When the dust settles on 2009, there will be a lot of faces in new places compared to the 12 months ago and GNN, in its first calendar year, was there to cover these movements and the honours that were bestowed within the Canadian golf industry.
GNN will be slowing down for two weeks over the holidays as of this Friday, but if you have any downtime while taking a breather, it’s always fun to look back on our archives for a quick look at the year that was in 2009.
It was a year in which the number of Canadian players competing on the PGA and LPGA Tours doubled for 2010 and developing pros and amateurs made it known loud and clear that the number could grow even more in future years.
It was also a year in which familiar names changed positions and honours were handed out to recognize the contributions and achievements of people within the industry.
Here are some of the highlights:
Recognized for Contributions/Achievements
Mike Weir is inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame during a ceremony at his home course of Huron Oaks in Bright’s Grove, Ont., at the end of November … Lorne Rubenstein receives the George Gross Achievement Award from Sport Media Canada for contributions to sports journalism … Former du Maurier Classic executive director and LPGA Tour player Jocelyne Bourassa receives the Trainor Award from the Duramed Futures Tour for lifetime contributions … Mary-Jane Hall is recognized for 30 years of service at Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto.
In September, the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association names David Boyd of Heritage Pointe in Dewinton, Alta., as its Superintendent of the Year. Other winners include Cameron Kusiek of Wolf Creek in Ponoka, Alta., as its Future Superintendent of the Year and former association executive director Vince Gillis as the winner of the John B. Steel Award … The Canadian PGA announces its award-winners including Bill Wogden of the Barrie Country Club in Barrie, Ont. (Club Professional of the Year), Rob Anderson of Shadow Mountain Golf Course in Cranbrook, B.C. (Teacher of the Year), Tim Moore of Thornhill Golf and Country Club in Thornhill, Ont. (Merchandiser of the Year) and Mike Kelly of the Golf Association of Ontario (Jack McLaughlin Junior Leader of the Year) … Montreal’s Claude Brousseau of the Kapalua Golf Academy in Maui is named PGA of America’s Aloha Section Teacher of the Year … RCGA national men’s coach Henry Brunton is named to the Top 50 Kids Teachers list by U.S. Kids Golf … Dallas Desjardins of Summerside Golf and Country Club in Prince Edward Island and Peter Stewart of The Country Club in Woodbridge, Ont., share the Tex Noble Award.
Steve Carroll is named director of membership and business development for the Royal Canadian Golf Association in November after resigning as Canadian PGA executive director in August and leaving the job at the end of October … Dean Spriddle resigns in October as head coach of the RCGA’s national women’s team and is replaced a few weeks later by former Canadian PGA Teacher of the Year Derek Ingram of Winnipeg … Tom McCarthy of Halifax is introduced as RCGA president in January … Peter Beresford is named the RCGA’s chief operating officer in October … Erica Duffy resigns as Canadian PGA communications coordinator to join Research In Motion in Waterloo, Ont. … Four-time national women’s champ Mary Ann Lapointe joins the Golf Association of Ontario as sports development coordinator for high performance programs in March … Jon Roy is named the GAO’s provincial head coach in December.
Kevin Thistle leaves Angus Glen in Markham, Ont., after 16 years to join Coppinwood in nearby Uxbridge in May. He later joins GNN as a regular blogger. Nigel Hollidge, formerly of the Club at Bond Head and Taboo, returns to Angus Glen … Former Canadian Amateur champ Rob McMillan of Winnipeg is named executive chairman of the Canadian Tour’s Players Cup. Wife Nicole McMillan is named executive director of the tournament … Preben Ganzhorn is named director of marketing for Callaway Golf Canada, replacing Chris Walling who started his own marketing/communications business, in June … Greg Hubert is named director of sales for Nike Golf Canada in March … Warren Mape, formerly of PING, joins Flightscope as director of sales development … Keira Meixner of Richmond, B.C., turns pro in August after a four-year run on the Canadian amateur team … Ryan Brown is named vice president of marketing for Golf Town in June … Patty Howard, the 2007 Ontario and Canadian PGA Club Professional of the Year, announces she is stepping back from day-to-day operations at Sunningdale Golf and Country Club in London, Ont. Howard, who has been affected by rheumatoid arthritis, will still remain involved in club events and keep her director of golf title … Brad Matthews resigns as director of golf at Whistle Bear in Cambridge, Ont., after eight years. He is replaced by Doug Lawrie … Sue Gallagher is named managing director for Nancy Lopez Golf, a division of Tournament Sports … Shaun Shienfield of Knetgolf is named 2009 entrepreneur of the year by eBay Canada.
Taking It Up A Notch
Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., gets her full-time LPGA Tour card through the Duramed Futures Tour money list after two wins in 2009. In early December, Montreal’s Lisa Meldrum gets her card through qualifying school to bring to four the number of full-time Canadians on tour including Hamilton’s Alena Sharp and Charlottetown’s Lorie Kane … The men use the same methods as Chris Baryla earns his PGA Tour card through the Nationwide Tour money list and Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., gets his through qualifying school in early December. They will join Weir and Stephen Ames on tour in 2010 … Danielle Mills of Pointe Claire, Que., earns her Futures Tour card for 2010 by finishing second at that circuit’s qualifying school … The future for Canadians on tour is also made brighter through the performances of other developing pros and outstanding amateurs such as Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., Matt Hill of Bright’s Grove, Ont., and Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ont., among others.