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Golf in Canada - A Brief Overview

How did it get so popular, and what are we supposed to do in the winter?

Posted Nov 05, 2011 by Canadian Hot Spot

Golf Canada Winter Golf

It should come as no surprise to find that Canadian’s love of the game of golf is due to the massive immigration of Scots during the 19th Century.

The first sign of that influence was 1826, when the Montreal Herald ran a notice "To Scotsmen A few true sons of Scotia, eager to perpetuate the remembrance of her Customs have fixed upon the 25th December and the 1st January, for going to the Priests' Farm, to PLAY AT GOLF. Such of their Countrymen as choose to join them, will meet them before TEN O'Clock, A.M., at D. M'Arthur's INN, Hay-Market. Steps have been taken to have CLUBS provided."

Fast forward 47 years to Montreal, in the fall of 1873, that this relocated Scot gathered seven of his fellow expatriates and local businessmen to establish the first club in North America, the (Royal) Montreal Golf Club. This was quickly followed by the creation of a club in Quebec City, which led to the first inter club matches to be played on this continent.

Today, Canada has one of the highest per capita golf participation rates in the world: nearly one in five Canadians plays golf at more than 2,500 golf courses and ranges. In 2007, the prestigious Presidents Cup was contested in Canada for the first time, at the Royal Montreal GC, and each year The PGA Tour presents The Canadian Open on a rotating schedule across the Country. The Canadian Tour also has multiple stops, and is a developmental Tour; PGA TOUR winners who apprenticed on the Canadian Tour include: 2005 United States Open winner Michael Campbell, 2004 British Open winner Todd Hamilton, 1978 PGA Championship winner John Mahaffey, Steve Stricker, Paul Casey, Stuart Appleby, Kirk Triplett, Tim Herron, Scott McCarron, Peter Lonard, Matt Kuchar, Chris DiMarco, Nick Watney, Stephen Ames, Arron Oberholser and 2008 and 2009 RBC Canadian Open winners Chez Reavie and Nathan Green, going on to secure PGA cards.

Canadian Tour grads who have won on the Nationwide Tour and played on the PGA TOUR include D.A. Points, Ken Duke, Scott Dunlap, Jon Mills, Omar Uresti, Spencer Levin and Jeff Quinney.

Golf in Canada is, at best, a seasonal activity, generally Mid April through October – year round play is possible in BC, however.

So, what are we supposed to do in the winter?

Well, the best advice I have is move to Florida, but if that’s not going to work, fear not; across the Country you can play virtual golf at your home course: practice at indoor facilities, and for the toughest amongst us, there are organized ICE GOLF events  we will tell you about , plus we will check and see if there are still courses that plow their fairways.

If you know of great winter vacation destination for golf, an event in Canada for winter golf, or anything you think I need to know about golf in Canada, let me know. Just register for free and send me a message.

-- Ian Davies


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