As the rest of the world is learning and we natives have always known, Canada is a golf hotbed. In fact, we have “the highest per capita participation rate in the world,” according to Scott Simmons, CEO of Golf Canada.
On Heritage Day, we thought it would be fitting to mention some of the important people who are the foundation of our national love affair. Of course, there are far too many to be listed here and we regret that so many deserving people will go unmentioned, but they are all included in the spirit of this message, if not the letters.
We continue with the women:
We are always proud when we get a chance to host this legendary player at Osprey - as seen in the accompanying photo of Marlene on the Heathlands #8 green this past summer (by our own Scott Brook).
Already a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Marlene’s 2004 induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame (the first Canadian so honoured) completed an unmatched trifecta of recognition. Her two Lou Marsh Trophy awards and admission into the Order of Canada go even further to mark as unique.
With a major amateur victory in each of five decades, capped by a 2003 USGA Senior’s championship win at age 69, she is “quite simply the most successful amateur golfer in Canadian history” with a career that Dawn Coe-Jones referred to as “something that might not be done again.”
Outside of her role as a player, Marlene has worked to improve opportunities for young golfers and Canadian women through selfless dedication and the Marlene Streit Awards Fund.
Of all the names in Canadian Golf, there may be none bigger than Sandra Post. After a strong amateur career, she became Canada’s first player on the LPGA Tour where she became an instant sensation when she stunned the golf world by becoming the first rookie, first Canadian, and first foreigner to win the LPGA Championship in 1968 and later garnering rookie of the year honours.
The career that followed lived up to its early promise as she established herself as one of the tour’s most tenacious players and enduring contenders ultimately winning a total of eight LPGA events and finishing second 20 times. Her achievements won her the 1979 Lou Marsh Trophy along with induction into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
She has remained active in the golf world since retiring from competition, working regularly as a golf commentator on ABC, CTV, and TSN. She is one of Canada’s foremost golf instructors, operating the Sandra Post Golf School not too far from Osprey at Caledon’s Glen Eagle Golf Club. She was named to the Order of Canada in 2004 for her ongoing efforts to bring Canadian women to the forefront of the international golfing world.
As a player, Florence was an accomplished amateur golfer, winning the Canadian Ladies’ Championship twice (1903, ‘04) and the Ontario Ladies’ Championship four times (1904, ‘06, ‘13, ‘14).
Additionally, she was a staunch advocate of women’s golf and made a major contribution to the development of women’s golf in Canada as founder and Organizing Secretary of the Canadian branch of the Ladies’ Golf Union (now the Canadian Ladies’ Golf Association).
During World War I, Florence helped women golfers raise money to buy an ambulance for the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in Serbia where she volunteered with the Red Cross as an ambulance driver. During World War II, the CLGU continued these efforts, raising $82,000 and purchasing a Spitfire for presentation to the British Government, three mobile kitchens, three Fordson vans, an ambulance as well as made donations to the relief of child victims of the war, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the Royal Canadian Navy.