Celebrate with Legends on the Niagara

Legends on the Niagara Clubhouse stone building on lake

The Niagara Parks Commission and Legends on the Niagara want to celebrate the years of hard work that has resulted in Legends being designated a “Certified Audubon Sanctuary” for environmental and wildlife stewardship on its 1,000 acre golf complex. On Sunday August 23 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. green fees will be $65 plus tax including golf, power cart, practice range, lunch at the turn and a registration gift.

According to Laura Karosic, Associate Director of Environmental Programs at Audubon International, “Legends on the Niagara has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. The staff is to be commended for their efforts in providing a sanctuary for wildlife on the Legends property.”

To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas including Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

“Since 2004, The Niagara Parks Commission has been pleased to work with Audubon International to achieve this prestigious designation,” stated NPC Chair, Janice Thomson. “While Legends on the Niagara has become renowned for its challenging play, today we celebrate the tireless devotion of our staff in pursuing this highly sought-after certification and commitment to environmental stewardship and preservation.”

In accepting this designation, Superintendent Tom Newton remarked, “At Legends on the Niagara we take great pride in providing a golf facility that is maintained to the highest possible standards, and reflects the Niagara Parks Commission’s belief in environmental protection.”

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, New Zealand.

Visit niagaraparksgolf.com to book your tee time for this special event.

Inside the Ropes: Who will Defend Canada’s Olympic Gold?

As Canadians celebrate success at the 2015 Pan Am Games, this time next year we will know who has qualified for the first Olympic golf competition in more than one hundred years and who will defend the Olympic crown won by Canadian George S. Lyon at the 1904 Summer Games in St. Louis, the last time that golf was an Olympic sport.

When golf returns to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil it will feature men’s and women’s individual events. Both events will have 60 players consisting of amateurs and professionals, competing in a 72-hole stroke play competition for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Every player inside the top-15 in the official world rankings as of July 11, 2016 will be eligible, up to a maximum of four players per country. After that, the field will be filled by the next highest-ranked players, with a maximum of two players per nation.

If the Canadian roster were announced today PGA Tour players Graham Delaet and David Hearn would fill the men’s team and teenage sensation Brooke Henderson would join LPGA member Alena Sharp to represent Canada in the women’s competition. The United States’ men’s roster would include Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler, all of whom are well within the top-15 in the world rankings.

While much can change between now and July 2016, there are some notable names that wouldn’t make the grade since no one country can have more than four players. Americans Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, J.B. Holmes and Matt Kuchar who are all ranked within the top-15 in the official world rankings would all miss the cut. Add to that list Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, who is not even close. On the women’s side, Michelle Wie would be the top American not to qualify. If she represented any other country other than the U.S. or South Korea she would easily make the team based on her current world rankings. The same would hold true for Mickelson and Woods, despite his recent rankings free fall.

Another notable that is well within the running to make the trip to Rio would be the oldest man in the field — three-time major champion Vijay Singh of Fiji, who will be 53 next July. Then there’s former world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa of Mexico who has been retired for five years but it still only 33. If she were tempted to come out of retirement she would only need to be ranked somewhere near 400 in the world to represent Mexico based on today’s rankings.

The opening ceremonies for the 2016 Games in Rio are scheduled for next August 5 and golf’s return as an Olympic sport gets underway August 11 at the Gil Hanse-designed Olympic course. While golf will continue as an Olympic sport through Tokyo 2020, whether it will return in 2024 will be determined by an IOC vote in 2017. With golf’s governing bodies doing everything possible to put their best foot forward in 2016, one thing is certain that after an absence of 112 years from the Olympic movement golf is now a global sport with world-class athletes emerging from every corner of the planet. Whether it remains an Olympic sport is yet to be seen but at least Canada will have two good chances to repeat as Olympic champions.

Inside the Ropes – Will St. Andrews be the Sequel to Chambers Bay?

The British Open returns to the home of golf this week for the first time in five years following Louis Oosthuizen’s stunning seven-shot victory at St Andrews in 2010. Previous winners Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are in the field but Woods is not in particularly great form. With the world’s No. 1 player Rory McIlroy announcing his withdrawal due to a ruptured ligament in his left ankle injured while playing soccer with friends in Northern Ireland all eyes are now on Jordan Spieth who is on course for an historic Grand Slam after victories at the Masters and U.S. Open. Will Spieth make it three majors in a row, the first time that’s been done in a single season since Ben Hogan in 1953, or will someone else get their hands on the iconic Claret Jug. Continue reading