19th Hole PGA Tour

New “PGA Tour 2K23” video game made on Canada’s East Coast

By: Neil Davidson (Canadian Press)

From Moe Norman to Mike Weir and Sandra Post to Brooke Henderson, Canada has a rich golf history.

But there’s also a little-known golf hotbed in Lunenburg, N.S.

Located on the south shore of Nova Scotia, with a population of 2,396 according to the 2021 census, the port town is home to HB Studios, creator of the new “PGA Tour 2K23” video game.

Founded in 2000 by transplanted Englishman Jeremy Wellard, HB Studios collaborated with various publishers including Electronic Arts on an array of sports games. The studio recruited locally and all over the globe to get expertise in everything from cricket and rugby to soccer, football and golf.

“When I started here, I was definitely one of the local people,” said HB Studios creative director Josh Muise, who has more than 15 years experience with the company. “I was born on the East Coast and grew up out here. I remember walking through the studio the first day and the number of different accents that I came across was certainly delightful and kind of interesting to find in a small sleepy fishing village in Nova Scotia.”

The studio now also has an office in Halifax, with combined staff of about 100 and growing.

“This has become a really major project and it’s become a very big game,” Muise said of the golf title. “We’re very lucky to be able to continue attracting world-class talent and growing the franchise.”

Muise, 40, was born on Cape Breton Island and spent a lot of his school years in New Brunswick. While he admits to some reservations back in the day about moving to “a 1,200- to 1,500-person seasonal fishing village, as beautiful as it was in the postcards,” he is now an unabashed fan of Lunenburg.

“It’s been a wonderful transformation. The town has radically shifted in the last five, 10 years in particular, where you’re seeing a lot of new businesses and you’re seeing a lot of new people coming in. And it’s really become a hotbed.”

The trend toward working remotely has helped bring an influx of young high-tech workers looking to leave the city. The fact that Halifax is only an hour or so away adds to Lunenburg’s attraction.

HB Studios mirrors that growth, as shown by the fact that its newest title features Tiger Woods on its cover.

“The thing that we’re proudest of with that is that we feel like we earned the opportunity,” said Muise, whose name is pronounced muse. “We went from an independent golf game, not all those many years ago, to building up to earning ourself the spot to having the PGA Tour licence come into play and being part of our partnership, ultimately bringing in 2K (Games) and everything that they offer, and then leading up to bringing in Tiger Woods as well.

“The team worked very very hard to put a great game out there. We worked with the community. We were receptive to the feedback. And we kind of grew together. So for it all to culminate with the best, I would say, single-sport athlete of all time on the cover of the box, nothing could feel better.”

That first independent golf game was “The Golf Club,” released in 2014, which eventually became “The Golf Club 2019 featuring PGA Tour.”

In 2020, the studio released “PGA Tour 2K21” for 2K Games. A year later, 2K Games bought HB Studios and signed a deal with Woods.

Today the PGA Tour 2K franchise is the studio’s main focus with 2K Games’ expertise from its NBA franchise helping the studio with the complexities of golf licensing and partners.

Woods and Canadian Brooke Henderson are among the 16 playable pros available at launch in “PGA Tour 2K23,” which was released Oct. 14 for PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One and PC via Steam. Basketball icons Michael Jordan and Steph Curry also appear in the game.

“Being a Canadian studio, it was important for us to try and bring in a great Canadian icon like Brooke,” said Muise.

“She’s a great ambassador for the sport. She’s an all time Canadian legend.” he added. “And (we’re) absolutely thrilled to have her as part of our roster.”

Gamers can also play St. George’s Golf and Country Club, set up in tournament condition as it was for the 2022 RBC Canadian Open in June.

The 2K franchise will have competition next spring, with Electronic Arts getting back into the game with “EA Sports PGA Tour,” boasting video game access to all four majors including the Masters.

“We know that there may be a new product coming into the space but ultimately we feel very confident and very comfortable that golf is where we want to be,” said Muise. “And golf is where we intend on staying. And we’re going to keep building on our current success and pushing it.”

19th Hole Amateur

Atlantic golf community looks to rebound after impact from tropical storm Fiona

PHOTO BY STEPHAN NEWMAN FOR STINGRAY MEDIA)

By: Adam Stanley/Golf Canada

Golf is all about community – friends, family, your local club or course. Everything is connected. It’s part of what makes this game so great.

The Canadian golf community was struck a blow this weekend as tropical storm Fiona impacted in the Atlantic provinces with wind speeds up to 177 km/h and sustained winds of over 100 km/h blowing for up to 10 hours in parts of the Maritimes.

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said the army would be deployed to help with clean-up efforts.

“This is hands down the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” journalist Rene Roy told the CBC.

“It looks like a bomb went off,” Newfoundland resident David Harvey told the National Post while working with displaced residents at a local Salvation Army.

Nine people are estimated to have died due to the storm, with nearly 13,000 people displaced, and at least 20 buildings destroyed.

One of those buildings was the clubhouse of the Stanhope Golf and Country Club in Charlottetown, P.E.I. It burned down Sept. 24, and the golf course will likely be closed for the balance of the season as there was significant damage there, too.

“This is a real loss for the community. It’s a community club,” said Merlin Affleck, the club’s head professional. “It’s just devastating.”

Plenty of other courses in Eastern Canada escaped from the wrath of the storm relatively unscathed including Cabot Cape Breton, and Digby Pines in western Nova Scotia took to social media to say they were “open as usual.”

Golf Prince Edward Island posted on Twitter on Sunday morning encouraging patience as turf crews assess and clean up any damages. The island is home to more than 25 courses and has long been a popular destination for tourists and Canadians alike to get feet on the fairway.

“Islanders are resilient, and we will get through this together,” the statement said.

After two summers of COVID-19 restrictions, golf in Atlantic Canada was opening its doors at an impressive clip before Fiona made landfall. If there was a silver lining to the time of the storm, the 2022 golf season is much closer to its conclusion than its beginning, and there will hopefully be enough time to get things settled and sorted before shutting things down for the winter.

Ryan Logan, Director of Golf Services at Golf Canada, says it’s no surprise to see the golf community in Eastern Canada band together.

While golf courses in Canada are just starting to exit from the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic – a situation that bonded golf courses unlike ever before – the clubs in eastern Canada will now need to come together again to get things back to relative normalcy before the end of the 2022 season.  

“We’ve seen great strength and heard great stories of community support already,” says Logan. “This was a catastrophic environmental event and Golf Canada knows the staff at impacted clubs will bind together and hopefully be able to come out stronger on the other side.”

19th Hole

PGA TOUR 2K23 to feature Canadian connection

By: Terry Lenyk

Canadian Brooke Henderson joins American star Lexi Thompson and New Zealand’s Lydia Ko as the franchise-first female pros in the PGA TOUR 2K23 video game.

Other pros available in the game include cover athlete Tiger Woods, Will Zalatoris, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas, who graced the 2K21 cover.

Henderson, a 24-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont., has won US$10.4 million in career earnings and currently ranks fifth in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Ko is No. 4 and Thompson No. 7.

Also featured in the game is St. George’s Golf and Country Club, host of the 2022 RBC Canadian Open.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Ch7v3XUu3lC/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=1c92e094-6e7e-46e4-9ecb-9627fd95283f

The video game is developed by HB Studios in Lunenburg N.S., for 2K Sports.

The deluxe version of the game is scheduled for release on Oct. 11 with the standard edition to follow Oct. 14.

19th Hole

Club Management Association of Canada Announces 2022 Award Recipients

The Club Management Association of Canada (CMAC) has announced their 2022 Awards Program recipients. The awards ceremony will take place Sunday, November 6, 2022 at the National Conference in Vancouver.

The award recipients are:

President’s AwardCarol-Ann Goering, CCM Scarboro Golf & Country Club, Toronto, ON
Club Manager of the YearBrad Duench, Westmount Golf & Country Club, Kitchener, ON
Club of the Year (Large)Ontario Racquet Club, Mississauga, ON
Young ProfessionalsNicole Kiatipis, The Kelowna Yacht Club, Kelowna, BC
Sean McEvoy, Ontario Racquet Club, Mississauga, ON
Honourary Life Membership AwardJason Clarke, CCM
Val Mason ScholarshipMegan Piché, Buffalo Canoe Club, Ridgeway, ON

In addition, the following members will be honoured for recently receiving their Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation:

Kumar Ramjoo, CCM Director of Finance, Donalda Club, Toronto will also be added to the Honour Society.

The annual awards program honours members who have made a significant contribution to the Association and the profession of club management in Canada, supporting CMAC’s mission to offer quality education and networking opportunities. Annually, members are invited to nominate peers in the industry. All nomination submissions are carefully reviewed by the Awards Committee and recipients are selected based on specific criteria.

“I am thrilled with having the opportunity to lead the 2022 Awards Program and recognize these outstanding individuals,” remarked Ryan Woods, Member of the CMAC National Board of Directors and Chair of the Awards Committee. “Thank you to everyone that participated this year.”

“2022 has been a year of exciting change for CMAC with a new brand and the announcement of plans to move CMAC’s headquarters to (TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley) Caledon, Ont., in 2025,” said Suzanne Godbehere, Chief Executive Officer of CMAC. :We will kick off our 2022 National Conference in Vancouver with an awards celebration breakfast. Heartfelt congratulations to the 2022 winners!”

For further details regarding the CMAC Awards Program & Application Process, please visit: CMAC Awards Program.

Information about CMAC’s 2022 National Conference can be found here: Forward to the Future

About the Club Management Association of Canada

The Club Management Association of Canada is the national professional association for individuals involved in the club management profession in Canada. Since 1957, the association has been supporting members with education, certification, networking and member events to facilitate them being the best in the industry. Members include general managers, chief operating officers, assistant general managers, clubhouse managers, golf superintendents, chefs, controllers, food and beverage supervisors, golf professionals, as well as students interested in pursuing a career in club management. CMAC professionals work at private, semi-private and public golf clubs, country clubs, city clubs, faculty clubs and recreation and leisure clubs.

CMAC is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario with over 550 members and 11 branches across Canada.

19th Hole CP Women's Open Team Canada

Rheaume’s confidence at a high as she earns berth into CP Women’s Open

By: John Chidley-Hill

Two back-to-back wins has Sarah-Eve Rheaume’s confidence at an all-time high.

The amateur golfer from Quebec City won the Glencoe Invitational in Calgary on June 18 with a tournament-best 65 in the third and final round. Rheaume then almost duplicated the feat on July 1, firing a tournament-best 66 on the final day of the PGA Women’s Championship of Canada.

That victory earned Rheaume a berth into the CP Women’s Open, Canada’s national women’s golf championship. It will be her first-ever LPGA Tour event.

“I just had a lot of confidence heading into the final day (of the PGA Women’s Championship of Canada),” said the 22-year-old Rheaume. “I’ve been confident over most of the shots, I’m chipping well around the greens.

“Last round of the Glencoe I played really well to get that going, just seeing the putts rolling in.”

Rheaume finished the PGA Women’s Championship of Canada at 12-under 207, three shots ahead of Min-G Kim and eight shots better than Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Markham, Ont., who finished third.

The 22-year-old Rheaume said Wednesday that she wasn’t intimidated by some of the big names at the event.

“There’s a bunch of good players everywhere, so I just kind of stay focused on my game plan and do my thing and then see how it goes at the end,” said Rheaume.

She intends to play in the North & South Women’s Amateur Championship on July 12 and then the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship the week after that.

19th Hole

Lightspeed Golf joins forces with Golf Canada in multi-year agreement

The golf industry in North America is growing in new and exciting ways. Lightspeed Commerce Inc. (NYSE: LSPD) (TSX: LSPD), the one-stop commerce platform for merchants around the world to simplify, scale and create exceptional customer experiences, today announced a multi-year agreement with Golf Canada, the National Sport Federation representing more than 271,000 golfers and 1,400 member clubs across the country, allowing both participating golf courses and golfers to share certified Golf Canada handicap data across both platforms.

Lightspeed Golf empowers courses to manage an entire facility from a single platform, synthesizing systems for daily operations, tee sheets, on-site hospitality and retail, and online booking. The integration of Lightspeed Golf’s commerce platform with the Golf Canada Score Centre will provide a solution for more Canadian golfers to maintain an Official Handicap Index, leveling the playing field for participants across Canada.

“We are both excited and honoured to be partnering with such a revered Canadian organization,” said Lightspeed Golf GM David Hope. “This platform integration will streamline operations for golfers and course operators alike, enabling improved handicap integrity and reporting. We look forward to working with Golf Canada to grow the game through educational content and putting intuitive technology in the hands of both golfers and golf course operators.”

The platform integration will help more golfers track their scoring history and demonstrated ability on the golf course, allowing both golfers and course operators to see handicap data when booking tee times and navigating tee sheets.

“Golf Canada is extremely pleased to be aligning our Score Centre with Lightspeed Golf,” said Golf Canada Director of Membership Ryan Logan. “This platform integration will open up new opportunities to grow our membership-base across Canada and will further support our member clubs in providing a more streamlined and enhanced golfing experience.”

Golf in Canada continues to show growth and resilience through the past two seasons impacted by the pandemic. In 2021, a record 9.3M scores were posted to the Golf Canada Score Centre, a 19% increase from 2020 and 27.5% increase over 2019, and Lightspeed Golf customers reported a 23% increase in rounds played from 2019 to 2020. Lightspeed Golf customers are growing and modernizing their businesses, attracting younger patrons and more diverse golfers, and re-thinking their business models to diversify their revenue streams.

“Golf is booming right now, but even before that our rounds were continuously up every single year over the past five years,” said Lightspeed Golf customer Jenifer Wright, GM of Westwood Plateau Golf. “We’re making changes to get new people into golf and we’ve been really impressed with every integration Lightspeed has come out with. We can’t wait to see how this platform integration with Golf Canada will benefit our course and players.”