Jim Rutledge and Robert S. Weir to be inducted into Canadian Golf Hall of Fame

Dan Pino / Golf Canada

OAKVILLE, ON: The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame today announced that long-time professional and PGA of Canada member Jim Rutledge as well as celebrated writer Robert Stanley Weir have been selected for 2023 induction into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

Rutledge, 63, from Victoria, B.C. will be inducted in the player category while Weir – who was born in 1856 and died in 1926 – will be inducted as a builder for his over two decades of writing on golf. Weir, considered by many to be Canada’s first golf writer, is most famous for writing the English lyrics to ‘O Canada.’

With their inductions, the pair become the 84th and 85th honoured members of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

“The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame is thrilled to welcome Robert S. Weir and Jim Rutledge as our newest honoured members,” said Ted Fletcher, Chair of the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee. “Jim was – and continues to be – an accomplished player at the professional level while Mr. Weir was a pioneer in golf writing, golf psychology, and a wonderful wordsmith on a variety of subjects beyond golf. I speak on behalf of the entire selection committee as well as the honoured members to say they are deserving of their appointments.”

“My initial reply to Ted’s phone call took me completely off guard. After it all settled in, I flashed back to my career and of how fortunate I have been to represent Canada and travel the world doing what I loved for so many years,” said Rutledge. “I am truly honored and thank all involved in my nomination.”

With his induction, Mr. Weir becomes the 26th person inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame’s builder category and 18th to be inducted posthumously.

“Weir was a Renaissance man of golf, and beyond golf, given that he was a highly respected judge and poet, and that he wrote the English lyrics to O Canada,” said fellow Hall of Fame member Lorne Rubenstein of Weir. “Of course, I am focusing on what he did for golf as Canada’s first golf writer. He set the stage for all of us who have read his work in a variety of publications. Canadian golf writers stand on Weir’s shoulders and at his side, learning from him and enjoying his work.”

Weir and Rutledge will officially join the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony taking place on Tuesday, June 7 during the RBC Hall of Fame Day as part of the 2023 RBC Canadian Open at Oakdale Golf & Country Club.

Jim Rutledge is one of Canada’s most accomplished touring professionals – and continues to compete to this day.

Born in Victoria, Rutledge was a celebrated junior and amateur golfer in British Columbia before winning the 1975 Canadian Juvenile Championship and the 1977 Canadian Junior Championship. He turned professional in 1978 and has spent the better part of the next four decades competing on golf tours all around the world.

Rutledge was a member of the European Tour (now DP World Tour) in 1990 where he finished a career-high 55th in the Order of Merit. He also competed in the 1990 and 1991 Open Championships. He made the cut in 1990 and finished tied for 57th.

Fast forward a decade and Rutledge was a member of the Nationwide Tour (now Korn Ferry Tour) from 2001-2009. He won his first event on that Tour in 2006 and finished 14th on the money list which earned him PGA TOUR status for 2007. Rutledge earned the distinction of being the second-oldest rookie in PGA TOUR history when he teed it up that season.

After turning 50, Rutledge has made several appearances on PGA TOUR Champions.

He has won on the PGA Tour of Australasia and on the Asian Tour, but most of Rutledge’s success has come in Canada. He is a six-time winner on the Canadian Tour (now PGA Tour Canada) along with the 1984 PGA of Canada championship and the PGA of Canada Senior Championship seven times including most recently in 2022.

Rutledge has also represented Canada at the World Cup three times and the Dunhill Cup twice.

He was inducted in the BC Golf Hall of Fame in 2011 and the PGA of Canada’s Hall of Fame in 2022.

Robert Stanley Weir was Canada’s first golf writer who wrote on the subject for over two decades.

Ninety articles have been uncovered so far while not all his works have been found. Weir wrote about golf as the sport established itself in Canada and the United States at the turn of the century and as World War I ended. His early work on golf could be found in Canadian Golfer, Golf Magazine (in both the U.K. and U.S.), Golfer’s Magazine, and Golf Illustrated.  A collection of his golf writing is available here.

Weir joined esteemed golf writers such as Bernard Darwin, Jerome Travers, and Harold Hilton in the inaugural issue of Golf Illustrated. Darwin once said of Weir: “He has an easily intelligible method of explaining something, which is horribly difficult to explain.”

Weir’s work also appeared in Vanity Fair and Harpers Bazaar. He published two books of poetry, plenty of legal works and is perhaps best known for penning the English lyrics to Canada’s national anthem. Outside of his work chronicling the game, Weir was also a member of Royal Montreal Golf Club and Outremont Golf Club as well as a founding member of Kanawaki Golf Club where he served as the club’s first president in 1902. As a competitive player, he represented Canada as a team member at the 1920 International Match. Weir also served as a Board member with the Royal Canadian Golf Association (now Golf Canada) in 1905.

The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame celebrates the outstanding individuals of Canadian golf from players, both amateur and professional, to the builders, architects and others who have been fundamental to the evolution of the game in this country. Operated by Golf Canada, the Hall of Fame, museum and library are open to visitors to discover more about the game and the inductees. For more information, please visit www.golfcanada.ca/cghf.

Honoured Members of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame have been inducted since its inception in 1971. Honoured Members and representatives from the media, the PGA of Canada, as well as the golf industry comprise the ten-member Selection Committee. The committee is responsible for reviewing all nominations and selecting inductees. To be considered for election to the Hall of Fame, a nominee must have made an extraordinary national or international contribution to the game of golf in Canada. These achievements may include, but are not limited to, golfing accomplishments, illustrious golf-related careers or other exceptional contributions to the sport. Individuals may not nominate themselves and every nomination submitted to the Selection Committee must be seconded. Inductees to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame must receive a minimum of eight of 10 votes. Individuals who receive a minimum of three votes will be carried forward; ones who fail to do so will be removed from the nomination process. Nominations must be received no later than July 31 to be eligible for selection the following year.

Golf Canada is the National Sports Federation and governing body for golf in Canada representing over 319,000 golfers at more than 1,400 member clubs across the country. A proud member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Golf Canada’s mission is to grow participation, excellence and passion in the sport while upholding the integrity and traditions of the game. By investing in the growth of the sport and introducing more participants of all ages to the game, our goal is to be relevant to and respected by all Canadian golf enthusiasts from coast to coast. For more information about what Golf Canada is doing to support golf in your community, visit www.golfcanada.ca.

Fairways Magazine

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