Ontario golf loses a legendary role model as Sam Young dies at 83

On Saturday April 27, Sam Young passed away at the age of 83 years old as the result of a severe stroke.  He was born in Scotland on August 4, 1941

Sam began working in the golf business in the mid-1960s as a caddy for Jack Littler, the Head Professional at Oakdale Golf Club. He shared the Pro shop staff quarters with George Knudson. In 1966, he played the Canadian Tour cashing 11 out of 15 cheques. In 1967, he qualified to play the Canadian Open but when he arrived to hit his first tee shot, his hands were swollen and painful with arthritis, forcing him to retire from the Tour.

Sam found work at Pleasure Park Driving Range with Chris Knill as a Swing Instructor which lead to employment at Thorncliffe Park Golf School and then as an Assistant to Irv Lightstone at Maple Downs. Through his contacts there, he took over as the GM at Huntington GC and began a 50 year career teaching Juniors. Huntington was perfect – the location, a huge driving range, an excellent putting green and a building for indoor teaching in poor weather.

In 1975, Sam purchased a small 9 hole course near Shelburne, which eventually expanded to 18, with a superb driving range with allocated teaching areas and a pitching green and putting green all built to accommodate his Junior Program. In 1986, he moved his wife (Mary, son Brooks and daughter Megan) to Shelburne full time. They all work together as a team building their business.

As it grew, his Golf Academy began one of the finest found anywhere. Sam created multi-level age groups and began producing champions in every level beginning at age 3 and graduating at age 19. Over the years he taught thousands of young players with over 30 attaining university scholarships, several attempting to play tournament golf and dozens learning life skills and a love of golf.

Not only has Sam been a role model on the lesson tee, he has been a dedicated member of the PGA of Ontario and the PGA of Canada serving as President for both associations accompanied by lengthy terms on both Boards of Directors. He filled the Chairmanship of every committee on the Ontario Board and the National Board including President of each. He served on the Management Team of the Royal Oak G.C. and the Head-liner Speaker from the Ontario Golf & Travel Show.

Sam also found time to serve a ten year term on the Shelburne Economic Development Committee, 5 years as President on the Hospital Board of Directors He also sat on the Shelburne Chamber of Commerce for years including a term as Chair.

From 1998 to 2004, a group of six leading businessmen in Shelburne came together to renovate and restore the old Shelburne Town Hall. They were called The Group of Six and Sam was the Chair. Built in 1883 and seeing dozens of businesses come and go, the old gorgeous building is once again full of beauty and action. The town marketing information now includes this attractive building as a “must see”  tourist attraction on their Walking Tour.

Sam Young, a life well lived.

A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, May 25th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at Shelburne Golf and Country Club


1963      PGA of Ontario Assistants Match Play Champion

1986      PGA of Ontario Club Professional of the Year

1987/88 PGA of Ontario President

1989      Score Award Club Professional of the Year

2002      Junior Leader of the Year

2002      PGA of Ontario Junior Teacher of the Year

2003      PGA of Ontario Junior Teacher of the Year

2003      Training Facility of the Year

2011      Ontario Golf Coach of the Year

2011       Ontario Golf Hall of Fame

2012      Shelburne Sports Hall of Fame

2013      Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

2017      Ontario Wall of Recognition

2018       PGA of Canada Hall of Fame

2020       PGA of Ontario Hall of Fame

NOTE: This is an abbreviated list as many of the awards were presented multiple times

Recognition for Contribution

2000       Dufferin Hospice

2005       Canadian Cancer Society

2005       Shelburne Economic Development

2005      Shelburne Chamber of Commerce

2006       Retail and Business Excellence

2016       Shelburne Economic Development Achievement

2017      Dufferin Caledon

2017       Diabetes Volunteer of the Year

2018       Autism

2019       Diabetes

2020       Dufferin Oaks Home for seniors

2020       Big Brothers and Big Sisters

Michael Schurman
Michael Schurman is a Master Professional and Life Member who first joined the PGA of Canada in 1964 and played the Canadian Tour in 1970. He was inducted into the PGA of Canada Hall of Fame Class of 2020 and is a Charter Member of the PGA of Ontario Hall of Fame. He and his wife Diane live in Durham, Ontario.

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