The late Ward Stouffer was held in high esteem by people inside and outside the golf industry, not only in British Columbia, but across the country. The longtime head professional at the Fairwinds Golf Club in Nanoose Bay, B.C., and former Canadian and Asian Tour player passed away suddenly last week, leaving his wife Shelly and sons Kent and Brett. A GoFundMe page was established on Friday with the goal of raising $5,000 for the family, but by Monday, $18,309 had been accumulated through 164 individuals. That page is here … Here’s a good reason why Stouffer was so well-respected. As Greg Douglas of the Vancouver Sun reported in this story from 2012, ailing golf writer Arv Olson, who has since left us, had been named the recipient of a distinguished service award from the Northwest Golf Media Association, but couldn’t make awards banquet in Seattle due to health issues. Stouffer took matters into his own hands by arranging a taped interview with the longtime writer to acknowledge his peers. You can read the whole story here … Years ago, I used to regularly appear on the morning show at what was CFRB in Toronto with any combination of Bruce “Barks” Barker, Ted Woloshyn and the late Bill Stephenson. They also used to set up for remotes in the Glen Abbey parking lot during the Canadian Open. Barks, who held an annual charity golf tournament for years, had since moved on to become news and sports director at The Grand at 101 in Fergus, Ont., and was still serving as public address announcer for Toronto Rock lacrosse games, had a stroke just before the New Year that affected his speech and his ability to write. First admitted to the Acute Stroke Floor at Guelph General Hospital, he is now being treated as an outpatient, but is in need of speech therapy, counseling and medication, without health insurance. A GoFundMe page has also been set up here with the goal of raising $35,000. As of this writing, $24,276 had been raised by 220 people in four days … Seven-time Canadian long drive champion Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk has signed on with Callaway and will play that company’s new Epic driver. She will also play Callaway apparel and footwear after years with Nike, which got out of the hard goods business last year … Two-time PGA Tour winner Harris English has signed with PING and will play this week’s Sony Open in Hawaii with a G driver. three and five woods. iBlade irons, Glide 2.0 wedges and a Cadence TR Ketsch putter . He’ll also have a PING staff bag … The PGA of B.C. has released the speakers and topics for the first two legs of its Education Series Events in 2017. For more, click here … The PGA of B.C. board of directors is also inviting qualified members who are interested in serving the board to submit their names for consideration. There are currently five vacant positions on the board and one position as assistants’ representative. For more, click here … David Hearn, Mackenzie Hughes and Nick Taylor are the Canadians in the field at this week’s Sony Open in Hawaii at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont., started the week as an alternate … Brooke Henderson is the lone Canadian at the Diamond Resorts Invitational, a PGA Tour Champions/celebrity event being played in Orlando. It gets underway on Friday … Last week’s GNN Poll asked readers if, after the holidays, they felt like they had developed a good balance between quality time with friends/family and work the rest of the year. The majority, or 57 per cent, said yes and 43 per cent said no … This week’s poll asks readers how they would describe their interest level in player endorsements and the movement of players between companies at this time of year? As of this writing 52 per cent describe it as a passing interest, with 25 per cent said very interested and 23 per cent adding they had no interest at all. If you haven’t already, you can cast your vote on the GNN home page.
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