Volunteers are the machine behind golf in Canada

Ancaster, ON - Jun 9, 2019 : 2019 RBC Canadian Open. Volunteers. (Photo by Christian Bender / Golf Canada)

Garry McKay

Volunteers. Golf in Canada can’t do without them and for many who try it, it becomes a life-long passion.

Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Canadians volunteer every year at all levels of golf – from local junior events up to and including the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open.

“The volunteers at our recent Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor absolutely loved what they were doing,” said Golf Canada president Liz Hoffman, who enjoys attending tournaments and getting to hang out with volunteers.

“Whether they were walking scorers, spotters or bringing out water and fruit for the players they loved every minute of what they were doing, and it was contagious.”

Windsor, Ontario – August 5: at the 2021 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Ambassador Golf Club Photo Credit: Jeff Vogan/SPORTDAD Sports Photography

Hoffman says if you consider all the roles and responsibilities volunteers have as part of Golf Canada’s board, councils and committees, helping at championships and qualifiers, or who serve as referees or work on handicapping and course rating and then factor everything that happens at the provincial level there is no doubt golf in Canada couldn’t function without them.

“They (volunteers) are integral, right across the country,” she says. “They’re the machine.”

Jim Clark, an Aurora, Ont., resident, first volunteered to work the Canadian Open in 1984 after hearing about it when he was curling.

“I was on the caddy committee,” he explains. “I just loved it. Standing in the parking lot at Glen Abbey and meeting the players as they got out of their cars.

“I enjoyed it so much I did it the next year, and the next year and the next year. And I’ve never missed one since.”

In time, Clark became a governor of the Royal Canadian Golf Association (now Golf Canada) and he has worked every significant tournament Golf Canada has been involved in.

But why?

“It can be long hours and exhausting, but it gave me an energy,” he says. “It was the highlight of my year many times. That’s why I kept going back.”

Clark said volunteering in golf gave him a feeling of being part of a team and he loves to talk about the friendships he’s made through working golf tournaments and how volunteers come from all walks of life.

“We had a doctor who ran a parking lot at the Canadian Open,” he said. “He took a week off from his practice to direct cars in the parking lot.”

Hoffman’s introduction to volunteering in golf was not unlike Clark’s.

It happened in 2006 because the University of Toronto, where she was director of athletics and high-performance sport, was hosting the Canadian University/College Championship at Thornhill G&CC, where she’s a member.

After that experience she volunteered at the club level, then with Golf Ontario. And now, 15 years later, she is president of Golf Canada.

Both Hoffman and Clark agree that it’s not hard to get volunteers back for a second or third time because they see they’re making a difference and are having fun doing it.

“Once people do it they love it and they’ll go back,” said Clark. “The hard part is getting them out for the first time because some people can be intimidated by it.”

That’s one of the reasons Hoffman is on a crusade to broaden golf’s volunteer base in Canada.

“I’ve had so many parents come up to me and say, “if you ever need volunteers let me know because I’ll help in any way I can,’” says Hoffman who points out the reason they ask is because they simply don’t know how to get involved.

For starters, you don’t have to be a great golfer or even a golfer, period.

“We welcome applications from all individuals who share our values and may contribute to increasing equity diversity and inclusion in our sport,” says Hoffman. “We want to look inside and outside our sport.

“We want to broaden our volunteer base and underrepresented groups are key. We need to make sure we reach out to them and let them know who we are and how to get involved.”

Golf Canada has made it simple to sign up as a volunteer. For starters, you can simply go to to get more information on how to volunteer with Golf Canada.

Or if you prefer, you can call Golf Canada or your provincial golf association and ask, “how do I volunteer?”

You can reach Golf Canada at 905-849-9700 or toll-free at 1-800-263-0009.

Golfing Community Inside Golf NB

Golfing Community teams up with Capital Winter Club in Guinness World Curling Record Attempt in Support of Youth Mental Help


Kingswood‘s Director of Golf, Chris Billings, Fredericton Golf Club President, Wayne Tallon and member Steve Burns, and Golf NB Executive Director Tyson Flinn are joining fellow Capital Winter Club members Chris Schnare, Stephen Muzzerall, Kevin Larlee, Geoff Maybee, Mike Jennings, and Paula Emery as the group attempts to set a new “Longest Marathon Curling Game World Record” in support of Youth Mental Health in the Fredericton area.

In 1982 a group of Curlers from the Capital Winter Club curled for 73 hours and 54 minutes setting the world record on April 12. That group of Mike Doucette, Brian Douglas, Don Clark, Tony Doucette, Walter Bidlake, Ned Boyle, Mark Pitkin and Stan Sullivan are the inspiration behind this latest attempt.

Inspired by the success of a group of Capital Winter Club curlers (Mike Doucette, Brian Douglas, Don Clark, Tony Doucette, Walter Bidlake, Ned Boyle, Mark Pitkin, and Stan Sullivan), who established a new World Record of their own, at 73 hours and 54 minutes, on April 12th, 1982, the newest set of Fredericton Record seekers will be attempting to take down the current mark of 105 hours, 6 minutes and 51 seconds, belonging to a group of curlers in Ontario.

The two five-player teams will start play at 6:00 PM on Monday, November 15th, and wrap up 120 hours later at 6:00 PM on Saturday, November 20th, just in time for the Capital Winter Club’s 60th Anniversary Dinner.

The Capital Winter Club in Fredericton will serve as the venue for this Guinness world record attempt

In addition to establishing a new World Record, the group is attempting to raise $1,000 for each hour of curling completed in support of Youth Mental Health in the Greater Fredericton Area. “No one should ever have to wait to talk to someone when they need to, especially based on financial need”, says Steve Burns, one of the primary organizers of the event along with Chris Schnare. “Hopefully the money we raise will help and bring some awareness to resources for our youth. If we can hit our target of 120 hours for this record, we could raise $120,000.”

“I was happy to be asked by Steve and Chris to be part of this once in a lifetime event. We are all excited for the opportunity to be able to use something as unique as a World Record attempt to raise money for such a worthwhile cause.”

said Tyson Flinn, Golf NB Executive Director

For more information on the “Longest Marathon Curling Game World Record” or to donate, please visit

Tax Receipts are available for donations of $20.00 or more.

Inside Golf NB

Honouring David Mills

OAKVILLE, ON – Golf Canada and Golf New Brunswick are saddened to learn of the passing of former Golf Ontario executive director and Ontario Golf Hall of Fame member, David (Dave) Mills. The 74 year old passed on Friday June 11, 2021, surrounded by family.

Mills had been involved with Golf Ontario since 1986. He served on the board of directors from 1989-1997, before being appointed executive director in 1997, where he helped turn around an association that was experiencing significant financial and administrative challenges.

Mills led several initiatives during his time with Golf Ontario, including: the GAO Scholarship Program, educational seminars, Golf in Schools, learn to play clinics, new provincial championships, Team Ontario, participation in Canadian and Ontario Summer Games, a partnership with Ontario Golf Magazine to be official magazine of Association, led the process to establish Ontario Golf Hall of Fame and helped to have golf recognized as an “Official Sport” by Sport Canada.

Perhaps one of his greatest accomplishments was leading the process to amalgamate the Ontario Golf Association with the Ontario Ladies Golf Association to create one of the largest amateur golf associations in North America.

Mills was also a certified rules official and has volunteered his expertise at numerous GAO events and at the RBC Canadian Open, national amateur championships and Skins Games. He retired from the GAO in 2014, but continued to volunteer at provincial events.

In retirement, Mills also dedicated his time to re-establish the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame. Now known as the Dr. Robert L. Vaughn atrium, this Hall of Fame can be viewed in the Belleville CAA Arena (Yardmen Arena).

Dave Mills had a great love for the game of golf and for his wonderful family, and he cherished every moment he got to tee it up with friends and family.

Golf Canada extends its deepest condolences to the Mills family and friends.

To read more on his impact on golf across the province, click here.

Championships Inside Golf NB

Fraser Edmundston slotted to host Back to Back Under-19 Championships

For Immediate Release:

FREDERICTON, NB – Golf New Brunswick (Golf NB) is pleased to announce the Club de Golf Fraser Edmundston Golf Club as the host venue for the 2022 & 2023 NB Under-19 Championship.

Golf NB will return to Edmundston for the first time since the 2019 NB Men’s Amateur Championship. Having hosted two Canadian Men’s Amateur Championships (1956, 2002) and countless NB Provincial Championships, including eight NB Men’s Amateur Championships (2019, 2001, 1982, 1975, 1967, 1963, 1958, 1952), six NB Ladies Provincial Championships (2012, 1896, 1978, 1962, 1957, 1948) and two NB Men’s Senior Championships (2014, 1992). The Fraser Edmundston Golf Club is no stranger to hosting provincial and national events.

“There is no doubt that players can expect a true test of championship golf,” said Golf NB Tournament Committee Chair, Gary Melanson. “We are very excited to be returning to Fraser Edmundston. The selection process is never simple with so many great facilities across the province who are all capable of providing the best championship experience possible for the competitors.”

“The club and our board of directors are thrilled to be given the opportunity to host this event”, said General Manager Julie Lavoie. “Junior golf is very important for the future of the game and any chance we have to help promote the sport and do our part is something our club highly values. We feel an event of this magnitude will be good for our members, the club, and the community.”

The 2022 NB Under-19 Championship is scheduled to take place on July 8th-10th, 2022 followed by the 2022 Canadian Junior Girls Championship on July 26th-29th at a yet to be determined venue and the 2022 Canadian Junior Boys Championship on August 8th-11th, at Rivershore Golf Links in Kamloops, BC.

About Fraser Edmundston

In 2008, the Fraser Edmundston Golf Club received a Recommended Play Award from Golf in Canada for “providing quality, variety, and most of all enjoyment. All things Golf in Canada looks for a great golf course.” That same year, Golf Digest gave the club a Four-Star Rating as well as including it in its Best Places to Play List.

Situated in the legendary Republic of Madawaska, the Fraser Edmundston Golf Club offers players an unforgettable challenge throughout their round. The club offers a variety of topographical changes, mature tree lined fairways and well place bunkers, not to mention the famous railroad track and lake.

Learn More

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 46 partner facilities and 6,600 individual members include provincial championships, rules of golf education, course rating and handicap services, and junior golf development programs

Inside Golf NB

2022 NB Men’s Amateur Championship returns to the Capital Region

For Immediate Release:

FREDERICTON, NB – Golf New Brunswick (Golf NB) is pleased to announce the West Hills Golf Course in Fredericton, New Brunswick as the host venue for the 2022 NB Men’s Amateur Championship.

Scheduled for July 15th-17th, 2022, the NB Men’s Amateur will be the first Provincial Event held at the 6,750-yard championship course, designed by the award-winning firm of Huxham Design.

The NB Men’s Amateur Championship will highlight Golf NB’s schedule as one of the six Major Championships slotted to take place in the summer of 2022.


Brett Wilson, PGA of Canada Atlantic Member and Director of Golf at West Hills, said the tournament fits the club’s plan to raise its profile and establish itself as one of the top Championship Venues in the province. “We are very excited for this opportunity to showcase our course to some of New Brunswick’s top amateur players,” Wilson said. “Since 2015, our staff have done a tremendous job developing the course and clubhouse to prepare for an event like this.”

Wilson, a past NB Men’s Amateur competitor, and Team New Brunswick Member, said “All of our members and our staff are proud of this property, I know we’ll be ready to host a memorable event, especially one with such great history.” 2022 will mark the 92nd playing of the NB Men’s Amateur Championship, and the first time the event has been held in the Fredericton Region since 2009 when Moncton’s Mathieu Gingras was crowned champion.

West Hills joins a growing list of host venues for Golf NB’s 2022 Championship Schedule, including the Mactaquac Golf Course, the Gage Golf & Curling Club, the Covered Bridge Golf & Country Club, and the Fredericton Golf Club.

About West Hills

West Hills Golf Course was designed by the award-winning firm of Huxham Design. It first opened for play in the summer of 2015 and boasts an elaborate practice facility along with an 18-hole layout that offers risk and reward opportunities for all levels of golfers.

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 46 partner facilities and 6,600 individual members include provincial championships, rules of golf education, course rating and handicap services, and junior golf development programs