canadian youth.

Since its inception in 1997, First Tee has impacted more than 15 million young people through its character-building programs on golf courses, in schools and at youth-serving locations.

The First Tee network has grown to over 150 chapters and more than 1,200 program locations across the United States as well as six international chapters—Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco and Canada—delivering programs that help young people build character and develop life skills through the game of golf. A First Tee chapter out of Vancouver is operating independently out of Vancouver, and previously out of Montreal, prior to the launch of First Tee – Canada.

To learn more about First Tee, visit thefirsttee.org.

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Golf Canada launches COVID-19 Golf Relief Fund

Golf Canada COVID Relief Fund

Golf Canada and the Golf Canada Foundation have joined together to launch the COVID-19 GOLF RELIEF FUND, to support golf courses in helping employees and golfers stay safe while also thanking front-line workers through encouraging additional play and welcoming juniors to further experience the game.

During the pandemic, golf has experienced a booming resurgence, emerging as one of the safest recreational activities for Canadians to enjoy and highlighting the physical and mental benefits that the sport provides.

Developed in consultation with key stakeholders, the RELIEF FUND will focus on two primary areas:

1) SAFETY: To help maintain the momentum of golf, the RELIEF FUND will subsidize non-medical PPE (personal protective equipment) for golf course employees, as well as sanitization, hygiene, and protective material expenses.

2) FUN: To thank front-line workers and help juniors increase social interactions and outdoor activity during the pandemic, the RELIEF FUND will subsidize rounds for both groups to enjoy playing golf.

“We find ourselves in a very surprising but special moment for golf and we wanted to show appreciation to the courses providing a safe golf experience and to all Canadians who are coming out and playing. We also wanted to thank our incredible front-line workers who are leading us through unprecedented adversity,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “We are sensitive to the ongoing pandemic and amongst the crushing impact, golf has been a bright spot. This has also been a difficult year for so many kids who have had their summers disrupted and we wanted to support our member clubs in providing youth a healthy outlet through golf.”

Golf Canada member clubs who apply for the RELIEF FUND will be eligible for subsidies up to a maximum of $1,000 per club, with applications opening on August 12 on a first-come, first-served basis.

The RELIEF FUND will launch to the public July 28, across Golf Canada’s digital network, throughout Golf Canada member clubs, Ascend Fundraising Solutions’ marketing platforms, and the Provincial Golf Associations.

In addition to welcoming donations to support the RELIEF FUND, golfers and golf fans across the country will be able to support by participating in a four-week digital sweepstakes campaign featuring significant prizing across Canada and the U.S. in 2021.

“We have taken the challenge of the pandemic to pivot our donation efforts as a rallying point for the Canadian golf community,” said Martin Barnard, CEO of the Golf Canada Foundation. “Golf has always been a driver for significant charitable giving and the cancellation of so many fundraising events through the pandemic has been difficult. Partners and donors have embraced the idea of a golf specific relief fund that supports front-line workers and juniors, and also helps to keep industry employees safe throughout the season.”

The Grand prize includes a VIP hospitality experience at the 2021 RBC Canadian Open at St. Georges Golf and Country Club. The early-bird prize package to be drawn on August 12 features a spectacular stay-and-play experience at Cabot Links and Cliffs. Tickets for the sweepstakes can be purchased at www.golfcanadasweeps.com and will be available for sale until August 27.

Currently at close to $350,000 before launching to the public, the RELIEF FUND is proudly and graciously supported by the R&A, PGA TOUR, USGA, PGA of Canada, Bear Mountain Resort, Cabot Cape Breton, and TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley.

Team Canada alumni and PGA TOUR winner Adam Hadwin has personally supported the RELIEF FUND, as part of his effort to give back once the RBC Canadian Open had been cancelled.

RBC Ambassador and three-time PGA TOUR winner Ryan Palmer also has donated to the RELIEF FUND through a fundraising challenge specifically created to help the charities of tournaments that were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Donations to the RELIEF FUND will be accepted throughout the golf season and more contributions will be announced over the course of the campaign as partners and donors join in supporting the cause.

Open season for golf in Canada

Red Deer

Our partners at the Provincial Golf Associations have worked incredibly hard alongside industry stakeholders to implement protocols that foster a safe environment for golf during the COVID-19 crisis.

They will continue to seek clarity from municipal and provincial government and health authorities to help our member clubs and golfers navigate through this crisis.

Below are summaries and links for each respective provincial golf association:

Province Status More information
British Columbia Were not mandated to close Click here
Alberta Golf courses allowed to open May 2 Click here 
Saskatchewan Golf courses allowed to open May 15 Click here 
Manitoba Golf courses allowed to open May 4 Click here
Ontario Golf courses allowed to open May 16 Click here
Quebec Golf courses allowed to open May 20, Pro shops allowed to open on May 4 Click here
New Brunswick Golf courses allowed to open on April 24 Click here
Nova Scotia Golf courses allowed to open on May 16 Click here
Prince Edward Island Golf courses allowed to open May 1 Click here
Newfoundland & Labrador Golf courses allowed to open May 11 Click here

Click here for relevant information on our COVID-19 resource page.

2020 RBC Canadian Open cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

RBC Canadian Open trophy
Oakville, Quebec RBC CANADIAN OPEN GLEN ABBEY GOLF COURSE RBC CANADIAN OPEN TROPHY Photo By Bernard Brault, Golf Canada, July 20th, 2016

 – Golf Canada and RBC will now pivot all efforts towards planning for a celebrated return of the RBC Canadian Open in 2021 – 

TORONTO – With continued public health concerns as well as international travel and government restrictions due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the PGA TOUR, in consultation with Golf Canada and RBC, has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 RBC Canadian Open.

The event was scheduled for June 8-14 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club with Islington Golf Club as the official practice facility. The cancellation of the 2020 RBC Canadian Open also includes the RBCxMusic Concert Series which was scheduled to take place June 12-13 at Richview Collegiate Institute, featuring headline performances by The Chainsmokers and Keith Urban.

“The RBC Canadian Open has always been a rallying point for Canadian golf and while we share in the crushing disappointment with our fans, players, volunteers and many event partners, our primary responsibility is the safety of our people and our communities,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “It is now our full intention to push forward together with RBC, the PGA TOUR, the City of Toronto and our host clubs with the goal to bring the 2021 RBC Canadian Open to St. George’s Golf and Country Club with Islington Golf Club as the official practice facility.”

“Our foremost consideration is the health and safety of everyone in our community, including the players, spectators, our staff and volunteers, the media and the thousands of supporters who contribute to the success of our event,” said Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “The international travel restrictions, required quarantine measures and government mandates were critical factors that contributed to the decision to cancel our event this year. We have no doubt that the incredible momentum we’ve built together with our partners will make the 2021 RBC Canadian Open a world-class experience.”

Golf Canada and RBC would like to thank golf fans across the nation for their understanding and in particular, our  many corporate partners, ticket and hospitality purchasers, as well as the countless volunteers for their continued support through this unprecedented time.

Golf Canada, the PGA TOUR and RBC have continued to monitor the guidelines provided by federal, provincial and municipal government health authorities in order to prevent the spread of the virus within our communities. With this decision, Golf Canada and RBC will now turn their focus towards the 2021 RBC Canadian Open.

Dating back to its inception in 1904, the cancellation of the 2020 RBC Canadian Open marks only the seventh time that Canada’s National Open Championship has not been conducted, including wartime cancellations from 1915-18 as well as 1943-44.

All corporate hospitality buyers will be contacted by their Golf Canada sales representative over the coming days to plan forward for 2021 and individual ticket purchases made via Ticketmaster will be automatically refunded within the next 30 days. The same refund policy applies for RBC clients who purchased RBCxMusic Tickets.

For more information, visit www.rbccanadianopen.com.

Statement from ‘We Are Golf’ about COVID-19

We Are Golf

We Are Golf (The National Allied Golf Associations/NAGA) are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our members, golfers, staff, volunteers and industry stakeholders as well as every Canadian in the communities where we live, work and play.

The COVID-19 crisis is an unprecedented and difficult time for Canadians. We Are Golf fully supports the recommendations and guidelines of Health Canada, the World Health Organization and regional public health experts to stop the community spread of the virus. As leaders in an industry that employs more than 300,000 Canadians and includes nearly six million golfers from coast to coast, our priority above all else is the health and safety of our people and our communities.

Where governments have not mandated the temporary closure of golf courses, operators of those facilities should take every health and safety precaution. We Are Golf also advocates for the essential need for golf course property maintenance during any of the temporary closures to be ready for operation while taking every health and safety precaution.

We look forward to better and healthier days and when the time is right for Canadians to return to recreational normalcy, clubs and courses will be ready to welcome golfers back to the tee.

Foundation contributes again in 2020

WINNIPEG – Golf Manitoba is excited to announce that the Alex & Peggy Colonello Foundation has again committed to support junior golf programming and the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame in 2020.  The Foundation has agreed to make a $70,000 donation with the proceeds to benefit grassroots and high-performance junior golf programs, the University of Manitoba Bison Golf program and the annual induction ceremony conducted by the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame and Museum.  In 2019, the Foundation made a $60,000 donation with the proceeds also targeted to the above mentioned programs.

In 2018, the Alex & Peggy Colonello Foundation was established with a mandate to support junior golf in the province of Manitoba. The Foundation will eventually commit a total of $3 million dollars to an endowment that will aid in supporting the development of new generations of golfers through grassroots golf initiatives and high-performance programming.

“We are delighted that the Foundation has again provided us with a tremendous opportunity for the coming year” said Ken Warwick, President of Golf Manitoba. “With the donation, we will look to continue with the momentum from 2019 and further expand our ability to grow the sport and support our high-performing athletes.”

In 2019, the donation made an immediate impact in the grow-sport programming offered by Golf Manitoba. A significant portion of the proceeds were directed to the Golf in Schools program where over 9,800 early years students were introduced to the golf through clinics conducted at over 40 schools across Manitoba. Additionally, the donation provided enhanced funding to Golf Manitoba inter-provincial junior teams with 18 juniors representing Manitoba in national championships and inter-provincial competitions.

In addition to the above, Golf Manitoba provided funding to external junior golf programs including the Boys and Girls Club program at Bridges Golf Club, the PGA of Canada Manitoba Zone Future Pros program and junior development programs provided by Golf Mentor.  Again for 2020, existing junior golf programs will be able to apply for funding which will be evaluated by Golf Manitoba to determine eligibility with further announcements to follow.

Additionally, proceeds from the Alex & Peggy Colonello Foundation donation will provide support to the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame which recognizes and celebrates those who have made extraordinary contributions in the Manitoba golf community as well as nationally and internationally. A goal of the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame is to make known the achievements of its Honoured Members and Teams to serve as inspiration to future generations which is consistent with the goals of the Alex and Peggy Colonello Foundation to support junior golf. The 2020 induction ceremony is scheduled to take place in late September.

The donation from the Alex & Peggy Colonello Foundation will again be made through the Manitoba Fund within the Golf Canada Foundation, a fund dedicated to providing development opportunities for juniors in the province of Manitoba. For more information about the Manitoba Fund and how your contribution can help to grow the sport of golf, please contact Jared Ladobruk, Executive Director for Golf Manitoba at jared@golfmb.ca or at 204.925.5729.

About Alex & Peggy Colonello: Peggy Colonello served as president of the Manitoba Ladies’ Golf Association in 1974 – 76 and was an active participant at her home course, the Elmhurst Golf & Country Club, where she and husband Alex had been members since the 1940s.

Peggy also served a two-year term as president of the Canadian Ladies’ Golf Association from 1982-83. During her time on the national executive, Peggy attended World and Commonwealth championships in Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Columbia, Britain and Switzerland, including the various Canadian events in which she participated. Peggy was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and was an inaugural inductee into the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame on September 29, 2003.

Alex Colonello first moved to Winnipeg in 1941 where, in 1949, Bay Bronze Company asked him to start a machinery division for them. Alex eventually bought control of the company in 1973 becoming President until his retirement in 1996. In 1998, Alex purchased the golf accessory line from Bayco Industries to form Bayco Golf Inc. Alex Colonello passed away in 2013 at the age of 93.

About Golf Manitoba: Golf Manitoba is recognized by Sport Manitoba as the Provincial Sport Organization and governing body of amateur for golf in the province. Its mission is to develop, promote, govern and service the sport of golf in Manitoba and North West Ontario for the benefit of all participants.

About Golf Canada Foundation:  Founded in 1979 with the purpose to raise and grant funds for the advancement of golf in Canada. As a registered Canadian Amateur Association, the Foundation delivers this mandate by awarding scholarships to Canadian student golfers and distributing grants to support initiatives that fall into five key areas:

In 2019, the Foundation granted $1.5 million to programs nationwide which brings our total to more than $8.9 million since 2012, and $10.3 million invested in the sport since the Foundation’s inception.

For more information:

Jared Ladobruk
Executive Director
Golf Manitoba