Amateur Golf Canada

Golf Canada introduces new financial benefits at four 2022 National Amateur Championships

SASKATOON, SK - JULY 31: A general view of tee box markers during the final round of the Canadian Women's Amateur Championship at Riverside Country Club on July 31, 2015 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. (Photo by Josh Schaefer/Golf Canada)

Golf Canada is adding new financial benefits available to competitors at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, Canadian Junior Boys Championship, Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, and Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, each presented by BDO.

To help defray the cost of participation, a limited number of needs-based financial assistance grants will be available for competitors who must travel to play in the Canadian Junior Girls Championship and Canadian Junior Boys Championship. A total of 26 grants of $500 each will be provided to eligible participants based on family financial need using an application process that is similar to how universities allocate financial aid.

“Golf Canada recognizes the financial demands associated with attending national championships and sees this as a modest way to help junior players and their families,” said Mary Beth McKenna, Director of Amateur Championships and Rules. “We will evaluate the impact of this pilot initiative as we plan for future years.”

In addition, in accordance with the modernized Rules of Amateur Status, players at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, Canadian Junior Boys Championship, Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, and Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, will now compete for a purse of $8,000 CAD at each event. Amateur golfers may accept prize money up to a maximum of $1,200 CAD, and payouts will be awarded to the top-10 finishers and ties.

McKenna says these new financial initiatives are part of Golf Canada’s commitment to operating globally prominent amateur championships and its increased efforts to grow the number of Canadians competing on the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR.

Applications for financial assistance grants for the national junior championships will open on May 16, 2022 and may be submitted by any junior golfer who qualifies for the Canadian Junior Girls Championship or Canadian Junior Boys Championship, both presented by BDO. For the financial assistance grant application form click here.

For more details about the financial assistance grants click here. For more information on the purse payout plan click here.

Amateur Golf Canada

What are the Rules of Amateur Status?


John Gordon

This article covers:

You may think of the Rules of Amateur Status as the proverbial “antidote for insomnia.” But you are guaranteed some sleepless nights if you choose to ignore them.

You may be thinking, “I’m not a high-roller who plays for tons of cash so those regulations don’t apply to me.”

You would be wrong.

As in most things legal, ignorance of the law is no defence. And breaking the Amateur Status rules, even unknowingly, can mean you won’t be allowed to participate in any amateur competitions for a significant period.

These Rules were revised and updated effective Jan. 1, 2022. According to Susan White, Golf Canada’s Chair of Amateur Status, they “exist to maintain the distinction between amateur and professional golfers and to protect the integrity of the game by minimizing pressure on the Rules of Golf and Handicapping. They give golfers the opportunity to level the playing field and to compete against each other using their handicaps.”

Golf Canada realizes not all amateur golfers are created equal so there are several guidelines that apply only to those players who have low handicaps and/or compete in high-level competitions. They are referred to as golfers of “skill or reputation” and have been successful at the provincial level or compete at the national level. In a related development, the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the U.S. ruled last year that college athletes, i.e., amateurs, can profit off their name, image and likeness.

But for the majority of us, the Amateur Status rules come into play only when we are tempted to participate in a calcutta (an auction-style betting format often found at pro-ams, member-guests and other events), gambling on the course, playing in tournaments with high-value prizes, hole-in-one competitions, etc.

How can you lose your amateur status?

  1. Accepting a prize with a value exceeding $1,200 Cdn or accepting prize money in a handicap (not scratch) competition. However, this prize rule applies only to tee-to-hole competitions played on a golf course or simulator but does not apply to long-drive, putting or other skills competitions that are not played as part of a tee-to-hole competition.
  2. Playing as a professional.
  3. Accepting payment for giving instruction with the exception of coaching at educational institutions and assisting with approved programs.
  4. Accepting employment as a golf clubs professional or membership in an association of professional golfers.

If you violate these rules, you will be subject to losing your amateur status, and your Golf Canada official handicap, for a length of time determined by Golf Canada. During that period, you cannot compete in any amateur competitions at any level. You must apply to Golf Canada to be reinstated.

For a complete explanation of the modernized Rules of Amateur Status, visit


Can I play in a calcutta?

Yes, as long as the money is from the players who are betting on their own group and others. It cannot be compulsory to participate and cannot be supported by sponsors.

Can I gamble with others?

Yes. Within reason. There is no set amount because what is reasonable for one person may be different for another person.  The guidance is that it is a reasonable amount among the players involved.

What if I get a hole-in-one?

Congratulations! The prize limit does not apply to a hole-in-one made outside a tee-to-hole competition or during a tee-to-hole competition provided the length of the shot is at least 50 yards.

Everyone Benefits Golf Canada

Take advantage of exclusive member savings from RBC Insurance

Rory McIlroy
RBC Canadian Open: Hamilton: June 3rd: Day Three of the RBC Canadian Open. Pro-Am Tournament. Rory McIlroy

Golf Canada and Golf New Brunswick value its members and we’d love for you to take advantage of exclusive member savings for all your home and auto insurance needs.

Licensed RBC Insurance® advisors are available to offer you personalized insurance advice and explain your coverage options to you. 

Member benefits designed with you in mind.

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® / TM Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence.

Please see your policy for all terms and conditions. Home and Auto insurance products are distributed by RBC Insurance Agency Ltd. and underwritten by Aviva General Insurance Company. As a result of government-run auto insurance plans, RBC Insurance does not offer auto insurance in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Service provided by Aviva General Insurance Company. Clients may call 1-888-885-5915 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, ET). Service not available in Quebec. Quebec residents may call 1-888-563-7119 for questions about their policy and coverages.

First Tee Canada

First Tee – Canada: Producing better golfers and better people


Kevin Blue doesn’t hesitate when asked to provide his best “elevator pitch” about the First Tee—Canada program. (An elevator pitch is a concise, easy-to-understand summary of a concept.)

“First Tee—Canada will provide a welcoming environment for kids from all Canadian backgrounds to learn golf and the associated life skills that go along with the sport,” says Blue, Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer.

Since its unveiling in August 2020, First Tee—Canada’s purpose of “Building Game Changers” doesn’t only refer to the game of golf.

“First Tee introduces the game of golf and its inherent values to young people,” the program launch press release stated. “Through after-school and in-school programs, we help shape the lives of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance.

“Our mission is to impact the lives of youth by providing educational programs that build character, promote life-enhancing values and healthy choices through the game of golf. In collaboration with the PGA of Canada, First Tee—Canada instills character development as a fundamental element of Golf Canada’s junior golf program.”

It’s long overdue, but golf has recently taken an assertive approach to increase equity and inclusivity in the game. First Tee—Canada focuses on creating welcoming introductory experiences to golf for youth, with particular emphasis on reaching communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in the sport. The possibilities are endless, and PGA of Canada CEO Kevin Thistle is excited about it.

Thistle says First Tee—Canada provides PGA members with an incredible opportunity to “deliver this amazing platform to a diverse range of young golfers and to dispel many of the stereotypes that have traditionally been associated with golf. This (program) is the perfect vehicle because it aligns so perfectly with our association’s values.”

Harold Varner III, who recently finished in the top 25 in his Masters debut, is an ambassador for RBC Community Junior Golf in support of First Tee – Canada. RBC, in partnership with Golf Canada, will implement First Tee – Canada programming at municipal and publicly accessible golf courses across the country. First Tee locations supported by RBC Community Junior Golf are chosen with a purposeful lens, focused on building greater diversity and equity in golf, thus creating “hubs” of accessible public golf courses, schools, and community centres in underserved communities. 

Harold Varner III First Tee - Canada

“I understand the positive impact sport can have on a young person’s life. It can open doors and present opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available,” said Varner.

Still, in its relative infancy, First Tee – Canada is rolling out gradually in communities across the country. The goal is to launch First Tee – Canada Chapters in every region of the country by the end of 2022 and to enroll 100,000 participants in First Tee programming by 2024. Current chapters in operation include British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

As with most nonprofit programs, expansion is dependent on funding. Since the program launched, more than $8M in pledges have been raised in support of First Tee – Canada including major chapter-founding gifts to jump-start the program.

“First Tee—Canada is funded largely through philanthropic contributions,” Blue emphasizes. “It is dependent on the generosity of individuals and companies. It’s really gratifying to see how many have stepped up because they believe in diversifying the sport.”

Since its inception in 1997 in the United States, 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 network has grown to more than 150 chapters and more than 1,200 program locations across the U.S. as well as international chapters in Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco and now Canada.

First Tee - Canada

While the all-encompassing program is centred around golf, that activity is just part of the experience aimed at strengthening character by teaching life skills that will last forever. These include understanding and managing emotions, resolving conflicts, setting up step-by-step goals, planning for their future, and appreciating diversity.

First Tee—Canada is open to youth of all ages and skill levels. Kids as young as five are welcome to participate. The goal is, after being introduced to the program, juniors will advance through various stages of the program up until 18, where they will begin to set goals around career and education.

First Tee programming will be delivered at schools, community centres, and golf courses with specifically designed curriculum and coach training for each of these environments. The PGA of Canada’s robust training framework ensures all Canadian coaches are well equipped to deliver First Tee.

First Tee—Canada may help develop better golfers in the future but, much more importantly, it will give us better people.

Golf Canada and the Golf Canada Foundation continue to work with prospective donors who wish to support First Tee nationwide programming. For more information on First Tee—Canada, how to get involved or to donate, visit

PGA of Canada

PGA of Canada to conduct tournaments in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, New Brunswick and Arizona

(ACTON – ON) – The PGA of Canada is pleased to announce the national championship schedule for the 2022 season. While the 2021 season saw all events condensed into the final few months of the summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are excited to return to spreading our events throughout the summer and fall months this season. 

The 2022 schedule is highlighted by the 100th playing of the BetRegal PGA Championship of Canada. With a list of champions that includes greats of the game like Arnold Palmer, Moe Norman and Lee Trevino, the 100th edition of the event is going to be a special celebration for the association and history of the tournament.

The 72-hole event will lead off our tournament season, June 20-24 at Beacon Hall Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario. The defending champion is Riley Fleming, who teaches out of Lynx Ridge Golf Club. 

From there, we will quickly move east to Bromont, Quebec, for the PGA Women’s Championship of Canada. Chateau Bromont will host the top professional and amateur women in the country June 28-July 1 for the 54-hole event. This is the first year that the PGA of Canada will run the event alongside our friends at Golf Quebec. Christine Wong, who teaches out of University Golf Club, is the defending champion. 

For the first time, in 2021, the Seniors’ Championship of Canada was held in conjunction with the BetRegal PGA Championship of Canada due to the condensed schedule. We are pleased that the top senior players aged 50 and up in Canada will have a standalone event this year. Supported by the event’s new presenting sponsor GOLFTEC, the 54-hole PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada is set for August 23-26 at Connaught Golf Club in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Last year’s event was won by tournament player Dennis Hendershott.  

The first of those two events is our final championship hosted on Canadian soil this year, as the 54-hole PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada presented by Callaway Golf is slated for September 11-14 at The Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. The 2021 event was won by Vespra Hills Golf Club Apprentice Professional Branson Ferrier. 

Finally, the top head professionals, head teaching pros, executive professionals, and general managers from across Canada will look forward to December sunshine as the Head Professional Championship of Canada presented by Callaway Golf with support from G&G Brands will be played at Verrado Golf Club – VICTORY COURSE in Buckeye, Arizona, December 5-8. The defending champion is Nick Kenney, Head Teaching Professional at The National Golf Club. 

Verrado Golf Club previously hosted the Head Professional Championship of Canada in 2015, when Danny King won by two strokes over James Skrypec. Participants this year are in for a new experience, as the 2015 event was held at the Founders Course at Verrado Golf Club, while this year’s event will be played on the VICTORY COURSE. 

Please note that as of 2019, the Board of Directors approved guidelines allowing female members to participate in the PGA, Seniors’, Assistants’ and Head Professional Championships from a yardage of 86-88% shorter than the other competitors.

“We are heading into this year’s national championships with a lot of momentum after successfully crowning champions at all of our events in 2021,” said PGA of Canada president Teejay Alderdice. “We are so thankful to all of the venues that have stepped up this year to host events. We have an incredible group of courses across Canada and the US that will allow us to find five more worthy champions.”

Registration for the championships will open in the coming weeks.

CP Women's Open RBC Canadian Open

Johnsonville becomes Official Sausage Partner of Golf Canada

Golf Canada is proud to announce a new partnership with Johnsonville that will see the company become the Official Sausage Partner of Golf Canada and its two signature events – the RBC Canadian Open and the CP Women’s Open.

The partnership positions Johnsonville as the exclusive supplier of sausage products – including their signature bratwurst – at Canada’s National Open Golf Championships beginning in 2022.

Spectators at the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open will also enjoy sampling new and sensational flavours from one of North America’s leading sausage brands at the Johnsonville Trailer within the Recipe Unlimited Fare Way food and beverage experience.

“We are very pleased to welcome Johnsonville’s globally renowned products as the Official Sausage Partner of the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open,” said John Sibley, Chief Commercial Officer of Golf Canada. “Golf fans will be treated to a premium food and sampling experience, and we look forward to this partnership enhancing the summer-fun festival vibe across our two flagship properties.”

Johnsonville has remained committed to excellence since its inception in 1945. For the 77-year-old organization, partnering with the National Sport Federation is an opportunity to showcase their signature products to an engaged golf audience at two of Canada’s premier sporting events.

“Our brand has always been one to bring family and friends together around good food and good times – at backyard barbeques and sporting events of all kind. We’re proud to bring golf fans our delicious Johnsonville bratwurst at Golf Canada events and serve as the official sausage of the CP Women’s Open and RBC Canadian Open” said Brad Martin, Managing Director of Johnsonville Canada.

The 2022 RBC Canadian Open will be held June 6-12 at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto, Ont. with nearby Islington Golf Club as the official practice facility. The CP Women’s Open will be contested August 22-28 at Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club in Ottawa, Ont.

Everyone Benefits Handicap Information

Handicapping: Active seasons

An Active Season is the period of time when acceptable scores from a specified area should be submitted for handicap purposes.  The Rules of Handicapping stipulates that every player is responsible for submitting all acceptable scores into one’s scoring record for rounds played on courses during the active season.

It is the responsibility of authorized provincial golf association to declare active and inactive seasons, with area clubs and players required to observe these dates for score posting purposes. To make this process easier, the Golf Canada Score Centre automatically considers the active season of the course being played when a score is posted and whether it should be included in calculating a player’s Handicap Index.

In Canada, the active season in each province is as follows:

BC =     Mar.1 – Nov.15
AB =     Mar.1 – Oct.31
SK =     Apr.15 – Oct.31
MB =    Apr.15 – Oct.31
ON =    Apr.15 – Oct.31
QC =    Apr.15 – Oct.31
NS =     Apr.15 – Oct.31
NB =     May.1 – Oct.31
PE =     Apr.16 – Nov.14
NL =     Apr.1 – Nov. 30

(NOTE:  Some Lower mainland and Vancouver Island courses may observe a year-round active season). For a list of clubs observing a year-round active season, please contact BC Golf

Scores made at any golf course observing an inactive season are not acceptable for handicap calculation purposes. This is because course conditions during inactive seasons are not consistent with the way that the Course & Slope Ratings were determined, which can impact the accuracy of a player’s Handicap Index.

Scores made at a golf course in an area observing an active season must be posted for handicap purposes, even if the golf club where the player is a member is observing an inactive season. The club’s Handicap Committee must make it possible for a player to post these away scores at the beginning of the active season.

It’s important to note that if you are travelling to other countries or regions, you should confirm their active seasons to ensure all acceptable scores are posted. Your home club needs all acceptable scores (even if played during a Canadian “off-season”) to ensure that your Handicap Index is accurate and reflects your demonstrated ability.

For example, if a player belonging to a golf club in Ontario plays golf in Florida (which observes a year-round active season) during January, any score(s) made in Florida are acceptable and must be submitted to the player’s scoring record. If the player is also a member of a golf club in Florida and Ontario, it is important to remember that all acceptable scores must be posted to each scoring record.  The Golf Canada Score Centre has tools available to link Canadian and USGA accounts, so that a score posted to one account is automatically transferred to the other.  For more information, or to set up this link, please contact or phone 1-800-263-0009 X399.

For a detailed list of active and inactive schedule in the United States, click here.

For more information on handicapping, click here.


Inside Golf NB Partnerships

Golf NB & Audi Moncton set to continue their partnership in 2022

FREDERICTON, NB: Golf New Brunswick (Golf NB) is pleased to announce a new one-year partnership with Audi Moncton. The luxury car dealership will serve as the Presenting Sponsor at three of Golf NB’s Championship Events in 2022; The NB Women’s Provincials, Driven by Audi Moncton, the NB Women’s Four Ball, Driven by Audi Moncton, and the Past Presidents’ Cup, Driven by Audi Moncton.

In addition to the presenting sponsor titles, Audi Moncton will become the Official Partner of New Brunswick’s Provincial Team Program. This advanced partnership will see all of New Brunswick’s Provincial Teams Driven by Audi Moncton, by having primary exposure on all team clothing and gear.

Audi Moncton’s multi-platform investment in New Brunswick golf will also benefit the athletes and coaches that comprise Golf NB’s Provincial Team Programs including the Team New Brunswick Junior, Amateur and Senior Squads. 

Scott Killen, General Manager, Audi Moncton calls the new agreement the perfect partnership. “As a brand, we are strong supporters of golf and proud to help grow the game in New Brunswick. The national-level partnership between Audi and Golf Canada makes it easy for us to extend our support to a provincial level. All of us at Audi Moncton are looking forward to this new partnership and are excited about the upcoming season.”

Golf NB Executive Director Luke Lacey said that Golf NB is grateful for the continuous support shown by Audi Moncton. “We are thrilled to again be working with Mr. Killen and his team at Audi Moncton as they rejoin our growing family of partners. Having a prestige brand like Audi Moncton as a title partner will assist us in continuing to provide the ultimate value and enhance the experiences at our championship events”, said Lacey.

The 2022 NB Women’s Four Ball, Driven by Audi Moncton will return to the Gowan Brae Golf & Country Club on June 12th, and the NB Women’s Provincials, Driven by Audi Moncton will be played July 3rd-5th at the Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews. The Past Presidents’ Cup, Driven by Audi Moncton will take place at Golf Pokemouche on September 24th-25th.

About Audi Moncton

Audi Moncton is a perennial award-winning dealership, located in Dieppe NB, servicing all of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. We offer a large selection of traditional gas-powered vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and all-new fully electric vehicles. Visit us in person or online for more details.

About Golf New Brunswick

Golf New Brunswick (Golf NB), a not-for-profit organization founded in 1934, is the official governing body for amateur golf in New Brunswick.  In January of 2006, the New Brunswick Golf Association (NBGA) officially merged with the New Brunswick Ladies Golf Association (NBLGA), resulting in one united governing body for amateur golf in the province.  Programs offered by Golf NB to its 49 partner facilities and 7,900 individual members include: provincial championships, rules of golf education, course rating and handicap services, and junior golf development programs.

CP Women's Open RBC Canadian Open

Sleeman Breweries named Official Beer Partner of Golf Canada, the RBC Canadian Open & CP Women’s Open

(April 21, 2022) – Canada’s National Open Golf Championships will welcome a new beer partner as Golf Canada has selected Sleeman Breweries and their premium portfolio of beers, led by Sleeman Clear 2.0, as the Official Beer of Golf Canada, the RBC Canadian Open and the CP Women’s Open.

Through the partnership, Sleeman Clear 2.0, the fastest growing light beer in Canada, will be the flagship beer sold at Golf Canada’s two National Open Golf Championships. The iconic beer brand will also engage spectators with fun activations including a custom beer patio at both events as well as an exclusive dedicated VIP viewing area during the RBCxMusic Concert Series at the RBC Canadian Open featuring Flo Rida (June 10) and Maroon 5 (June 11).

“Watching world-class golf and enjoying a premium cold beer is a perfect compliment to celebrate summer festival season. We are thrilled to offer Canadian golf fans an outstanding, premium better-for-you beer in Sleeman 2.0 at the RBC Canadian Open and the CP Women’s Open” said John Sibley, Chief Commercial Officer at Golf Canada. “Sleeman’s quality craftsmanship and proud Canadian identity are well aligned to deliver energy and brewing excellence to Golf Canada’s two signature events.”

As the third largest brewery in Canada, the Guelph, Ont. based Sleeman will work with Golf Canada to host an extraordinary Canadian golf audience with its portfolio of premium-brewed beer, led by Sleeman Clear 2.0.

“We are very excited about the partnership between Sleeman Clear 2.0 and Golf Canada.  It aligns so well with our shared Canadian heritage, commitment to excellence and the active lifestyle of Clear 2.0 drinkers,” said Dana Brochu, Director or Marketing at Sleeman Breweries. With its refreshing taste, low carbs and low calories, Sleeman Clear 2.0 is the perfect beer to help Canadian golf fans “2.0” their experience this summer at these two premier sporting events.”

As the National Sport Federation, Golf Canada will conduct the RBC Canadian Open June 6-12, 2022 at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto Ont. with nearby Islington Golf Club as the official practice facility. The CP Women’s Open, takes place August 22-28, 2022 at Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club in Ottawa, Ont.

Golf New Brunswick and BrokerLink tee up for an exciting new partnership

FREDERICTON, NB: Golf New Brunswick (Golf NB) and BrokerLink (Brokerlink Inc.) have announced a new endeavor that will see the insurance brokerage become the Official Practice Partner of all Golf NB Championships.

“We are thrilled to welcome BrokerLink and have them join our growing family of passionate partners,” said Luke Lacey, Executive Director of Golf New Brunswick. “We look forward to connecting Golf NB members with one of Canada’s largest insurance brokerages, offering local service to customers across Atlantic Canada, including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.”

As the exclusive practice partner for all Golf NB championships and events, BrokerLink will be present at these events, with special activations planned for practice round days at designated championships.

“Golf NB has a proven track record of conducting premier events in Atlantic Canada, and we are excited to be part of this year’s activities planned to showcase excellence in Canadian golf,” said Erin Kinsman, Group Relationship Specialist – Atlantic, BrokerLink.

The 2022 Golf NB Championship Schedule begins with a sold-out NB Men’s Four Ball Championship, presented by TaylorMade® Golf Canada on May 28-29, at the Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

About Golf New Brunswick

Golf New Brunswick (Golf NB), a not-for-profit organization founded in 1934, is the official governing body for amateur golf in New Brunswick.  In January of 2006, the New Brunswick Golf Association (NBGA) officially merged with the New Brunswick Ladies Golf Association (NBLGA), resulting in one united governing body for amateur golf in the province.  Programs offered by Golf NB to its 48 partner facilities and 7,600 individual members include provincial championships, rules of golf education, course rating and handicap services, and junior golf development programs.

About BrokerLink

Since 1991, we’ve had a vision: to build a network of trusted insurance brokers across the country, working directly in the communities we serve. With over 200 branches and 3,000 employees, we’re proud to say that BrokerLink has become one of Canada’s largest property and casualty insurance brokerages.

Brokerlink Inc. is a subsidiary of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC), a certified Kincentric 2021 Best Employer in Canada. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.