Each week we ask our panel of writers, PGA members and golf industry experts to weigh in with their views on the hot topics of the day.
Brooke Henderson won the Amundi Evian Championship on Sunday for her 12th LPGA victory and second major. That’s more wins and more majors than any other Canadian golfer – male or female. Is she the best Canadian golfer ever?
Jim Deeks, Fairways Magazine (@jimdeeks): I would say that Brooke is now on par with Marlene Stewart Streit, who won so many championships in her stellar amateur career, including the U.S., Canadian, British, and Australian.
Michael Schurman, Master Professional / Hall of fame Member, PGA of Canada: At this level only two things count; what did you win and who did you beat? Brooke’s record surpasses all other Canadians. She is the best!
TJ Rule, Golf Away Tours (@GolfAwayTJ): I think she’s pretty comfortably at the top of the list at this point in time. And let’s be honest, she’s not yet 25 years old, so by the time she’s done, it won’t even be a discussion. That was great to watch on Sunday, as she struggled early but kept it together, and despite early 3 and 4 putts, she made the putt when it counted, on the 72nd hole. That shows the determination of a real champion. Congrats Brooke!
Hal Quinn, Freelance Writer, Vancouver: Tough to measure best ‘golfer.’ On pro titles alone, yes of course. Best golfer of the ball? Streit, with all the limitations of the society and the equipment and let’s face it the clothing, is the only ‘golfer’ to win the Aussie, Brit, Canadian and US Women’s Amateur titles. And there is Moe, who golfed the ball as well as anyone ever; and Knudsen who Trevino described as the best ball striker; and Cowan and Roxburgh; and Post. Back to the start. Tough to define ‘golfer’ adding conditions, equipment, strength of field etc. Always a pug’s game to name the ‘best.’ Brooke is the best Canuck of the present day.
Peter Mumford, Fairways Magazine (@FairwaysMag): Best professional record for sure but Best Overall Golfer – not so fast. I’d say Top 5 but really hard to compare great records from different eras including amateurs and professionals. Marlene Streit, Moe Norman, George S. Lyon, Ada Mackenzie also in the conversation. Marlene is the only Canadian in the World Golf Hall of Fame and she’d get my vote for Best So Far, but Brooke is only 25 and has plenty of time to set new standards.
Last week Golf Canada announced a partnership with TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley to build a new home for Canadian golf. The proposed development, approximately an hour northwest of Toronto, would also include the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, a new home for Golf Ontario and First Tee Canada, as well as coaching and training facilities. Presumably, the three courses at Osprey Valley would also be future sites of Golf Canada championships. What’s your take on this new project?
Deeks: I think it sounds great, and I wish them every success. I know there was talk a few years ago that Golf Canada would develop a huge complex on the Eagles Nest property in Vaughan, but this announcement makes more sense. And as long as we have bone fide stars like Brooke Henderson and Corey Conners providing inspiration and motivation to our young players, I think a major Canadian golf headquarters and training centre is a good move and will help develop the game in our country.
Schurman: Nothing could be finer! In the 1970s I tried to get all golf associations to stop bickering and come together under one roof at a well-known 27-hole facility in the E end of the city. If they all paid the same rent, they were paying and shared common needs they could play the events there and the rest of the time the course would sell green fees. They couldn’t give up their petty complaints. This is fantastic! Hopefully, the PGA of Canada, the PGA of Ontario, GAO, Superintendents etc. will all join in.
Rule: What a great development for Golf Canada. It’ll be nice to distance themselves finally from Glen Abbey/Clublink and all that’s going on with that property. And to be able to purpose build their campus and have all of those entities on one property can only be seen as a step in the right direction. I’m excited to see how it all builds out, including accommodation at TPC Osprey for those wanting a short golf getaway. It’s all very positive.
Quinn: Any move away from Glen Abby is a good one. Finding a welcoming home, anywhere in 2022, has to be a good thing. Sounds like an ambitious plan. All the best.
Mumford: Looks like an awesome project and a great get for Osprey Valley. But is the HQ for Swimming Canada at a pool; is Hockey Canada HQ at an arena? Why does Golf Canada HQ and Hall of Fame have to be at a golf course? Why not in a building downtown close to the business community, where it’s easy for visitors? This is an “if we build it, they will come” dream. Osprey Valley is in the boonies. How many people will visit the Hall of Fame out there? The busiest highway in North America runs right past the World Golf Hall of Fame in Florida and even there they don’t get enough visitors. A high-performance centre and training facility would have been ideal for Osprey Valley, but for the administration of Golf Canada and the Hall of Fame, not so much.
As it currently stands, players defecting to LIV Golf are suspended from the PGA Tour and European Tour, and therefore ineligible to earn points that might qualify them for Ryder Cup play. The U.S. in particular has several players that were leaders on their last Ryder Cup team including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. Would you be in favour of allowing them to be added to a future team as Captain’s picks?
Deeks: Nope. They knew this was a probability when they walked out the door. I’m glad the door has been locked behind them. Let them wallow happily in their money vaults, like Scrooge McDuck, and hopefully never be heard from again.
Schurman: This is a huge mess created by Jay Monahan. He started shooting long before he even heard what L1V proposed. Through his efforts, he now has backing from the R&A, and he still has yet to listen. His responsibility to the PGA TOUR sponsors is to provide the best field possible. At the rate, players are defecting it won’t be long until the top 50 in the world are L1V members. As it stands, he has already jeopardized the President’s Cup and the Ryder Cup. It will be interesting to see what the Masters does.
Rule: I think it’s inevitable given the number of guys making the move to LIV. There has to be discussions in the near future of how they can all work together, including players being allowed to participate in Ryder and Presidents Cups. The players have called the Tour’s bluff and are still making the move despite the threats of suspensions. I really hate seeing the division this has created, but believe that level heads have to prevail, and sooner than later.
Quinn: We have to be clear, as the R&A recently stated, that taking the sport washing millions means that you can’t gather points on the Ryder scale. Fair is fair. Any captain who picked a LIV’er to bolster his team would live in golf infamy.
Mumford: As I’ve said all along, I want to see the best play against the best. If that means Captains have to use their picks to nab a Johnson or DeChambeau or Garcia, so be it. The Ryder Cup should be about America’s best against Europe’s best – no asterisks, no politics, no explanations required.