Continuing to Grow the Game, So Everyone Can Come Out and Play

Written by Hugh Burrill

2022 was a comeback year.

The world finally turned the corner on a two-year pandemic, and it was time to come back to the things we love: spending time with family and friends, travelling and yes, golf.

Golf’s meteoric rise in popularity continued in 2022 as people who discovered the game over the previous two summers, continued to enjoy all golf has to offer and share it with friends.

Nowhere was this comeback more celebrated than at the CP Women’s Open in August at the Ottawa Hunt Club where the Brooke Brigade was back in full force.

Thousands of young Brooke Henderson fans, sporting red t-shirts and waving signs, lined the fairways and surrounded the greens, cheering on their hero. It was a welcome sight after a two-year absence and one Brooke appreciated.

“To see all the fans and to see all the people out here, it’s really cool. And the Brooke Brigade, seeing all those red t-shirts, it’s just a lot of fun to get to play in front of them.” – Brooke Henderson, Golf Town Ambassador

CP Women’s Open week was also the perfect time to announce a renewed partnership with Brooke which will see her continue as a Golf Town Ambassador for another three years, growing the game and acting as the perfect role model for young golfers everywhere.

“Golf Town just does so much to help promote the sport, especially with juniors and women so it’s all very exciting and I’m looking forward to it.” – Brooke Henderson, Golf Town Ambassador

Fellow Golf Town Ambassador Mike Weir was shown the love in Calgary as he prepped for the Tour Champions Shaw Charity Classic.

Hundreds of fans lined up at our Calgary South Store for a chance to get a picture with the 2003 Masters Champion, proving that despite being almost two decades removed from winning the Green Jacket, Weirsy can still draw a crowd.

“I’m very grateful to have that kind of support. Not many people have that on the Tour. When you come from a country other than the United States and you get to go home to your home country and see the kind of support. Yeah, it’s pretty special.” – Mike Weir, Golf Town Ambassador

After two years of helping golfers fine-tune their game online, we were delighted that Ambassador Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk could bring her one-of-a-kind experience back in person in 2022.

Women across the country were thrilled with Lisa’s high energy, fun and informative sessions designed to emphasize the enjoyment of the game, proving there’s nothing quite like a Lisa Longball Clinic.

“It was over the moon exciting to be able to take my clinics LIVE back in-store. I was able to do clinics from Kelowna to Dartmouth. The audiences were amazing. I had fantastic feedback that they learned so much and we laughed and smiled together. The hugs at the end were my favourite part.” – Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk, Golf Town Ambassador

To further celebrate women in the game, Golf Town hosted a series of Ladies’ Nights this year, giving women a chance to shop after hours for special deals and talk golf with our experts in a casual, fun atmosphere.

For the second straight year, we hosted a Ladies’ Day at Mill Run near Uxbridge, Ontario. Lisa Longball sent out the invite and – not surprisingly – women answered the call, filling the tee sheet within minutes to play a round on us.

Another way to grow the game is by encouraging adaptive golfers to Come Out and Play. We were so happy to announce the signing of Todd Keirstead as an Ambassador in 2022. Todd is the founder of Para Golf Canada and has long been a champion for adaptive golfers, emphasizing that golf truly is for everyone.

Todd describes himself as a celebrity golf entertainer who uses his trick shot demonstrations to highlight some of the obstacles faced by athletes with various abilities.

“I am so proud to be a Golf Town Ambassador. This great partnership provides an incredible opportunity for a group of individuals who have been under-represented to not only have a national platform but also the resources to change the golfing landscape with the largest golf retailer in Canada.” – Todd Keirstead, Golf Town Ambassador

The Toronto Players Tour enjoyed another successful season in 2022. The beauty of the TPT is that absolutely anyone can tee it up with some of the best young pros in the country as they take the next steps on their golf journey. I decided to do just that. It wasn’t pretty, but it gave me a greater understanding of what real tournament play is like.

Sebastian Szirmak collected back-to-back victories in June on his way to being crowned the 2022 Golf Town Cup Champion at the end of a gruelling, 13-event season. Sebastian picked up a cheque for six thousand dollars, a Golf Town sponsorship and will have his 2023 PGA Tour Canada Q-school paid for.

“It’s the best mini-Tour you can play in Ontario or maybe even the whole country. The more you expose yourself to good golfers, the more you’ll improve.” – Sebastian Szirmak, 2022 Golf Town Cup Champion

The golf and hockey worlds collided in August as NHL coaches traded sticks for clubs at their annual charity tournament. This year’s event was at Kanawaki Golf Club near Montreal and once again, Golf Town was a proud sponsor.

Coaches had a chance to tee it up with some of their on-ice rivals in a more relaxed setting, have some fun and show off their golf skills … such as they were.

Each of Golf Town’s 47 stores is part of the local community and we embrace our responsibility to give back. Our Community Fund supported more than 175 charity events across the country, raising thousands of dollars for worthy causes. At the corporate level, more than 250 “Chips In” boxes, containing coupons, cash cards and a voucher for a free full bag fitting, were provided to charity tournaments across Canada.

2022 was a busy, yet extremely satisfying year.

Whether we were chasing our “best round ever”, that “one perfect shot”, or just getting out with friends, it was all about making memories to hold us over until next year.

The 2023 golf season will be here sooner than you think.

See you on the first tee.

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