News

Teaching Summit 6 Days Away
Education News

Teaching Summit 6 Days Away

The 2023 Alberta Teaching Summit is approaching quickly and there are a few spots remaining for registration.

This 2-day event, hosted at Golfuture YYC, is designed for golf professionals to learn from some of the zone’s top instructors and network with fellow professionals in the area. This is the only hands-on Education event of the season, so don’t miss out.

Benefits of the Teaching Summit
  1. Collaborate and learn from 5 of the zone’s top instructors
  2. Network with 15+ golf professionals over 2 full days
  3. Expand your teaching repertoire
  4. Build your personal business and provide additional value to your club/business
  5. Scramble Fun Night – Teams of 2 will play the Par 3 course. 3 holes alternate shot, 3 holes scramble, 3 holes best ball

2023 Teaching Summit Itinerary

Click_to_Register


Black & Kirlin Lead After Round 1
Tournament News

Black & Kirlin Lead After Round 1

Championship season kicked off today at Calgary G&CC with 69 Club Professionals battling to claim top spot. The smoldering weather continued down by the Elbow River, which offered no reprieve from the record temperatures that will continue tomorrow in Calgary. Tee times will start at 7:30am for round 2 of the PING Club Professional Championship.

Kevin Black (Redwood Meadows G&CC) and Matthew Kirlin (Lynx Ridge GC) lead the field after round 1, both shooting a 2-under 68. Dallas Cantera (Cardiff G&CC) looks to make a push tomorrow morning after finishing 3 shots back of the leaders carding a 1-over, 71.

Leaders After Round 1

Name Facility Score
Kevin Black Redwoods Meadows G&CC 68
Matthew Kirlin Lynx Ridge GC 68
Dallas Cantera Cardiff G&CC 71
Craig Gibson Sirocco GC 72
Scott Stiles Earl Grey GC 72
Jamie Kureluk GOLFTEC Calgary Blackfoot 72
David MacComb Royal Mayfair GC 73
Todd Halpen Golf Future 73
Adam Bruce Northern Bear GC 73
Jason Stanier Inglewood G&CC 73
Eric Locke Priddis Greens G&CC 73
Michael Harrison Coal Creek GR 73

Round 2 Draw
click_here_2


PGA of Alberta Calls for Nominations for 2024 Awards, Encourages Membership to Get Involved
Awards News

PGA of Alberta Calls for Nominations for 2024 Awards, Encourages Membership to Get Involved

The PGA of Alberta is asking its membership to nominate deserving colleagues who have made significant contributions to the game of golf over the past year for one of nine awards that will honour their extraordinary achievements in 2024.

The call for nominations will be officially open July 23 – August 27, 2024. Members who submit a nomination will receive two, Top-100 points. Winners for each award will be announced at the PGA of Alberta Awards Cocktail Reception and Ceremony slated for October 23, closing out the second day of the PGA of Alberta Buying Show at Calgary’s BMO Centre.

“The PGA of Alberta Awards program is a critical pillar for recognizing and celebrating the efforts of our members’ exceptional contributions to golf in our communities,” said Chris Paskin, Chair of the PGA of Alberta Awards Committee and head golf professional at Valley Ridge Golf Club.

“The role of the local golf professional extends far beyond playing competitively or helping others with their games. Golf professionals are community leaders who are crucial to nurturing the sport’s growth and sharing the life skills the game presents within the community. I think it is important to recognize the tireless efforts of these professionals, regardless of the role they are playing, and I highly encourage all of the members of our association to get involved in this process and nominate one of their peers today.”

Members and industry affiliates are encouraged to nominate as many individuals as possible during the process via the PGA of Alberta website for one of the following awards:

  • Apprentice Professional of the Year
  • Class "A" Professional of the Year
  • Club Professional of the Year
  • Coach of the Year
  • Executive Professional of the Year
  • Junior Leader of the Year
  • Retailer of the Year 
  • Sales Representative of the Year
  • Teacher of the Year

You can review the full criteria for each award here: PGA of Alberta Awards Criteria

The_Awards_Process_Graphic_for_Website_v3Once the nomination period closes, all nominees will be notified by e-mail they have been nominated for an award. Nominees are then required to complete an application to move forward in the awards process.  

“A sub-committee comprised of awards committee members and past winners of the respective award will review all of the nominations. Using a platform called SmarterSelect, a ranking system will be followed to determine the five finalists in each category,” said Paskin, who added that nominees are encouraged to also submit a video bio as part of their application.

The five nominees with the highest ranking are then presented to a 12-member main awards committee who are all past Club Professional of the Year recipients. The committee will rank the finalists once again to determine a winner.

The PGA of Alberta will also use the celebration ceremony to present the Jack Skellern Patron of the Year, Top 100 winner, Championship winners, Order of Merit champions, and Player of the Year.


Hitting Alberta’s Highways to Grow the Game
Association News

Hitting Alberta’s Highways to Grow the Game

 

The stats, both in terms of kids impacted and kilometres on the odometer, are mighty impressive.

 

And Matt Seifert is adamant that he is just getting started.

Seifert is determined to both give back and grow the game. That’s why he just returned from his latest RV road-trip to northern Alberta, travelling from course to course — and from campground to campground — to conduct clinics for juniors and women at facilities that don’t employ a certified teaching pro.

 Seifert v2

“There’s about 150 courses (across the province) with PGA of Alberta pros,” Seifert said. “And there are just shy of 300 that I’ve found that do not have a pro. My goal is to go to every single one of them. The only problem is it will take me about 10 years.”

That’s not so much a problem as a passion for Seifert, also an instructor at Golf Future in Calgary.

Two summers back, he was on the road for a 24-day stretch. He even made it as far as the Northwest Territories.

He had to cancel his plans in 2023 due to forest fires but was determined to hit the highway again.

 Seifert v1

“This latest one was 13 days, just me and a truck and trailer,” said Seifert, who covered more than 3,200 kilometres on his most recent roadie and worked with upwards of 500 golfers along the way — roughly 400 juniors, 140 women, and 20 dads or husbands. “I made it all the way up to High Level, which is the most northern golf course in Alberta. I made it to Fairview, where I had probably the best experience I’ve had on the RV tour. I actually had to go back for my day-off because there was such a demand for lessons.”

Seifert knows first-hand that the demand isn’t limited to Alberta’s major centres. 

While he’d started to groove his golf swing as a youngster in Calgary, he was just about to start Grade 10 when his family moved to the village of Linden, a farming community with a population in triple digits.

The nine-hole Acme Golf Club became his home hangout.

“All of a sudden, everything I had in the city, all the golf resources, everything was gone and I was kind of left to fend there for myself,” Seifert said. “But I just worked really hard and there were some people that didn’t know a lot about golf but still inspired me to pursue it as a career when no other kid in town was even looking at golf as a career. So, I was lucky. 

“I guess I’m one of the few professional athletes to ever come out of Kneehill County. So that’s pretty cool for me.”

There have been, in Seifert’s golf journey, plenty of pretty cool moments.  

He’s competed on the mini tours. He’s worked in Australia and New Zealand. He has volunteered at the Hero World Challenge in Bahamas, a star-studded shootout that benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. That has provided the opportunity to chat with some of the biggest stars in the sport — from Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa to Nelly Korda and Michelle Wie and even Tiger himself. Seifert has a cherished photo with the 15-time major champion.  

 Hero World

“I’ve dined with celebrities and I’ve caddied for presidents and I’ve met Tiger Woods,” said Seifert, not boasting but rather explaining why he feels indebted to the game of golf. “I’m like, ‘This shouldn’t have happened to a small-town kid.’ This RV tour means the world to me, because it wasn’t supposed to happen to me. But it did.”

That is exactly why Seifert, who just turned 40, gasses up and hits the road — because he hopes it will eventually happen again for some other kid from some other speck on the map in rural Alberta. 

He plans to focus a little closer to Calgary in 2025, since he’ll soon have a baby at home. He has already started a list of stops in southern Alberta. 

“I’ve had parents who will tell me, ‘I haven’t been able to make my kid smile in two months and all of a sudden, you have them smiling and they want to come back to the golf course the next day,’” Seifert said. “For me, I get emotional just talking about it. But that was my goal to start. It wasn’t about making money. I just wanted to give back to the game of golf. It was if one small-town kid sees my tour bag, like I saw Ron Laugher’s or Dale Tomlinson’s or Greg Griffith’s when I was kid … If one kid decides to pursue golf and they get to live half the life I’ve lived travelling the world, to me that’s it. One kid is enough. 

“I’m very lucky right now that dozens and dozens of these hundreds of kids are starting to think, ‘I want to work in a pro-shop’ or ‘I want to play on the PGA Tour or the LPGA Tour.’

Things like that probably weren’t on their minds until I rolled through.

“I know we’re definitely inspiring a few kids out there. And with kids and sports, that’s what it is all about.”


Birdies and Bombs Secure Chris Horton PGA of Alberta Players Tour Event Win on Second Playoff Hole
Tournament News

Birdies and Bombs Secure Chris Horton PGA of Alberta Players Tour Event Win on Second Playoff Hole

 CALGARY—Chris Horton was crowned champion of the Players Tour presented by Duca del Cosma after carding back-to-back birdies in a playoff that extended two extra holes under blistering Alberta sun at the Mckenzie Meadows Golf Club on Thursday.

Horton, an Apprentice Professional at the Golf Channel Academy at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club, matched jabs with Kevin Black, in the playoff after both Calgarians carded 7-under-par 65s.

The head-to-head duel continued into the first extra hole, a 555-yard par-5, where the PGA of Alberta pros both made birdie. Horton continued his birdie streak to the 351-yard par-4 to lock up the victory.

“I was excited to head out against Kevin. I wasn’t sure if he was going to make it back,” said Horton, who added Black was the first group out on the day and left the property after his round so had to be called back for the playoff. “We both made some birdies and then he was in the fairway bunker on the second hole, and I hit it in close to seal the deal.”

Horton made the turn in 34 after carding four birdies and two bogeys on the opening side before catching fire on a back nine that saw him rattle off five birds in a six-hole stretch.

“On the front nine I had a few soft bogeys so I wasn’t sure how the day was going to go, and then I got it going on the back and finished well,” said Horton, who was hitting bombs in addition to firing darts at the flagsticks.

“I knew the course was fairly short, with short par-4s that you can get to in one. I just stayed aggressive all day. I hit three of them under regulation with a lot of two-putt birdies. It made it feel like a pretty easy round out there. It was an awesome, the course is in great shape, and the greens were rolling well.”

Black, who holds the post as Director of Golf at Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club, was also as hot as the prairie sun on the closing nine, firing five birdies and an eagle of his own for a round of 36-29—65.

Five southern Alberta pros posted 18-hole spins of 67 (-5). Tyler LeBouthillier (365 Golf Inc.), Jason Stanier (Inglewood Golf and Curling Club), Austin Keller (The Links of Glen Eagles), Ethan Palmer (Cottonwood Golf and Country Club), and Samuel Kirkness (Inglewood Golf and Curling Club) all finished deadlocked in third place in the field of 70 players.

Terry Carter claims top spot in the senior division

Terry Carter (National Golf Academy at McCall Lake) was the lone golfer in the 18-man senior division to shoot a sub-par round. After opening with an eagle, Carter mixed together third birdies and one double-bogey for a score of 69 (-3).

Darryl James (National Golf Academy at Shaganappi) shot an even-par 72 for second place. Andre DiBartolo (Edmonton Garrison Memorial Golf and Country Club) and Brian Bassen (Strathmore Golf Club) matched rounds of 73 to finish T3 under ideal conditions.

Complete Results:

The PING Club Professional Championship is next up on the 2024 tournament docket where a field of 71 PGA of Alberta pros will tee it up at the pristine Calgary Golf and Country Club, July 22.

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


Apply Now To Join The Education Committee
Association News

Apply Now To Join The Education Committee

The Education Committee would like to announce that the committee has  officially been dissolved and is commencing a new application process.  If you wish to be considered for the Education Committee, please submit a brief cover letter stating why you wish to be involved and a summary of your contributions to the association in recent years.

All submissions should be sent to Thomas Powley ([email protected]) before the deadline of July 23rd at 4:00PM. The new committee will be announced by August 1st.

Responsibilities
The Education Committee shall meet as a committee up to 4-times per year and at the call of the chairs for:

1. Spring Seminar.
2. PD Series.
3. Teaching Summits.
4. Buying Show Education.
5. Further education development that works within the scope of the PGA of Canada curriculum.
6. Proactively obtain input and suggestions from members on their level of satisfaction with suggestions for improvement of the education portfolio.
7. Liaise with other committees as required on operations and activities that may overlap.
8. Undertake other activities assigned by the Board of Directors.
9. Review the terms of reference on an annual basis and make any recommendations for change.

The committee chair will provide a report on committee activity at each Board of Directors meeting even if no formal committee meetings have taken place.


Top 100 Points - Each member will receive 5 Top 100 points for being a part of the committee (see more information here).

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].


Senior Championship Attracts New Sponsor
Partner News

Senior Championship Attracts New Sponsor

Fresh Golf Solutions will join the PGA of Alberta Senior Championship at Trestle Creek GR on August 26th & 27th


Fresh Golf is a search firm that specializes in finding leaders in the Golf & Club world. Since early 2022, Fresh Golf has found candidates for Head Professionals, General Managers, Superintendents, Marketing & Communication, Sales, Chefs, C.O.O.’s and Executive Directors. 

To separate itself from other search firms – besides pricing that all Clubs can afford – the advisory and search team is the most connected team in the industry because they are still active members of the golf world. 

Fresh Golf Solutions has had a number of searches for golf roles in Alberta market recently. They also updated their website, continue to supply weekly emails to the golf community about all the roles in Golf & Clubs and expanded their recruiting team. In addition, they assist candidates’ growth by offering to assist in resume review at no cost.

If your facility needs help finding a leader in the future or you want to know what you need to be ready for your next job search, please go to www.freshgolf.ca or contact:

 Scott Kolb - Founder and lead recruiter
[email protected]


Adam Bruce Tees Up Win at PGA of Alberta Players Tour 1-Day Event
Tournament News

Adam Bruce Tees Up Win at PGA of Alberta Players Tour 1-Day Event

LACOMBE, Alta.—Adam Bruce celebrated a two-shot victory at the Players Tour 1-Day presented by Duca Del Cosma at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club on Thursday.

The born and raised Edmontonian, who is the head golf professional at Northern Bear Golf Club, topped the 64-man field with a sizzling round of 67 In near perfect conditions.

“It was pretty boring to be honest for the first 14 holes, but I managed to birdie my last four,” said Bruce, who found his passion for tournament golf while playing on the MacEwan University Varsity Golf Team. “I got a couple of lucky breaks, but it was a pretty solid round. The course is in amazing shape and the greens rolled very true. Putting is usually a struggle for me but on greens like this it is tough to have a bad day putting.”

David MacComb (Royal Mayfair Golf Club) was the next best finisher, posting a round of 69. Gage Murphy (GOLFTEC Sherwood Park) completed his 18-hole spin of the testy Lacombe track at 70.

Complete Results:

Next up on the summer PGA of Alberta calendar is the Pro-Junior at the Valley Ridge Golf Club, July 9.

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


Welcome to the Association

Congratulations to the 3 players who passed the Play Ability Test yesterday at Lacombe GC. The 3 players all successfully passed after shooting the target score (79) or (81) for +50 to become an Apprentice Professional of the PGA of Canada.

Name Score
Mike Caines (365 GOLF) 74
Gabriel Schaadt (Banff Springs GC) 79
James Ferrier (365 GOLF) 80

Sundog Eyewear Joins as Presenting Sponsor for the 2024 Pro-Pro Scramble at Priddis Greens G&CC
Partner News

Sundog Eyewear Joins as Presenting Sponsor for the 2024 Pro-Pro Scramble at Priddis Greens G&CC

"Sundog Eyewear is proud to sponsor the Pro-Pro Scramble event this year, continuing our longstanding partnership with the PGA of Alberta," said Corey Austin, GM of Sundog Eyewear. "Our mission is to enhance the performance and comfort of golfers with high-quality eyewear. As we expand our offerings with brands like Barstool Sports, Blue Tees, Black Clover, CMC Design, and Tour Tee, our golf professional partners have embraced these brands, allowing us to deliver exceptional products to golfers in Alberta. We are excited to support Alberta’s golf professionals and celebrate our partnerships at the Pro-Pro Scramble Event."

About Sundog Eyewear...

Sundog Eyewear is committed to providing performance-driven sunglasses for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. Our advanced lens technology ensures superior clarity, protection, and comfort, meeting the unique needs of golfers in various conditions. Sundog remains a top choice for Alberta Golf Professionals, representing brands such as Barstool Golf, Blue Tees, Black Clover, CMC Design, and Tour Tee. The list of brands Sundog represents continues on our mission to provide high-quality, performance driven products that are industry leading in their respective categories.

For Pro Shops, we offer customizable solutions tailored to your needs. Join us in our commitment to excellence and experience the Sundog Eyewear difference.

For more information, please visit www.sundogeyewear.ca or contact:

Kim Carrington – Southern AB

403.804.5464

[email protected]

Shawn Stewart – Northern AB

780.220.7888

[email protected]


PGA of Alberta Golf Professionals Launch FREE Community Outreach Drive
Association News

PGA of Alberta Golf Professionals Launch FREE Community Outreach Drive

Program focused on introducing people with a physical disability set for August 16 in Calgary


Golf professionals in Alberta are teeing up a drive to break down barriers and make the game more inclusive for people with physical/cognitive disabilities, Indigenous communities, and women, by hosting a series of community outreach learn-to-play sessions at facilities throughout the province this summer.

Funded by Jumpstart, PGA of Alberta’s Assistants Board will host a series of clinics in Calgary and Edmonton with the goal of making the game of golf a more welcoming and inclusive place for all to enjoy.

“We created this program as a way for our PGA of Canada Golf Professionals to not only assist with instructing the grass roots portion of the game, but to also reach those demographics who can sometimes be unserved when it comes to receiving golf instruction” said Bryce Halverson, Head Associate Golf Professional at Carnmoney Golf Club.

“The PGA of Alberta is committed to elevating the experience for numerous traditionally under-serviced demographics in the community by doing our part to provide positive experiences through golf instruction and activities. We hope to further strengthen the overall local golf community with inclusivity and diversity,” added Stephen Yanitski, Assistant Golf Professional at Valley Ridge Golf Club.

Both Halverson and Yanitski, along with Jumpstart and the PGA of Alberta, created a plan to serve this need, and identified four key community groups they will open doors to, and positively impact in 2024: people with a physical disability; Indigenous communities; women/girls; and Els for Autism/Special Olympics.

A FREE program for golfers of any age with physical limitations will be available on August 23rd from 12 noon – 5 p.m. at the Valley Ridge Golf Club in Calgary. A total of 24 participants will be instructed by six PGA of Alberta Assistants Board members through four, one-hour stations: driving range; putting green; short game area; and activity time. Equipment will be provided and prizes up for grabs. Registration is available at www.golfgenius.com/ggid/aw9g3p/register.

PGA of Alberta golf professionals Shannon Raina (Earl Grey Golf Club) and Tyler Leicht (Derrick Golf and Winter Club) will team up to host a FREE one-day summer camp for up to 16 Indigenous youth at Rundle Park Short Course in Edmonton on August 16, 2024. Participants will receive six hours of FREE instruction, access to equipment, lunch, and a sleeve of golf balls at the conclusion of the camp. Registration details are to follow. 

Calgary-based professionals – Amy Popkes (Silver Springs Golf and Country Club) and Lisa Rosengarten (Glencoe Golf and Country Club) will lead a series of FREE events focused on supporting Els 4 Autism, Aspergers Friendship Society, and Special Olympics.

A Special Olympics Tournament was held at Silver Springs Golf and Country Club, June 20. Additionally, an Els 4 Autism tournament will be held on August 12 at The Links of Gleneagles. Prior to taking the course, all kids will participate in a two-hour instructional clinic as a way to get them involved in the game.

Over the last two months, Elizabeth Stewart (Petroleum Golf and Country Club) and Gina Nelson (Highlands Golf Club) introduced more than 70 junior girls and young women to the game. Four instructors joined forces to teach newcomers to the game in May at Victoria Golf Club. Participants then tested their skills in a fun round of golf at Rundle Park in June, creating an additional opportunity to bring young girls and women around the city together. PGA of Alberta Golf Professionals were on-hand to provide instruction throughout the round. 

“I personally experienced the power sport can have, as a young child and now in my career as a golf professional. Sport and physical activities are fundamental for all of us to learn new skills, boost confidence, build self-esteem,” said Elizabeth Stewart, Associate Golf Professional at Edmonton Petroleum Golf and Country Club. “These clinics will not only introduce kids from these communities to the game, but they will create opportunities to meet other kids, and provide new experiences while having fun putting, playing and just enjoying themselves. Gina and I are hopeful that introducing young girls and women to the sport while representing women in prominent roles in the golf industry will inspire each of them to pursue their goals and success in their own lives. Representation and participation in golf are integral to ensuring this demographic feels that they belong in the golf community.”

Joey Busetto and fellow pros at the Edmonton Petroleum Golf and Country Club will also host two more FREE adaptive golf lessons throughout the summer: July 26 (chipping, pitching, putting) and a three-hole on-course session August 23 where a golf professional will be in each group. Registration is available through the following link: https://www.parasportsab.com/we-offer/adapted-golf-9/.

For more information about the PGA of Alberta, please visit www.pgaofalberta.com.


Todd Kuczma In Memorium
Association News

Todd Kuczma In Memorium

Todd Kuczma, beloved son, father, brother, uncle, and friend, passed away on Thursday, June 20, 2024, at the age of 48 years.

Todd was born in Ontario and moved to Alberta when he was four years old. Growing up he moved with his family to Houston, Texas and Red Deer before finally settling in Calgary in 1988. Todd had an incredible sense of humour, (he could make anybody laugh), an easy-going personality, patient, kind and would do anything for the people he loved at the drop of a hat. Todd was friends with everyone he met for life. From an early age, he participated and excelled in sports. He had two great loves in his life – his son, Jake and the game of golf.

In his early twenties, he became a member of the Canadian Professional Golfer’s Association and worked at several golf courses in and around Calgary. In 2015 he left the industry to work for Canadian Engravers. At about the same time he started his own business under Blackwolf Golf Inc. It was a way for his friends and golf associates to participate in high-level golf competitions at affordable rates. Later he was able to successfully add engraving golf merchandise as a significant part of the business.

If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta, 5757 – 4th Street SE, Calgary, AB  T2H 1K8, www.kidscancercare.ab.ca.

Obituary


Calgary’s Craig Gibson and Jason Renneberg Win 2024 Tournament of Champions
Tournament News

Calgary’s Craig Gibson and Jason Renneberg Win 2024 Tournament of Champions

CALGARY—Calgary’s Craig Gibson and Jason Renneberg joined forces to win the 2024 Sunice Bobby Jones Tournament of Champions presented by Motocaddy Canada at the Carmoney Golf Club on Monday.

Gibson, a PGA of Canada professional down the road in the south end of Calgary at the Sirocco Golf Club paired up with his club champion, Renneberg, where the duo fired a sizzling 8-under-par 64 in the breezy conditions.

“It was a beautiful day. The golf course is in amazing condition, playing hard and fast out there. Jay and I made a lot of putts today. We made some nice bombs to make some birdies,” said Gibson. “We had a nice hot finish with three birdies on the last five holes that sealed the deal for us.”

The Tournament of Champions brought together 52 PGA of Canada professionals in Alberta with the club champion from their home course.

“It’s a great tournament,” added Renneberg. “It was a great opportunity to come and play the course and with my pro. Craig is a stud so is very easy and fun to play with.”

Kevin Graf and Jason Haley from Woodside Golf Course in Airdrie, Alta. finished one-shot off the leading mark in second place. Eric Locke and Nick Pothier from Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club carded a 67 to finish in a three-way tie for third with Jamie Gerlitz and Matt Whittaker from Picture Butte Golf Club and Samuel Kirkness and Gerry MacDonald Jr. out of the Inglewood Golf and Country Club.

Complete Results:

Next up on the 2024 PGA of Alberta Tournament schedule is the Players Tour 1-Day event at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club, July 4.


Pasitney and Asai Claim First Pro-Am of the Season
Tournament News

Pasitney and Asai Claim First Pro-Am of the Season

PGA of Alberta hosted their first Pro-Am of the season at Cardiff G&CC, a semi-private golf club located just 12 minutes north of St. Albert. Built on one of Alberta’s first underground coal mines, its unique setting offers challenges to golfers of all levels, including Seniors from around the province who joined their club professionals to compete for the 2024 Pro-Senior title.

The team from Edmonton Petroleum G&CC, Jeremie Pasitney and Ted Asai, lead the field with 45 points in the best ball stableford format. On their way to victory, Pasitney and Asai carded 2 eagles and 7 birdies to edge out the team from Picture Butte GC, Jamie Gerlitz and Clint Collier, by one. In solo third place, Jeff Cuthbertson and his partner Paul Prefontaince from Stony Plain GC, did their best to chase down the leaders with 8 birdies of their own but ended 2 points shy of our winners.

Position Professional Facility Partner Stableford Points
1st Jeremie Pasitney Edmonton Petroleum G&CC Ted Asai 45
2nd Jamie Gerlitz Picture Butte GC Clint Collier 44
3rd Jeff Cuthbertson Stony Plain GC Paul Prefontaine 43
T-4th Jeremy Lavallee Cardiff G&CC Peter Blandy 42
T-4th Tyler Robinson The Quarry Robert Robinson 42
T-6th Mel Dies Nanton GC Garry Winslade 41
T-6th Murray McCourt Ranch G&CC (The) Kevin Karius 41
T-6th Keith Whitecotton The Quarry Brian Samletzki 41
T-9th Nic Longley Sliver Springs G&CC Mark Stobart 40
T-9th Dean Dereniuk Meadowlands GC Dave Gyori 40
T-9th John Wilson Montgomery Glen GC Bob Mullen 40
T-12th Dallas Cantera Cardiff G&CC Glenn Girard 39
T-12th Kyle Wade PGA of Alberta Member Bruce Wade 39
T-14th Scott Westman Ranch G&CC (The) Bob Janow 38
T-14th Andre DiBartolo Edmonton Garrison Memorial G&CC Rob VanOuwerkerk 38
T-14th Chris Hughes Edmonton CC Clint Hogge 38

Mitchell Fox Celebrates Five-Shot Win at PGA of Alberta Players Tour 2-Day Event
Tournament News

Mitchell Fox Celebrates Five-Shot Win at PGA of Alberta Players Tour 2-Day Event

EDMONTON—Calgary’s Mitchell Fox made it look easy on Tuesday despite challenging conditions to close with a 5-under-par, 67 for a handy five-shot victory at the Players Tour 2-Day competition at the Cougar Creek Golf Resort near Edmonton.

The Apprentice Professional from the Speargrass Golf Course charged into Oil country, teeing up his work week by taking a two-shot lead into Tuesday’s final round of the 36-hold event. Fox was one of two players in the field of 45 to break par, posting a 69 on the 6,542-yard layout in Monday’s opening round.

The former Canadian Tour player mixed together one eagle with five birdies and two bogeys for a sizzling 67 in the final trip around the tree-lined, rolling layout to secure the win (69-67—136).

“I played really good today. It is the type of course that you have to find your way around it, and hit to certain spots, but the course is in great shape, it was a good day and I’m happy with how I played,” said Fox, the son of a Class A Professional who turned pro himself in 2007 before joining the PGA of Canada just four years ago.

Tyler LeBouthillier (365 Golf Inc.) was one of two other players behind Fox to card a round in the 60s in the final round.

LeBouthillier chalked up five birdies of his own to go along with one bogey to lock up second spot with rounds of 73-68—141. Adam Bruce (Northern Bear Golf Course) also fired a 68 to finish in a tie for fourth place at 145 with Jeff Cuthbertson (Stony Plain Golf Course). Cuthbertson was one of just four players to go sub-par on Tuesday.

Kevin Black (Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club), who was sitting in second spot at 71 after the opening round, dropped a spot on the leaderboard following a final-round 18-hole spin of 73 for a total of 144.

Complete Results:

The Pro-Senior Pro-Am, presented by Golf Trends Inc. and Levelwear is next on the 2024 tournament docket. A field of 46 teams will tee it up at Cardiff Golf and Country Club on June 20.

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


Fox Leads by 2 After Round One at Cougar Creek GR
Tournament News

Fox Leads by 2 After Round One at Cougar Creek GR

The first 2-day Players’ Tour event teed off today at Cougar Creek GR just west of Edmonton. After a rainy and windy start, the skies opened up to a beautiful afternoon for the 45 players in the field, who hope for calmer weather tomorrow morning as round 2 begins at 7:30am. 

Mitchell Fox (Speargrass GC) leads the field by 2 after five birdies lead to an opening round of 69. Following close behind is Kevin Black (Redwood Meadows G&CC) who had three birdies of his own to finish the day with a 1-under 71.

Leaders After Round 1

Name Facility Score
Mitchell Fox Speargrass GC 69
Kevin Black Redwood Meadows G&CC 71
Scott Smith Dynamic Motion Golf Performance Centre 73
Levi McDermott Big Buck Golf Centre 73
Tyler LeBouthillier 365 GOLF 73
Matthew Mah Mill Woods GC 74
Jake Behiels Cougar Creek GR 75
Jeff Cuthbertson Stony Plain GC 75
Michael Thompson Windermere G&CC 75
Shawn Proulx River Ridge G&CC 75

Round 2 Draw
click_here_2


Cookes Share Passion for Their Jobs as Golf Pros
Association News

Cookes Share Passion for Their Jobs as Golf Pros

Right from Day 1, Chris Cooke may have been destined to follow his father, Darren, into the golf industry.

Darren has been a staple for the past 36 seasons at Canmore Golf & Curling Club where he serves the dual role of general manager and director of golf. Chris is now the head professional at neighbouring Silvertip Resort, another beauty in the Bow Valley.

“The day that Christopher was born, he didn’t go straight home from the hospital. He came to the golf course first,” Darren reminisced. “There was a group of old guys that played cards in the pro shop all winter long, so we had to come and show him off. So, the first stop was the golf course.

“And ever since then … ” 

Chris grew up at Canmore Golf & Curling Club, as much a constant as the stunning mountain views. It was, as he put it, both his “daycare” and “playground.”

He was only eight when he picked the range for the first time. When he was attending high school just down the street, Darren noticed that his lunch bill at the course was usually doubled. 

After Chris completed his collegiate golf career at the University of Central Arkansas, he ultimately decided to try for his pro card. 

He and his dad are now PGA of Alberta peers. When asked about his son, “proud” is the word that Darren uses most often.

“He always seemed to be where everybody came to have fun,” Chris said, sharing his childhood impressions of the life of a golf pro. “And when you get to work at a place where everybody goes to enjoy themselves, it makes for a pretty good work environment, for the most part. 

“We’re here to facilitate enjoyment, to facilitate camaraderie, to facilitate fun. It’s just such a great sport to be involved with.”

Now in his ninth season as a pro, Chris has even more appreciation for why his father has such a sterling reputation in the golf biz. Darren was the PGA of Alberta’s Club Professional of the Year in 2014. 

“He really cares about everyone else before himself,” Chris said. “There is no job that is too big or too small for him to take on, and I have always really respected him for that. Some people think, ‘Oh, as a golf pro, you just walk the range and teach a few lessons.’ They don’t tell you that sometimes you have to clean the bathrooms or once in a while, you have to do some real dirty jobs that aren’t very glorious. But it’s all about getting it done.” 

Whatever it is that you’re trying to get done, it helps to have somebody you can lean on for advice, experience or just a sounding board. For this father-son duo, that goes both ways. Golf isn’t the Cookes only shared passion. They also like to strap on the pads and tend the nets at the hockey rink.

IMG_6833

“We share a lot of conversations back and forth, and I learn a lot from him too,” Darren said. “With the PGA of Alberta and PGA of Canada, it’s always been about networking and helping each other and sharing. Of course, when it’s your family member, sometimes those conversations are easier and sometimes they’re a little more difficult.

“I know in our area, with all of the golf courses, you can ask anybody around here and you’ll get an honest answer about what’s going on. Everybody is willing to help out. And when it’s your son, you answer that phone quickly and maybe get it done a little quicker, because it’s a part of you.”

For the Cookes, golf has been a big part of their lives. This Father’s Day will be extra special for Chris — his first with a child of his own. His daughter, Ruth, was born last August. And yeah, she is already a regular at the course.  

Chris_Cooke_2

“Through the winter, there was a simulator set up in the Canmore pro shop,” Chris said. “So, I would take her around there quite frequently and we’d hang out with Grandpa and I’d hit a couple shots and she’d be cruising around and she just wanted to grab every golf club or every golf ball she could see. It’s cool to see her so excited already and I just want to continue to expose her to all the greatness that golf can deliver. If she chooses it as one of her pastimes, great. And if not, so be it. She’ll have a lot of other activities going on. But just the way she’s already grabbing that golf club, I think she’s going to be hooked.”

That would be a case of history repeating itself.

“There’s not many places I’d rather be other than the golf course or hanging out with my family,” Chris beamed. “And at the golf course, I get to do both.”


Who Says You Can’t Go Home
Association News

Who Says You Can’t Go Home

Mathew MacDonald and Weston Gillett can look out the window and sometimes feel like they’re watching a rewind from their junior-golf days.

 

That’s one of the unique perks of working as head professional at the same course where you first fell in love with the sport. In MacDonald’s case, that would be Olds Golf Club. Gillett, meanwhile, learned the finer points of the game on the fairways and greens at Lacombe Golf & Country Club. 

“I can’t remember who came up with the term, but I was what they called one of the ‘grapes’ of the pro-shop, because I would just hang around,” MacDonald said with a chuckle. “There were weeks when I was out here seven straight days as a kid. It was basically whenever mom and dad were able to get me to the golf course, I was usually more than willing to go.

“So yeah, I can definitely see a part of myself in some of these youngsters.”

Gillett, his fellow PGA of Alberta pro, knows that feeling.

Long before he had an office at Lacombe Golf & Country Club, he was one of the young whippersnappers with a stall in the junior club storage area. 

Whenever he wanted to practice or play, he’d simply lace up his sneakers and walk to the course. When he arrived, he typically had to empty his pockets.

“Luckily, I didn’t live too far from here,” Gillett reminisced. “Back when I was a kid, the highway wasn’t as busy as it is now. I wouldn’t recommend walking anymore, but it wasn’t that busy back then. 

“So, I’d walk over, and then on the other side of the highway, there’s ball diamonds across

from our ninth hole. I used to walk up between the ball diamonds and the golf course and I’d find tons of golf balls. I remember never having to buy balls because I’d find them as I was walking.”

Gillett had such fond memories of his upbringing at Lacombe Golf & Country Club — and his stints as a high-schooler on the maintenance crew and pro-shop staff — that he admits there was a bit of apprehension as he pondered whether to apply to be the head pro in his hometown. He’s now in his sixth season in the role after making the move from Drayton Valley. 

“This golf course, this Club, it’s always been very important to me because it’s kind of where I grew up, and I didn’t want to go in and have a negative outlook if something were not to be quite as I perceived it,” Gillett explained. “But it’s been really good. It’s all been super positive.”

MacDonald is just getting settled into his new job as pro/manager at Olds. He worked up the road in Innisfail for the past three years. 

“This was always something that was in the back of my mind that I wanted to potentially do,” he said. “I mean, this course kind of gave me my start in the golf world — both as a back-shop kid when I was younger and again as I was starting to make my way into the professional ranks. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the town of Olds and for the golf course. When I had an opportunity to jump up and take the position, I jumped into it with both feet. It’s been a really fun experience so far. It’s very interesting. I always say it’s very weird that I get to sit on the other side of the same desk where I used to get in trouble if I did something wrong out here.

“But it’s been a lot of fun. Pretty cool.”

For Gillett, MacDonald, and other professionals now working at the same facilities where they were first introduced to the game, the best part isn’t the opportunity to occasionally relive their youth. 

 It’s the opportunity to influence the next wave. 

When Gillett was a smooth-swinging junior, Kevin Snell was head pro at Lacombe. He was delighted when Snell, a PGA of Alberta life member, stopped by on his first day on the job to offer his congratulations. 

“I see a lot of kids that come out here, and I see a little bit of myself in them,” said Gillett, now a proud father of three. “I was always treated really, really well by the previous pros when I was kid and they’d take me out to play. I know the first couple times that I played with Kevin when I was 12 or 13 years old, I was just in awe of what he could do with the golf ball. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t like Tiger Woods or anything. But to me, it was.

“I can remember walking in the shop and Kevin had his bag there with his name on it, and I thought that was so cool. I thought that was just one step below seeing Tiger Woods.”

MacDonald, too, can rattle off a list of pros who had a major impact on his growing love for golf and instilling the values that you learn while chasing birdies and pars — honesty, integrity, and responsibility to name a few.

“One of the things that I’ve always remembered is that those individuals always made time for me, always took time to say hello or come walk out on the putting green to see how I was doing,” MacDonald said. “They always made themselves very available. They were very generous with their time. And I always try to remember that — that I probably wouldn’t be here in the position that I’m in if it wasn’t for their encouragement, their kindness and their willingness to have that influence on my golf game and my life. I always try to remember that no matter what comes up, it’s the people first and making sure that people feel valued and welcomed. A simple tip on the driving range can go a long way toward helping a relationship grow. In my case, it helped me create a career out of it.”


Samuel Kirkness and Glenn Carr Take Playoffs to Win PGA of Alberta Players Tour Title
Tournament News

Samuel Kirkness and Glenn Carr Take Playoffs to Win PGA of Alberta Players Tour Title

Kirkness claims 2024 title in second extra hole, Carr captures seniors crown after first playoff hole

EDMONTON—Samuel Kirkness and Glenn Carr proved victorious following extra holes at the Players Tour presented by Duca del Cosma at the Mill Woods Golf Course.

Kirkness (Inglewood Golf and Country Club) captured the main event in a two-hole playoff, while Carr (Lakeside Golf Club) triumphed in the first extra hole to take the seniors’ category. 

Kirkness – the 2023 Club Professional Championship winner – finished deadlocked at 70 with Wes Heffernan (Dynamic Motion Golf Performance Centre), Jacques Plouffe (Royal Mayfair Golf Club), Nick Vandermey and Keith Whitecotton (The Quarry) following an 18-hole spin of the 6,778-yard track in Edmonton.

Kirkness, Heffernan and Whitecotton dropped Plouffe and Vandermey after matching pars on the first extra hole, a 381-yard par-4. The PGA of Alberta heavyweights exchanged shots to the green on the par-5 538-yard test where Kirkness solidified the title with a birdie.

A close battle also unfolded in the seniors’ division (golf professionals 50 and older) where Carr (Lakeside Golf Club) and Andre DiBartolo (Edmonton Garrison Memorial Golf and Country Club) carded identical scores of 76.

Carr wasted little time putting his name in the history books as the 2024 winner, topping DiBartolo on the first extra hole – the 364-yard, par-4 10th hole.

Just over 100 players teed it up through the rainy conditions in the morning shotgun start.

Final Results - Main Field

Final Results - Seniors Division

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 5 players who passed the Play Ability Test today at Edmonton Garrison Memorial G&CC. The 5 players all successfully passed after shooting the target score (78) or better to become an Apprentice Professional of the PGA of Canada.

Name Score
Michael Zorn (River Ridge GC) 77
Austin Gendreau (River Ridge GC) 77
Ethan Rimmer (Miskanaw GC) 77
Cameron Boyd (Japser Park Lodge GC) 78
 Nicholas Heyland (Windermere G&CC)  78

Operation 36 Teaching Summit Moves Location To Calgary
Education News

Operation 36 Teaching Summit Moves Location To Calgary

The PGA of Alberta will be hosting its Summer Teaching Summit on June 5th and 6th  with a location change to Golf Future in Calgary, Alberta. 

Start your golf season by learning from Ryan Dailey, Co-Founder - Operation 36, who will be joining us to facilitate his level 1 coach certification from 8am - 3:30 pm both days. Each event is led by a team of PGA golf professionals who are on staff at Operation 36 HQ. These pros have run the program successfully and have helped thousands of golf pros execute successful programs. This will be the first time the certification has been hosted at a venue in Canada in 15 years.

We have the opportunity to offer the program at 50% off the regular rate at $500 to attend the level 1 certification course with food and beverage scheduled at Golf Future included.

Here is the link to the education portal Operation 36 will use to post updates, schedule, and any other information leading up to the summit: Operation 36 - Education Portal

Registration opens Friday, May 3rd at 10 am 

Click_to_Register


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


National Golf Day Highlights Golf’s Positive Impact on Canadians
Association News

National Golf Day Highlights Golf’s Positive Impact on Canadians

New Economic Impact Study Released

OTTAWA, May 23, 2024 – After a four-year pause due to COVID-19, the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) are on Parliament Hill leading National Golf Day and discussing with Parliamentarians the many positive benefits of golf for Canadians.

The golf industry representatives are also releasing the results of a new Canadian Golf Economic Impact Study highlighting golf’s financial contributions and incredible popularity as the number one participation sport in Canada.

National Golf Day also celebrates golf’s physical and mental health benefits, its safe sport attributes, social merits, environmental stewardship, diversity, life skills for youth, and economic value to the business community. National data indicates that hundreds of thousands of Canadians have entered the sport since Covid-19, totaling six million Canadian golfers and further strengthening golf’s status as the number one participation sport in the country.

“Canadians played 74 million rounds of golf in 2023, a considerable 24% increase from the last Study in 2019,” stated Jeff Calderwood, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association Canada, and Chair of NAGA.

“Existing golfers have been playing more often and new golfers have been taking up the game at impressive levels,” said Calderwood. “The broad appeal of golf as a safe, healthy, outdoor recreation that can be enjoyed by all ages, genders, abilities, and budgets, anywhere in Canada, generates continued growth in the game. The impressive economic impacts that are then generated reflect that popularity.”

NAGA conducts an economic impact study every five years to measure such financial contributions as employment, charitable support, tourism, and gross domestic product. The sport and business of golf are thriving post-pandemic and continue to be an important economic engine for Canadians and their communities across Canada. Some of the highlights from the Canadian Golf Economic Impact Study include:

  • Golf contributes a massive amount to Canada’s GDP at $23.2 billion, an increase of $4 billion since the previous Study
  • Golf supports 237,000 person-years of employment, illustrating its importance as a vital source of livelihood for countless Canadians. Nearly 135,000 Canadians work directly in golf, with 45,000 being student employment.
  • Golf-related activities generated over $14.2 billion in labour income, sustaining families and generating significant economic spin-off spending.
  • $382 million was raised through golf activities for charities across Canada, a return to the pre-Covid-19 range and tops among all participation sports.
  • Approximately 6 million Canadians played golf in 2023, an all-time high for the number one participation sport in the country, generating 74 million rounds played.
  • Golfer spending totalled $14.2 billion in 2023.
  • Golf course operations contributed $8.1 billion to Canada’s GDP.
  • Capital expenditure by golf course operations in 2023 was $907 million.
  • Taxes paid to governments by the Canadian golf industry were $4.7 billion in 2023.

“Golf is a sport that brings so many benefits to Canadians – not just the economic contributions. It is also a holistic solution to many of life’s necessities and an activity that can enjoyed for a lifetime,” said Laurence Applebaum, CEO, Golf Canada.

“Golf is a healthy, safe activity, promoting environmental stewardship, providing exceptional social value, and is great for business. And importantly, we’re seeing tremendous diversity in our growth with incredible levels of engagement,” said Applebaum. “In addition, the recent success of our Canadian LPGA and PGA Tour Pros has further propelled the enthusiasm for the sport, with such stars on the world stage as Brooke Henderson and Nick Taylor.”

  • Other attributes of Canadian golf include:
  • 18 holes of golf burns up to 2000 calories, a very healthy 15 km walk and active exercise in nature.
  • 95% of golfers in Canada feel that golf is very good for their mental health, which has also been clinically proven.
  • 83% of Canadian golfers state that the social aspects of golf are important to them and improve their lives.
  • Spectator interest in professional golf is at an all-time high. The RBC Canadian Open and CPKC Women’s Open are setting records for attendance and commercial success.
  • Golf is a trusted Safe Sport environment for both recreational and competitive play.
  • Canadian golf has been experiencing great diversity, including a 6% increase in active women golfers and 33% growth in BIPOC golfers in 2023.
  • Off-course golf including simulator play and virtual golf experiences have bolstered the growth in participation.
  • Sustainable golf has become a leading environmental stewardship movement in Canadian golf, with golf courses throughout the country embracing sustainability pledges and best practices.

Golf flourished during the pandemic as the nature of the sport easily allowed for social distancing while delivering a social recreation experience that could not be found elsewhere.

With golf now better recognized as an important part of the solution, and all of the health, social and economic benefits, the positive spotlight on golf and its impact on Canadian communities has since sustained most of that increased demand.

In summary, the study clearly shows that golf is good for Canada and Canadians.


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.


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/


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


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.”