News

Team Red Tops Team Black at Inaugural Banff Springs Ryder Cup
Tournament News

Team Red Tops Team Black at Inaugural Banff Springs Ryder Cup

BANFF, Alta.—Captains Robbie Johnson (Banff Springs Golf Club) and Amy Popkes (Silver Springs Golf and Country Club) set the tone for a Team Red victory at the PGA of Alberta’s inaugural Banff Springs Ryder Cup on a chilly Monday in the mountains.

The Red squad celebrated a 24.5 to 20.5 victory over Team Black in the Ryder Cup format that saw 60 PGA of Canada golf professionals from throughout Alberta square off on the 6,389-yard track rolled out alongside the scenic Bow River at the foot of Mount Rundle. Each team, featuring a mix of 30 men and women, played best ball on the front 9 and a scramble format on the back side.

The Team Red Captains won their match 3 UP over Team Black Captains, Josh Fleming (365 Golf) and Lisa Rosengarten (Glencoe Golf and Country Club).

Team Black was up early in the overall standings before Team Red came charging back, winning five of the final six matches on the course in the overall results.

It was the first year for the Banff Season Kick-Off event – a new initiative as the PGA of Alberta works together with its membership to create more competitive opportunities in a fun and welcoming environment for all players.

 

Complete Results of Matches:  

https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/10579445917818077630

For more information on the PGA of Alberta calendar of events, please visit https://www.pgaofalberta.com/tournaments/registration/


Silver Springs Professional Duo Open Match Play Mission with Win in High River
Tournament News

Silver Springs Professional Duo Open Match Play Mission with Win in High River

HIGH RIVER, Alta.—Be assured the mixed team of PGA of Alberta professionals, Randy Hunter and Katy Rutherford, are driven to win the Srixon/Cleveland Team Match Play – South presented by Nike that teed off Tuesday at Highwood Golf.

But, the lone male-female tandem from Silver Springs Golf and Country Club are on a mission this summer far greater than wrapping their hands around the coveted team trophy. They, along with the 62 other pros from southern Alberta who teed it up for the season-long team event, are also on a mission to grow the game.

“I’m a huge proponent of professional golfers playing golf. I highly encourage it at the Club. I highly encourage Katy to go play in any event she needs too, and to play PGA of Alberta events, networking, to see everybody playing,” said Hunter, head golf professional, Silver Springs Golf and Country Club, who added that Nic Longley – an apprentice professional from his Club – also teed it up on Tuesday.

“I think it is also great to play with a fellow teammate at Silver Springs and very important to get out and play in these events, support these events and show the PGA of Alberta that we are nice and strong.”

Rutherford, the reigning PGA of Canada Brooke Henderson Female Player of the Year winner, was one of three women to mix it up with the men in Tuesday’s opening round of 16 matches. Carmen Kinas (Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club) and Nicola Greaves (Willow Park Golf and Country Club) also supported the mission to get more women playing competitively, or for fun and fitness.

“There are lots of (women) in the industry. It is just kind of paving the way to let everybody else know that we are here, that we are great golfers and that we want to compete,” added Rutherford. “It’s great to show face and have good representation more and more in each event.”

Calgary’s Rutherford and Hunter let their golf clubs do the talking on Tuesday in High River, winning their opening match 2&1 in a hard-fought affair over Mathew MacDonald (Olds Golf Club) and Dylan Wood (Innisfail Golf Club).

“It was a great match, a great golf course,” said Hunter. “We were all square sitting through nine and then had to put the pedal down on the back nine which was great. We made some birdies and coming home there were some fun holes. It was a great match, great to get out here to play with Katy and great to get the win.”

With the Team of MacDonald and Wood driving the green on the 15th and 16th holes of the 6,500-yard, par-71 layout that puts a premium on hitting fairways and greens, it was critical to make birdies for those seeking a ticket to the second round of the season-long event.

“Just staying patient (was the key). This golf course definitely has some drivable holes at the end, so par definitely didn’t leave you out of it. You had to make birdies here to win a hole, so definitely staying patient and staying in the mix,” said Rutherford.

The remaining matches will be played at times and golf course locations in Southern Alberta decided by contestants throughout the remainder of the season.

Results: Tuesday Round of 16 Matches

For more information on the PGA of Alberta calendar of events, please visit https://www.pgaofalberta.com/tournaments/registration/


Welcome To The Association
Play Ability Test News

Welcome To The Association

Congratulations to the 7 players who passed the Play Ability Test today at Highwood Golf. The 7 players all successfully passed after shooting the target score (79) or better to become an Apprentice Professional of the PGA of Canada.

Name Score
Robert Wilkie (Priddis Greens G&CC) 71
Devon Timson (Stewart Creek GR) 76
Dylan Bells (Willow Park G&CC) 76
Cole Charrois (365 GOLF) 78
Jae Hyun Jeong (Banff Springs GC) 78
Steve Madden 79
Matthew Zeiter 79

 

 


PGA of Alberta Pros Battle Mother Nature in Opening Round
Tournament News

PGA of Alberta Pros Battle Mother Nature in Opening Round

BEAUMONT, Alta.—Patience was the key for 64 PGA of Alberta professionals who teamed up for a head-to-head clash against their peers, not to mention Mother Nature, on a cool, rainy day to open the 2024 Srixon/Cleveland Team Match Play North presented by Nike on Thursday at the Coloniale Golf Club near Edmonton.

“It was a battle out there,” said David MacComb, head professional, Royal Mayfair Golf Club. “We knew we needed to be very patient and try not to get into too much trouble. It was a grind.”

MacComb and his partner Matthew Mah (Mill Woods Golf Club) had their hands full with an opening-round match against Jeff Cuthbertson (Stony Plain Golf Club) and Mike Belbin (Royal Mayfair Golf Club).

“It was a really tough draw with Mike and Jeff, who we also played last year. I work with Mike, and so I know how good he is,” said MacComb following a 4&3 victory.

“My partner and I ham and egged it pretty good. We both hit some poor shots but didn’t do it at the same time which was key, and we got away with a couple of short game saves. The course was great. It surprised a lot of people. It is awesome, a really cool place and it is not that easy.”

The Colonial Golf Club provided a gnarly test with difficult bunkers, large lakes and narrow fairways. Mother Nature threw another challenge into the mix with heavy rain plummeting down for most of the day on the lengthy track that stretches out to just over 7,000 yards from the tips.

“The course was in really good shape considering how much rain we got,” said Dallas Cantera, general manager, Cardiff Golf and Country Club who teamed up with his colleague Jeremy Lavallee for a 4&3 victory of their own over Kevin Day (Billy D’s Driving Range) and Grant Cammidge (Jagare Ridge Golf Club).

“The key was we needed to get the right yardages and figure out how long it would actually play, tried to stay warm and we just had to stay positive with the elements and not let it affect you. At the end of the day, we were just trying to make as many pars as we can and go from there.”

The remaining matches will be played at times and golf course locations in Northern Alberta decided by contestants throughout the remainder of the season.

“It’s a great event and is nice to have teams out there for match play,” added Cantera. “There is lots of good competition in the field. I enjoy getting to see some of the courses we might not normally play, and it is a good way to meet other pros.”

The opening rounds of the Srixon/Cleveland Golf Team Match Play – South Presented by Nike is slated for May 21 at Highwood Golf Course in High River.

Results: Thursday Round of 16 Matches

For more information on the PGA of Alberta calendar of events, please visit https://www.pgaofalberta.com/tournaments/registration/


Kim Valleau Swings into the Hall of Fame
Association News

Kim Valleau Swings into the Hall of Fame

For Kim Valleau, this prestigious honour provided a reminder of past success, of her days as a trophy-collecting force on the post-secondary golf circuit. 

It presented a chance, too, to reflect on her path to a career in the sport that she loves. 

Valleau, now head professional at The Winston Golf Club in Calgary, was inducted this past week in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Hall of Fame.  

“It’s very meaningful to me,” Valleau said prior to Friday’s enshrinement ceremony in Red Deer. “I just feel like that’s where I really got into golf. I played competitive in high school, but it means a lot because I feel like that’s where I feel like my career in golf kind of started. Even though I didn’t think I’d be a golf pro when I was playing college golf, that’s what it turned into.”

It was abundantly clear, back when she was racking up birdies on behalf of the Mount Royal Cougars from 2003-07, that Valleau had a bright future in golf.

She won the ACAC’s individual crown in five consecutive seasons and helped the Cougars to claim the team title in four of those. Her Hall of Fame bio mentions “an unparalleled legacy of excellence and achievement on the course.” That’s lofty praise. 

“It’s pretty cool,” said Valleau, who hails originally from Nipawin, Sask. “To play college golf, it was a big deal to me. It was very important, a big part of my life. So, it’s nice to be recognized for that.”

It is, indeed, another stellar addition to a resume that also includes a double nod as both the PGA of Alberta’s Class A Professional-of-the-Year and the PGA of Canada’s Stan Leonard Assistant Professional of the Year in 2022. 

As a student-athlete standout at Mount Royal, Valleau earned an applied business degree in entrepreneurship, sport and recreation. While she’d work summer jobs in pro shops, often chasing morning shifts with afternoon rounds or practice sessions, she admits this wasn’t always her intended career path. 

“When I graduated from Mount Royal, I was actually working for the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier as the admin assistant, so I took care of all the volunteers,” Valleau reminisced. “And then our head professional at the time, Wayne Fairbairn, asked me, ‘Hey, do you want to try to get your pro card?’ I said, ‘Sure, I’m not really doing anything after the Brier ends.’ So, I went back to the golf course, took my Player Ability Test, which was two days at the time, and passed. And honestly, the rest is all history.”

Valleau has now been a fixture at The Winston — formerly known as Calgary Elks — for 15 years and was recently promoted to head professional. She is proof of the positive impact of the PGA of Alberta’s mentorship program, having benefitted from the opportunity to learn from her experienced counterparts and now sharing that expertise as a role model for the next wave. 

“I like the connections that you’re able to make through golf, whether it’s somebody that you’re playing with, playing against or serving members or making someone’s day,” Valleau said. “Working in the golf shop, you’re always asking, ‘How was your round?’ And you rarely hear, ‘Oh, I hit it straight sideways today.’ You never hear about the bad shots, right? You hear, ‘Oh, I hit it really close today on Hole 8’ or something like that. You always hear about the good things, which is awesome.”

These days, she should be hearing something else — ‘Congrats, Kim.’ After all, a Hall of Fame induction is a heck of an honour.


Taylor Jetten Captures first PGA of Alberta Win at Season-Opening Event
Tournament News

Taylor Jetten Captures first PGA of Alberta Win at Season-Opening Event

Lethbridge pro defeats Medicine Hat’s Dillon Batsel in first extra hole

PICTURE BUTTE, Alta.— Taylor Jetten and Dillon Batsel grew up playing basketball and a bit of golf against each other in southern Alberta.

On a blustery Monday afternoon, they squared off once again – this time on the ninth tee box at Picture Butte Golf Club – to determine the winner of the season-opening PGA of Alberta Players Tour Series after the two southern cowboys matched rounds of 67s in an 18-hole spin around the 6,500-yard track.

When the dust finally settled around the first hole of overtime, the par-5 ninth green, it was Jetten – an assistant professional at the Lethbridge Country Club – taking his first career PGA of Alberta title.

“It was great. I got lucky out there on a couple of big putts and got lucky on a few of the bounces,” said Jetten, who added the course was in great early-season condition. “It’s early (in the season) and a lot of the other boys probably haven’t played a lot, but we got lucky in southern Alberta and have gotten out a few times. It’s always windy so it kind of played to my advantage with all of the wind today.”

Jetten secured the $900 winner’s cheque after getting the best of his Medicine Hat rival and defending champion of the event, Batsel, with a par on the first extra hole.

“I remembered earlier that 14 years ago I lost in a playoff in my Junior Club Championships, so I was like ‘hey you got another shot’ and I just wanted to capitalize on it,” added Taylor. “I got a little lucky on the playoff where he (Dillon) miss hit a few shots, and I snuck out the win.”

Batsel, a six-year associate professional from Desert Blume Golf Club, took home $600 for the runner-up finish. A trio of players – Michael Harrison (Coal Creek Golf Resort), Eric Locke (Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club), and Scott Stiles (Earl Grey Golf Club) all posted 68s to share third-place money of $450 each.

The tee sheet for the first PGA of Alberta event on the 2024 slate featured 50 professionals from across the province.

“We were very excited to have the opportunity to bring our community of golf professionals together once again in Picture Butte for the season-opener,” said Robert Rousselle, executive director, PGA of Alberta. “We are grateful to head professional, Dean Sklarenko, and his staff for hosting our community this week. Congratulations to each of the participants.”

A newly created Team Event, Banff Season Kick-Off, will be held at Banff Springs Golf Club, May 13. For more information on the PGA of Alberta calendar of events, please visit The Tournament Registration Page.

Final Results


Celebrating The Life Of Jim Jempson
Association News

Celebrating The Life Of Jim Jempson

Celebrating Jim’s amazing 75 years, Guest Speakers, Tributes and Videos will be full of laughs, smiles and tears.

You can join the Celebration via the live stream link below at 2:00pm on Sunday, June 2nd.

Live Stream Link


Top 10 Benefits of the PGA of Alberta HIO Program
Association News

Top 10 Benefits of the PGA of Alberta HIO Program

 

HOLE-IN-ONE INSURANCE is now available for the 2024 golf season! For more information about the HIO program and to submit your event, click the button below. 

 

 2024 HIO Program Info Button v2

TOP 10 BENEFITS OF THE PGA OF ALBERTA HIO PROGRAM

  1. Competitive industry rates
  2. Prize Premiums available from $500 - $50,000
  3. Fixed-rate for field sizes from 32 to 199 players
  4. Easy to purchase online
  5. Easy payment options
  6. Purchase for one event OR an entire season’s worth of events at once
  7. Modify your events by contacting the office based on any changes that occur throughout the season
  8. Fees/Premiums are waived if the tournament is canceled due to inclement weather
  9. No dealing with the insurance company directly
  10. Supporting the Association and golf industry

 

Questions?
If you have any questions on how this program can work for you, please contact Marlene Sanderson by email ([email protected]) or phone (403-256-8894).


Golf’s Front-Line Ambassadors: The Pro
Association News

Golf’s Front-Line Ambassadors: The Pro

While this is the start of their busy season, or what some might call their crazy season, you won’t catch any golf professional complaining.

As Matt Johnson, the general manager at Royal Mayfair and president of the PGA of Alberta’s Board of Directors, put it: “This is the start of a pretty heavy sprint, but we all look forward to this time of year. There are no bad days when you’re open in April.”

As April gives way to May, most courses across the province are now up and running for the 2024 season.

“No matter how many years you’ve been doing this, it’s always exciting,” said Tiffany Gordon, who has 35 years of experience in the golf industry — probably just as many awards and accolades — and is now the director of clubhouse operations and membership ambassador at Carnmoney. “You grind down and you do a bunch of work through the winter and you’re always working on new ways to do things or ways to make things better or to keep things going. But you miss the people, right? It’s exciting when you open the gates, and you get everybody out playing golf again. I think that rejuvenates everyone.”

The people are the best — and the biggest — part of this business, which is why the PGA of Alberta has launched a new season-long storytelling campaign to help you get to know the more than 670 golf professionals across the Wild Rose Province.

There are plenty of great, and inspiring, stories to tell.

There are familiar names, those who have chased birdies on some of the biggest stages in the sport, and compelling family connections — spouses, sons following their fathers, a set of twin siblings. There are life members eager to share their years of experience and wisdom and not-so-long-ago junior golf standouts who are now growing the game as mentors and role models for young girls and boys.

Whether at a top-end private club, a dedicated fitting or practice centre or an off-the-beaten-path rural course, the common bond for all PGA of Alberta golf professionals is a passion for this great game and a tremendous pride for their place in it.

“We wear a lot of hats, and we do a lot of things, but most importantly we’re ambassadors for the game,” said Gordon, the PGA of Alberta’s national director. “We could be doing anything from teaching and coaching to running events to managing facilities to playing to heading up associations or being involved at the Board level. There’s really nothing that we don’t touch, and that’s pretty special.

“There’s a number of opportunities for us to lead in the game and what you do is you just promote how good this game is for people, in general. Whether you’re at a private club, a public club, a resort, the most important thing is we’re encouraging people to play the game. Because it’s good for them. It’s good for families. It’s good for couples. It’s good for women. It’s good for every aspect of your community. That’s the great thing about being an ambassador, too, is all that community-driven opportunity that we have.”

Because as the 800,000 golfers across the province — all of them ready to be digging divots rather than shovelling snow — return to their favourite courses to tee up a new season, it’s likely the first face they will see is a PGA of Alberta professional.

“We’re kind of the front desk for your experience at any club,” Johnson said. “We feel like we’re leaders in understanding what the expectation of the golfer is. Nothing against the other departments at the clubs, but we deal one-on-one with the golfers more than anyone else does and so it’s up to us to promote the game of golf, engage people in the game of golf, make it fun, make it enjoyable, and knock down barriers for all to feel welcome and enjoy this game.”

This responsibility is not taken lightly by any of Alberta’s golf professionals – even those cutting their teeth in the business, including Dillon Batsel who is in his sixth year as an associate professional at Desert Blume Golf Course down in Medicine Hat.

“I think all golf professionals understand we are integral to developing a positive culture for people who play golf and enjoy the game at our facilities,” said Batsel. “For me personally, it is all about the people. I love seeing, helping and spending time with people who share my passion for the game.”

Inspired to chase a career in golf by his junior program coordinator, Terry Meidinger, while playing as a youngster growing up in Medicine Hat, Batsel is keen to pay it forward and positively influence a new generation of birdie seekers.

“Watching Terry run our junior program, he cultivated a lot of why I was drawn to golf (helping me understand the role of working in a pro shop) – you have to work hard, play hard because I think while we are busy, it is important to carve out a little time to play. That is important for people to see us playing,” added Batsel, who also particularly looks forward to the return of the adrenaline rush felt while helping guests improve their games.

“I think that is what we all teach for. We strive to put a smile on the face of the person taking the lesson, seeing someone new to the game hit their best shot, or helping someone struggling with a certain aspect of their game overcome it. It is great when you feel like you are marginally responsible for giving them hope.”

That positive sentiment of golf being back is felt by golf professionals opening the tee sheets at public and private courses all around Alberta.

“It’s exciting to be a golf pro at this time of year,” added Johnson. “You wake up in the morning and you look forward to going to work because it’s usually a positive environment. You see people with huge smiles on their faces, especially when they’re coming back to golf. That energy, it’s infectious.”