Gar Hamilton, one of Canada’s best-known club professionals and a highly-respected competitive player, will retire from the Mississaugua Golf and Country Club at the end of next year, his 23rd with that club.
“It just feels like the time is right to make the move,” said Hamilton, 61. “It feels like I have been living a dream. I still find it hard to believe that more than two decades have passed by. The time has really flown by.”
Hamilton will remain with the club as a consultant and continue to represent Mississaugua in professional events after retirement.
“My years at Mississaugua have been enriched by knowing Gar. His passion for the game and its traditions, his unmistakable talent, his sincere interest in our members and giving them the best golfing experience he could, epitomize for me what a golf professional should be,” said club president Bruce Jenkins.
“I deeply appreciate his wise counsel to me as president. He is always there when I, and others, need him,” added Jenkins.
“I hope that Gar Hamilton and the Mississaugua Golf and Country Club will always be linked, that in his well-earned retirement, we will continue to see him and that big smile around the club, playing, teaching, counselling and kibitzing with members and staff for many years to come.”
Hamilton first played at Mississaugua in the 1974 Canadian Open and was invited back in 1981 to play in the club’s 75th anniversary Gordon Brydson Pro-Am. He says he felt at the time that a position there would be the dream job.
In the fall of 1988, Mississaugua came calling and Hamilton, who had been the head pro at Horseshoe Valley in Barrie for eight seasons, accepted the offer.
Ever since winning the 1966 Ontario Golf Association Junior Boys Championship, Hamilton continued to excel in competition right up to last year when he won the regional qualifier to compete in the 2009 Senior U.S. Open.
Hamilton served as captain at Indiana in the early ‘70s, before winning as a rookie on the Canadian Tour at the Manitoba Open, one of three victories he would have on that circuit.
He played a couple of seasons on the PGA Tour and played in 13 Canadian Opens. He is also a four-time winner of the Canadian PGA Club Professional Championship and was runner-up twice.
The 1998 Ontario PGA Professional of the Year was also Canadian PGA Senior champion in 2002 and five years later, he tied for seventh at the AT&T Senior Open, a Champions Tour event played at Essex Golf and Country Club, near Windsor, Ont. Between 2001 and 2006, he won the Ontario PGA Senior title three times.
He is one of only eight head professionals to serve at Mississaugua.