Golf Canada

Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer shares a message for Canadian college golf athletes

The press conference to introduce the new Atheltic Director Kevin Blue on May 17, 2016.

Kevin Blue, Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer, took to twitter yesterday to share a message with Canadian golfers who recently signed NLIs to play U.S. college golf.

“Celebrate your accomplishments with your friends and family,” wrote Blue. “After that, set a new goal. This is just one step in your long golfing journey.”

What followed was a thoughtful thread of both career advice and life lessons from an individual with a wealth of experience in the college golf landscape.

Blue joined Golf Canada in 2020 after serving nearly five years as Director of Athletics for the University of California, Davis, an NCAA Division I institute.

Read the full thread below:

Golf Canada Team Canada

Golf Canada links with PUMA Golf to infuse style and performance into Team Canada program

Golf Canada and PUMA Golf have announced an expansion of their partnership, naming PUMA as the Official Apparel and Headwear Partner of Golf Canada’s National Team Program.

As part of the three-year agreement, Team Canada players, coaches, and support staff with the National Amateur and Junior Squads will exclusively wear PUMA’s premium golf apparel and headwear when representing Team Canada. In addition, athletes and coaches named to Team Canada for the 2024 Olympic Golf Competition in Paris will also wear PUMA Golf’s apparel and headwear as part of the field-of-play uniform kit.  

“PUMA Golf has become an incredibly strong and integrated supporter across a number of Golf Canada programs and properties, and we are extremely proud to extend that partnership across high performance and our National Team Program,” said Golf Canada Chief Commercial Officer John Sibley. “This a very exciting period in Canadian high-performance golf and we are excited to begin outfitting Team Canada athletes, coaches and support staff in PUMA’s extensive collection of advanced performance apparel and headwear.”

JOHNNY TRAVALE, HENRY LEE (HUGH HARGRAVE/ GOLF CANADA)

That collection includes numerous innovative technologies, including the company’s breakthrough CLOUDSPUN and MATTR material in its apparel. The extension of Puma Canada’s support into Golf Canada’s National Team Program represents a deeper, stronger, and more integrated partnership with the National Sport Federation that dates back many years. In 2014, COBRA PUMA GOLF became the official headwear, apparel, footwear and equipment partner for Golf Canada’s Junior Skills Challenge, an interactive program focused on developing the key golf skills of putting, chipping, and driving among youth. 

“We are very excited to support all the talented athletes and staff within the Team Canada High Performance Program and strengthen our partnership with Golf Canada,” said Dwayne Boecker, Head of Golf at COBRA PUMA GOLF – Canada. “This opportunity to connect with the next generation of great players in this country will broaden our brand appeal and presence in golf. The iconic PUMA Cat owns a rich history in international competition, and we look forward to seeing Canada’s best amateur golfers continue that success in our gear.”

Team Canada athletes, coaches and support staff will wear official PUMA Golf apparel and headwear when representing Canada beginning November 1, 2021, through to the end of 2024. The full roster of 2022 Team Canada athletes and coaches named to the National Amateur and Junior Squads will be announced next week.

Golf Canada Inside Golf NB

Golf NB President Judy Astle Appoints new Executive Director

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Golf NB, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Luke Lacey as Executive Director of Golf NB. 

Luke’s experience with Golf NB for the past 3 years and background in sales and marketing makes him a great fit for the future of Golf NB as we work to grow the game and introduce those who are new to the game. 

Luke resides in Fredericton, NB, and is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University with a degree in Marketing and a focus in Strategic Management. His previous experience on the frontline with a Golf facility complements our strategic vision of enhancing our relationships with our member clubs.

I look forward to working with Luke and the fellow executive in 2021 and beyond. 

Judy Astle

Golf NB President 

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 10,000 members include 12 provincial events, rules of golf education, course rating and handicap services, junior golf development programs, and member club marketing initiatives.

Golf Canada

Ace Beverage Group becomes Official Ready-To-Drink Beverage Partner of Golf Canada

Golf Canada and Ace Beverage Group announced today a multi-year integrated partnership that will see Ace Beverage Group become the official ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage partner for the RBC Canadian Open and the CP Women’s Open.

Through the partnership, Ace Beverage Group will offer a selection of their RTD beverages, including the highly popular Cottage Springs brand, at Golf Canada’s two National Open Golf Championships beginning in 2022. The Canadian-based Cottage Springs brand will become the new sponsor of the spectator grandstand at the RBC Canadian Open’s famous “Rink Hole”. Spectators at the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open will also enjoy a range of Ace Beverage Group products at the Fare Way food and beverage experience as well as sampling within the fan village.

“We are very proud to partner with Ace Beverage Group to deliver their premium portfolio of ready-to-drink beverages to the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open” said John Sibley, chief commercial officer of Golf Canada. “This partnership across our two flagship properties provides a tremendous opportunity for Golf Canada to align with a leading brand in the RTD category and deliver a premium spectator and hospitality experience.”

Ace Beverage Group is a fast-growing and innovative beverage alcohol company based in Toronto. Ace Beverage Group holds market leadership positions across hard seltzer, craft beer and cider, and has a highly engaged consumer following around its brands. The company’s unique, premium portfolio features numerous popular brands, including Cottage Springs (the #2 hard seltzer brand in Canada), Ace Hill, Liberty Village and Cabana Coast. 

“The RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open are among the most exciting events in all of Canadian sports and we are extremely proud that event fans will have the opportunity to experience and enjoy our products,” said Mike Wagman, CEO of Ace Beverage Group. “We are thrilled to partner with Golf Canada to share our unique portfolio of beverages with spectators, and to continue to grow our brands among golf enthusiasts across the country.”

The 2022 RBC Canadian Open will be held June 6-12 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto, Ont., with the CP Women’s Open being contested August 22-28 at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club in Ottawa, Ont.  

Golf Canada Junior Skills Challenge

National Junior Skills Challenge crowns eight champions at TPC Toronto

CHRIS HUMENIUK OF TPC TORONTO, GIRLS 9-11 CHAMPION ALEXIS CARD, LAURENCE APPLEBAUM OF GOLF CANADA (JEFF VOGAN/ GOLF CANADA)

Lukas Weese

The 12th edition of the Junior Skills Challenge National Event is in the books. 

Played at the picturesque TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley in Caledon, Ont., a selection of top Canadian junior golfers showcased their skills in one of Golf Canada’s signature events. In partnership with the PGA of Canada and Cobra-Puma Golf, this event saw participating golfers compete in putting, chipping, and driving competitions. It culminates a year-long process, which consisted of 80 qualifying events across Canada and 1,500 junior golfers. 

The winners of the Junior Skills Challenge National Event received prizing courtesy of Cobra-Puma Golf with the winners of the 15 to 18 age groups receiving exemptions into their local NextGen Championship in 2022. 

Below are the winners in each of the age groups: 

Boys 8 and under:  

Carrick Frizzell (Hartlen Point Golf Club) captured the Boys 8 and under title honours. Hailing from Halifax, N.S., Frizzell recorded a score of 140. South Surrey, B.C. native Benjamin Hannela (Peace Portal Golf Club & Langley Junior Development Program) finished second posting 100 while Borden Nicholson of Brule Point Golf Course placed third with a score of 80.

Girls 8 and under: 

Four participants competed in the Girls 8 and under division. Emily Joy (The Glencoe Golf & Country Club) of Calgary finished in first place with a score of 115, dominating the putting portion with a 40 on the 5-feet and 30 on the 10-feet. 

Eily Kim (Pitt Meadows Golf Club) of Burnaby, B.C., placed second, with a total of 100. Kim, like Joy, also had a strong putting performance, posting a 40 on the 10-feet competition. 

McKinley Stewart (Sawmill Golf Course) of Fenwick, Ont., placed third (75) while Barrie, Ont., native Brynlee Chappell (Vespra Hills Golf Club) finished fourth (65). 

Boys 9 to 11: 

One of the closest competitions during the Junior Skills Challenge was the Boys 9 to 11 division. Calgary native Luke MacDonald (The Glencoe Golf & Country Club) secured the title with a 185 score, thanks in large part to his driving (multiple 30 scores) and putting (40 on the 5-feet). 

Noah Moreau (Club de golf Lotbinière) of Saint Gilles, Que., placed second, only 20 points shy of first with a score of 165. Dutton, Ont., product Andrew Sudicky finished with 100+ points in third, recording a score of 115. 

Girls 9 to 11: 

Former Drive, Chip and Putt champion Alexis Card (Galt Country Club) continued her strong play with a complete performance, winning the Girls 9 to 11 division with a score of 205. The Cambridge, ON native shined in the driving portion of the event, posting 30+ point scores in the first, second and third driving competitions. 

Claira Frizzell (Hartlen Point Golf Club) also shined with her driving, finishing in second place (145). Brooke Halbauer (Leduc Golf Club) of Edmonton, Alta., placed third registering 100 points. 

Boys 12-14: 

Jager Pain (Eagles Nest Golf Club) recorded the best score out of any golfer at the Junior Skills Challenge on Sunday, posting a score of 265. Winner of the 2018 MJT Ontario Series tournament, Pain delivered impressive scores in the driving and putting portions, recording 30 and above with the driver and all ’40s with the putter. 

Robin Benoit (Golf Saint-Prime sur le Lac) placed second with a score of 160 while Calgary, Alta., native Andrew Leon (Lakeside Golf Club) finished third with 120 points. 

Girls 12-14: 

The Girls 12-14 division came down to the wire, with all four golfers separated by just 25 points. 

Tatum Lohnes (Osprey Ridge Golf Club) came out on top with 160, which included a 40 on the 5-feet putting portion. Sitting in second just five points back of Lohnes was Claire Hu (Whitlock Golf and Country Club), who demonstrated her impressive driving abilities with two scores in the 30’s. 

Just 20 points back of first, Sophie Dhaliwal (Wingfield Golf Club) placed third with a score of 140. Rosemere, Que., native Alexandra Botsis (Club de Golf Rosemere) finished fourth recording 135 points. 

Boys 15-18: 

Like Jager Pain in the Boys 12-14 category, John Kingdon (Sawmill Golf Course) had multiple 40 scores en route to winning the Boys 15-18 competition. The Grimsby, Ont., native recorded scores of 40 in two of the driving events and the 5-feet putting competition. Last season, Kingdon won two tournaments on the Golf Ontario circuit; the US Kids Niagara—Southbrook and U15 NDJT Bridgewater. 

Finishing second was Jackson Wingert (The Willow’s Golf & Country Club) with a score of 175. Toronto amateur Griffin Patterson (Centennial Park Golf Course) placed third with 140 points. 

Girls 15-18: 

Fresh off of winning the 2021 Ontario Juvenile (U17) Girls Championship Title in Windsor, Ont., Joline Troung (Trafalgar Golf & Country Club) captured top honours in the Girls 15-18 event at the Junior Skills Challenge. The Mississauga, Ont., native posted a score of 230, the best among the Canadian girls competing at TPC Toronto. Troung’s best individual score was a 40 in the 5-feet putting competition. 

In second place was Ava MacDonald (Antigonish Golf Club) with a score of 175. MacDonald, like Troung, also recorded a 40 in the 5-feet putting portion. 

Sarah Maude Lefebvre (Golf Saint-Prime sur le Lac) placed third posting 115 points. The St-Prime, Que., native showcased her powerful driver, recording a 40 in the second driving event.

For more information on the Junior Skills Challenge National Event, click here.

Golf Canada

Golf pioneer and Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Jocelyne Bourassa passes away at 74

JOCELYNE BOURASSA (BERNARD BRAULT/ GOLF CANADA)

Golf Canada and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum are sad to report the passing of Jocelyne Bourassa.

The Quebec golf legend was a pioneer and inspiration to young female golfers across the country for close to 60 years.

“I wouldn’t be here and able to talk about my career without Jocelyne,” said Lorie Kane who won four times on the LPGA Tour and was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 2016.

“When I decided to turn pro in 1993 she was working with du Maurier to establish the du Maurier series so I was able to learn how to be a pro from one of the best.”

Kane said the lessons included dealing with sponsors and how to give clinics and how to make the game fun on the corporate level.

“All of those things helped elevate me to who I am today,” she says. “I think it was my second tournament I played in that series I was pretty nervous about how I might be accepted or treated and Jocelyne made a point of coming over to me and telling me I was welcome and that if I ever needed advice she was there for me.”

During her amateur career in the 1960s and 70s Bourassa won three Quebec Junior Championships (1963, 1964 and 1965) and four Amateur Championships (1963, 1969, 1970 and 1971).

She also won the Canadian Women’s Amateur in 1965 and again in 1971 and then turned pro the following year.

“She and I went head-to-head a lot as junior players,” says Sandra Post who has fond memories of her follow Canadian Golf Hall of Famer.

“We were competitors back then but as the years went on we became very good friends. She was so much fun to be around. Very popular and very talented.”

Bourassa joined the LPGA Tour in 1972 and won their Rookie of the Year award. That helped her garner the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award that year as Canada’s best female athlete.

The Shawinigan, Que., native was also named to the Order of Canada in 1972.

Her biggest professional victory came the following year when she captured the inaugural La Canadienne at the Municipal Golf Club in Montreal.

No other Canadian was able to win the Canadian Women’s Open until Brooke Henderson’s victory 45 years later in Regina.

Bourassa’s eight-year LPGA Tour career was cut short by injuries but she began a second career immediately by becoming the du Maurier Classic’s executive director.

Post says it was Bourassa who helped make that event one of the most popular on the LPGA Tour with the players.

“They updated the accommodations, and the hospitality wanting the players to have a great experience,” said Post. “At that time they were really cutting edge.”

Bourassa was active in helping promote golf in Quebec at all levels and served on the Quebec Golf Hall of Fame Committee from 2011 to 2019.

Bourassa was inducted into the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Quebec Golf Hall of Fame in 1996 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

The Golf Journalists Association of Canada honoured her in 2014 with their highest honour, the Dick Grimm Award, for a lifetime of service to the game.

“This is a sad day for Canadian golf,” said Meggan Gardner, head of Heritage Services for Golf Canada. “Jocelyne Bourassa was Canada’s first golfer to win an LPGA event in their home country but she took her national pride to the next level by helping to develop a competitive tournament series for women.

“Outside of her playing record, which is very impressive, she was a great mentor to golfers of all levels. Her legacy will continue to shine for many years to come.”

Bourassa, who was 74, had been battling dementia for several years.

Amateur Golf Golf Canada

Golf Canada announces revised 2021 championship schedule

OAKVILLE, ON – Due to interprovincial travel restrictions and other complexities related to COVID-19, Golf Canada has announced additional changes to its championship schedule for the 2021 season. 

Provincial restrictions had previously forced the cancellation of U.S. Open Local and Final Qualifiers, in addition to the NextGen Pacific, NextGen Western, and NextGen Ontario Championships. With continued pandemic-related uncertainty, the remaining NextGen Championships – NextGen Prairie (Quarry Oaks, June 10-13), NextGen Quebec (Club de Golf Hemmingford, June 27-30), and NextGen Atlantic (Dundarave Golf Course, July 12-15) – will also be cancelled and the 2021 NextGen National Junior Orders of Merit will not be awarded. In some cases, these NextGen events would have conflicted with provincial junior championships around Canada that are being delayed and rescheduled.

The two NextGen Fall Series Championships in September will proceed as scheduled. Each field will feature 99 junior boys and girls and exemptions into the 2022 Canadian Junior Championships will be awarded.

Golf Canada National Amateur Championships are still scheduled to proceed but will only move forward after approval from regional and provincial health authorities. Operational plans for amateur competitions have been adjusted to incorporate rigorous health and safety protocols. Final decisions about the feasibility of conducting national championships will be made approximately four to six weeks prior to the start of each championship. The safety of championship competitors, tournament staff, volunteers, and host site members will remain the top priority guiding these decisions.

At this time, Golf Canada is able to announce the following changes to its National Amateur Championship schedule:

A complete list of Golf Canada’s competitions is available here.

Golf Canada

Passing of Guy Bernier: “Thank you for helping the industry grow”.

It is with great regret before the long weekend that the Québec golf world learned of the death of Guy Bernier, after a very courageous fight against cancer.

In his case, the word courage in recent years is fully warranted. He was 67 years old and had been retired for two years from Golf Canada.

Guy Bernier worked at the national sport federation as the regional director for Québec. He succeeded Rémi Bouchard after Bouchard became a full-time pro.  

His mandate was to maintain the presence of Golf Canada in the 325 clubs of the province, which his personality allowed him to do and succeed.

The ambassador role was a second career for Guy Bernier, his first very successful one having been in equipment sales.

You probably had some of his equipment in your bag as well since he was associated with two winning brands, first with Spalding Top Flite before becoming Mr. Callaway in 1981 for 18 years before running his own agency.

This was the era of Michel Norman Sr., Helene Norris, Russell Campbell, Richard Dufresne and Max Oxford and company, before the advent of big box stores and internet shopping, when he had to visit the pros all over the province and Ottawa area in their stores several times a year – which created a deep bond.

The many messages of sympathy on social media show the level of appreciation that he enjoyed.

“Guy made a difference. Thank you for growing the industry as well as making a difference in my life. We will miss you,”

wrote Debbie Savoy-Morel, a very close friend.

Golf Canada also published the following statement:

“We pass along our sincere condolences to the family & friends of our dear friend and former colleague Guy Bernier.  He was a highly respected contributor to our sport, a gentleman in his dealings as our Regional Director in Quebec, a passionate enthusiast of the game & a friend to many across the golf community. #RIP”

Our condolences to Guy Bernier’s wife and two boys.

Click here to view Bernier’s obituary.

Golf Canada PGA Tour

Conners keeps it as stress free as possible for PGA lead

KIAWAH ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 20: Corey Conners of Canada plays his shot from the seventh tee during the first round of the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort's Ocean Course on May 20, 2021 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) – Amid the wind and the havoc at Kiawah Island, there was a semblance of simplicity to the way Corey Conners navigated his way around the Ocean Course for a 5-under 67 and a two-shot lead Thursday in the PGA Championship.

He birdied all the par 5s. He made a couple of long putts for birdie. He dropped only one shot. The scorecard alone made it look like a walk on the beach.

It just didn’t feel that way.

“I’d say it’s impossible to be stress-free around this golf course,” Conners said. “You can’t fall asleep out there on any holes. It’s very challenging. I was fortunate to have a good day. Made it as least stressful as possible on myself.”

With a stiff wind into his face for his last five holes, the 29-year-old Canadian played the tough closing stretch in 2 under, one of those birdies a 55-foot putt from just short of the green.

He led by two shots over a half-dozen players. That group included Brooks Koepka, who started his day with a double bogey and stayed largely out of trouble the rest of the way; and Cameron Davis, who overcame a triple bogey on the sixth hole.

Keegan Bradley, Viktor Hovland, Aaron Wise and Sam Horsfield also were at 69. The seven players to break 70 were the fewest for the opening round of the PGA Championship since there were five at Hazeltine in 2002.

“I definitely knew in my preparation that it was possible to have a decent round out here and shoot a 5-, 6-under par round,” Conners said. “So kind of started the day thinking, ‘Why not me?’ There’s birdies to be had.”


No one needed them like Koepka, a major presence when conditions are severe. One hole into this major, he had reason to be more worried about his brain than his ailing right knee.

His opening tee shot on the 10th hole at Kiawah Island was struck poorly and didn’t quite clear a waste area. Koepka tried to do too much from a soft lie in the sand and barely got it out. It led to a double bogey, and the toughest part of the Ocean Course was still to come.

But this is a major, and this is Koepka, and that’s when he’s at his best. He knuckled down from that mess by running off six birdies the rest of the way.

“You can’t do that stuff if you want to win. You’ve just got to be more focused,” said Koepka, who has played only twice in the last three months because of surgery to repair ligaments in his knee. “I don’t know if that’s a lack of not playing or what. It was just stupid. I was able to recover, I guess.”

So did 50-year-old Phil Mickelson, who had four bogeys through six holes and nothing but birdies and pars the rest of the way to join the large group at 70 that included defending champion Collin Morikawa and former U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland.

More telling were those on the other side of par, some of whom will be scrambling to make it to the weekend.

Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world in the midst of his worst stretch in nearly two years, took a double bogey from a wild tee shot on the front nine and a double bogey on the 18th for a 76. He’s in jeopardy of missing the cut in consecutive majors in the same year for the first time in his career.

Justin Thomas took double bogey on the 18th hole in the morning and two holes later sent a sand shot over the green and just into a hazard for another 6 on the par-5 second. He had a 75.

Rory McIlroy, coming off a victory at Quail Hollow two weeks ago, sent his opening tee shot into a water hazard. He salvaged a bogey, but certainly not his round. McIlroy made bogey on three of the par 5s for a 75, his worst start ever in a PGA Championship.

Jordan Spieth, who needs a victory to complete the career Grand Slam, shot 73.

The PGA of America moved up tee boxes, as expected, to account for the wind. The course played to 7,660 yards – 178 yards shorter than the scorecard – though that didn’t make it easy. Thomas, for one, still hit 7-wood into the 214-yard 17th.

John Daly was among 12 players who shot in the 80s. On the 30-year anniversary of his PGA Championship victory at Crooked Stick, he shot 85.

There were birdies to be had, and mistakes to be made, and Martin Laird was example of both. So wild was his round that he he made bogey on No. 12, ran off four straight birdies and then closed with two bogeys. That added to a 70, not a bad day’s work.

“I kind of went out with the mindset this week, even though it’s hard, don’t give the course too much respect,” Laird said. “You still have to take on shots when you have the chance. When I had a spot where I could go at the flag, I was making sure I kept doing it and hit a lot of really nice shots and managed to make some birdies.

“You’re going to hit bogeys on this golf course,” he said. “It’s nice when you can throw in a bunch of birdies, too.”

Finally heeled from a left knee injury, Koepka injured ligaments in his right knee in March and has played only twice since then, the Masters and last week in Dallas.

He began with a poor 3-wood on No. 10 that didn’t clear the waste area. He took on too much with a soft lie in the sand and barely got it out, leading to a double bogey. But he didn’t flinch and had few complaints about his start.

“It’s a major. I’m going to show up. I’m ready to play,” he said. “I love it when it’s difficult. I think that’s why I do so well in the majors. I just know mentally I can grind it out.”

Canadians Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., and Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., are also in the field. Hughes shot a 75 and Hadwin shot a 77.

Golf Canada Member Benefits

Golf Canada’s latest app update includes games and enhanced course lookup

Golf Canada has dropped an app update that is sure to get golfers pumping their fists!

Just in time for the 2021 golf season, the latest version of Golf Canada’s app now features the ability to set up Match Play, Skins of Stroke Play games against friends using Gross or Net scoring.

Put the pencil down and forget about dotting the scorecard. You no longer need to worry about who gets strokes on what hole. The Golf Canada app has you covered.

Plus, users can discover new places to play using a revamped course finder tool. The new look-up functionality allows golfers to search for courses using criteria like number of holes, type of facility (private, public, semi-private) and ease of walking, among many others.

The app is also helping golfers get better connected with their favourite facilities – users can look up clubs who are specifically offering promotions. 

Save time and the hassle of setting up matches with your buddies and get the newest version of the Golf Canada app, available starting April 5, 2021.

These new Golf Canada App features are in addition to those users already enjoy, like real-time course GPS data and game tracking.

Don’t play another round until you download the latest version of this app.

Download on the App Store
Get It On Google Play