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In 1995 four (4) Niagara Golf Professionals initiated a Ryder Cup style of Competition among their Clubs. From the beginning it was quite evident that only a few seniors over 55 years were able to qualify for their club’s teams. The younger players dominated, probably because of their length off the tee. In 1998 only one senior made the Port Colborne CC. team as an alternate. Art Stead and Barry Patterson began talking to area seniors about a Regional Senior Ryder Cup Competition. The idea was well received by four clubs.
An inaugural meeting was held on October 20, 1998 among Art Stead and Barry Patterson of Port Colborne CC., Whitey Nichols of Bridgewater CC. and Ralph Warren of Twenty Valley. The four reviewed a draft format and after several hours of discussion the Niagara District Senior Men’s Ryder Cup was formed. Allan Shaw of Lookout Point CC. was contacted and a Four-Club Event was finalized for 1999. The organizing group for the inaugural year was:
Art Stead, Port Colborne C.C.
Barry Patterson, Port Colborne C.C.
Ralph Warren, Twenty Valley C.C.
Allan Shaw, Lookout Point C.C.
Whitey Nichols, Bridgewater C.C.
The 1999 Senior Ryder Cup began with four (4) clubs, six (6) players per team. Each club hosted one event. Six (6) tee times for the twenty-four (24) player Match Play Competition. The team with the most accumulated points won the honor of having their names engraved on the plaque donated by Art Stead. The inaugural year winners from Lookout Point were:
The popularity of the event saw an expansion to eight (8) Clubs in the year 2000, thanks to George Leclair of Rockway Glen CC. who organized Division “B” consisting of:
Teams progressing to a four-club play-off were Lookout Point, and Port Colborne from “A” Division and Rockway Glen and Beechwood from “B” Division. The Port Colborne team accepted the challenge winning the championship on their home course. Year 2001 saw further expansion to twelve (12) Clubs with the acceptance of a third division, Hunter’s Point, Welland, Willo-Dell and Trafalgar from Oakville. Dave R. Smith from Bridgewater provided direction as chairman of the new executive committee. The 2001 Championship at Trafalgar was won by the team from Bridgewater. The fall of 2001 saw further expansion and administration refinement. A new amended and organized procedure manual with rules and regulations was drafted and a further expansion to sixteen (16) clubs was approved for the year 2002 with, three (3) clubs from outside the Niagara Region and one (1), from within: (Thanks to the efforts of Cliff Dobson)
On the administration side an Executive Committee with officers was implemented. Dave R. Smith was elected to serve as First President of the Senior Ryder Cup; Ralph Warren as Vice-President and Art Stead as Secretary/Treasurer. Expansion continued in 2003 with four clubs approved in an integrated schedule. The Senior Ryder Cup was pleased to welcome the following clubs from Western New York State, Briarwood, Niagara Falls Country Club, Niagara Frontier Country Club and the River Oaks Golf Club. 2004 saw the further development of the SENIOR RYDER CUP to include two (2) super seniors on each club team and increase the teams to eight (8) players for each match. The fall of 2005 saw another expansion of teams and one(1) more division was added consisting of the following clubs, Brampton, Cutten Club, Beverly (Thanks to Reg Finlayson of North Halton) and the return of Peninsula Lakes after an absence of two years
In 2008 four (4) new clubs joined the SRC making a total of twenty eight (28) member clubs; they included St. Catharines, Springville, Summit, Credit Valley and Wyldewood. Niagara Falls C.C. NY decided to take a leave of absence.
In 2009 there was a sincere attempt by President Cliff Dobson to increase the number of players on a team from eight (8) to ten (10) with the inclusion of two (2) Super Seniors (Legends) seventy (70) years and over. The recommendation had the support of the Executive Committee but unfortunately there were too many clubs that were having difficulty filling their present quota of seniors and therefore the increase was deemed unfeasible at this time. A survey of all clubs received 100 per cent support for including the additional tee times but the Team Captains felt that they would be unable to get the players to meet the requirement. The idea will be reconsidered at a later date when the negative effects of the recent recession wear off and club memberships improve.
In 2010, the SRC logo was revised by Reg Finlayson and approved by the Executive. It was first utilized on the commemorative Ball Markers presented to all players participating in the Championships. The Championships hosted by the Twenty Valley Club was won by the Cutten Club with Port Colborne coming in second place. At the Fall Annual Meeting, Reg Finlayson was elected President.
Also, this was the first year Golf Carts were made mandatory for all matches. It was deemed necessary to speed up play and to assist the Clubs with additional revenue since we do not pay green fees.
In 2011, the Championship was hosted by Brierwood Country Club in Hamburg, New York. Bridgewater won with 20 points; the London Hunt Club came in a close second with 19 points. This was the year of the greatest expansion in the history of the SRC. Twelve new Clubs joined the SRC thanks to the organizing ability of Wally Berseth of the River Bend Club in London; they included the London Hunt, RiverBend, Highland, Westhaven and Sunningdale all from London, The Oaks from Komoka, Craigowan G&CC fromWoodstock, Deer Ridge from Kitchener, Elmira, Brantford, Whistle Bear and the Galt Club from Cambridge.
At the end of the competitive season Credit Valley elected to leave the Senior Ryder Cup group. It was immediately replaced by the Donalda Golf & Country Club who were already on the bench waiting to join.
In 2012, the Championship was hosted by the Summit Club. London Hunt won at 19 points with the Summit Club coming in a close second with 18 points. Brampton and Bridgewater were third with 15 points. Credit Valley Club withdrew from the SRC and was replaced with the Donalda Club.
In 2013, the Championship was hosted by the Beverly Golf & Country Club and won by the Scarboro team with 20 points. Lookout Point was second with 17 points and North Halton tied for third with West Haven with 16 points. For the first time in the history of the SRC there was a hole in one during the Championship. Murray Clark of Sunningdale was the sharp shooter on the par three 12th hole.
In 2014, the Championship Day was hosted at the Riverbend Golf Community in London and was won by Twenty Valley with 19 points. Lookout Point was second with 17 and North Halton and London Hunt were 3rd and 4th respectively. Brian Butler left the Board and new director Bill Ruiter (Kingsville) was elected in addition to returning directors Tattersall and Hamley. Springville and Cedarbrae withdrew for the 2015 season and were replaced by Niagara Falls CC in Lewiston NY and Whitevale in Pickering.
In 2015, the Championship was held at Thornhill Golf & Country Club and was won by Lookout Point in a 2-hole playoff with Hunters Pointe. Both Clubs finished with 20 points. North Halton and Brampton tied for 3rd with 14 points and there were 5 clubs tied 5th with 13 points. The day was preceded by the 1st playoff – 4 teams vying for one spot in the Championship. Phil Obendorf left the Board and new Director Ken Dunlop (Saugeen) was elected to replace him in addition to returning directors Gene Gordon and Tom Quarantillo. Four additional teams were included in the North Region: The Briars, Harbour View, Shelburne, and Settler’s Ghost
In 2016, the Championship was held at St. Catharines Golf Club and was won by the host Club with 20 points. Teams from Oshawa and Trafalgar tied for 2nd with 17 points. Again this was preceded by a playoff of 8 teams with 3 going on to the Championship. This included some 2nd Teams with the greatest number of points. Eight additional Clubs were introduced to the North region – Batteaux Creek, Midland, Shanty Bay, St. Mary’s, Pike Lake, Seaforth, Carrying Place and Tangle Creek. Four new Clubs were also included in the West region – Port Huron, Sutton Creek, Erie Shores and Beach Grove. Joe Hamley, Bill Ruiter and John Tattersall left the Board. New directors elected to the Board were Wayne Bishop (Dundas Valley), Frank Mattei (Sparrow Lakes), Michael Horrocks (Weston) and Bill Moore-Gough (Oshawa) to join returning directors Wally Berseth and Tom Nederpel.
In 2017, the Championship was held at Highland Country Club in London and was won by Cutten Fields with 21 points. Lookout Point was 2nd with 19. The playoff was a full 16 team field including some 2nd place teams with 4 teams advancing. A total of 26 new teams joined and 2 left – Hunters Point shutdown and Batteaux Creek took a leave. Michael Horrocks and Bill Moore-Gough left the Board. Jim Aziz (Oakville), Charles Forder (Westhaven) and Frank Mattei were elected to the Board for 2018.
In 2018, this was the 1st year of 4 playoffs with all Division winners and 2nd place teams competing. Dundas Valley, The Briars, Tangle Creek and Highland hosted the playoff matches of 14 teams each. Four teams emerged from each of these including the Championship host team to advance to Saugeen Golf Club for the final. Devil’s Pulpit won the Championship with 23 points – a new standard. Kingsville had 22 points followed by Brantford with 19. Fourteen new Clubs joined for a total of 112 in 28 divisions. Tom Quarantillo resigned from the Board and Phil Stevens (Bradford) was appointed for the year as his replacement. Gene Gordon, Ken Dunlop and Phil Stevens were elected to the Board for 2019.
In 2019, the 4 Regional Playoffs were hosted by Dundas Valley, The Briars, Tangle Creek and Maple City. Four teams emerged from each of these including the Championship host team to advance to Devil's Pulpit Golf Club for the final. Whitevale and Sunningdale finished in a tie with 22 points. Whitevale won the Championship in an exciting one-hole playoff. Barrie had 18 points followed by The Oaks, West Haven and Devil's Pulpit with 17 points. Eighteen new clubs joined and six clubs withdrew for a total of 124 clubs in 31 divisions. Gene Gordon, Ken Dunlop and Phil Stevens were acclaimed to the Board. A new Executive Committee was appointed with Gene Gordon as President, Tom Nederpel as Vice-President, Jim Aziz as Secretary and Wayne Bishop as Treasurer. Frank Mattei resigned from the Board and Chris Parris (Borden) was appointed as his replacement for the remainder of his term. Tom Nederpel, Wayne Bishop and Marty Middlestadt (Maple Downs) were elected to the Board for 2020.
The Board amended a Bylaw that made the President’s term a 2-year assignment. A new Executive Committee was appointed with Gene Gordon as President, Tom Nederpel as Vice-President, Jim Aziz as Secretary and Wayne Bishop as Treasurer. Late in the year new Director Martin Middlestadt (Maple Downs) was acclaimed as the secretary.
In 2020, It's hard to believe this year actually occurred! There were 167 clubs in 5 divisions ready to participate and 5 playoff locations were prepared to host when the world changed due to COVID -19 and the SRC Board cancelled the entire season. A lot of the 33 new entries (5 existing clubs withdrew) allowed an establishment of the East Region. The Board approved a structural change to allow up to 5 teams in a Division to give flexibility to expansion.
Tom Nederpel, Wayne Bishop and Marty Middlestadt were acclaimed to the Board for 3-year terms. John McLean (Mill Run) was appointed to the Board to fill the spot of Phil Stevens (medical leave).
2021, With the impact of COVID still evident the season was somewhat restricted and some clubs still were not able to participate. There were 146 clubs participating in the 5 Regions. Unfortunately the U.S. clubs were unable to cross the border so the playoffs were not at capacity. They were held at Brantford, Maple City, Whitevale, Barrie and Brockville from each of which 3 teams emerged for the Championship along with host Whistle Bear. Scarboro won with 19 points followed by Deer Ridge (17), Bridgewater (16) and Essex (15).
The Board executive structure was revised with Tom Nederpel as President, Marty Middlestadt as VP & Secretary, Wayne Bishop as VP & Treasurer. The Board approved an expansion to 12 members and acclaimed Mike Byrne (Essex), Yves Biron (Hylands) and John Trimble (Whitevale) as new members. Jim Aziz, John McLean and Chris Parris were acclaimed for an additional 3 years. Charles Forder resigned from the Board and we were saddened by the passing of Phil Stevens.