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Deuce66
Apr 15, 2011, 05:32 PM
more of an observation than anything but why do we have so much difficulty in producing world class golfers while countries with much smaller populations (Sweden/Australia to name 2) have produced numerous players. Looking at this weeks Valero Open (post major = weaker field) and the number of CDN's making the cut will 0/4, Hearn is +6, McQuillan +13, Weir +17, Baryla +20.

It's not the lack high quality courses, facilities, programs, US college opportunities or passion for the game (we have that in spades). I'm at a loss to explain it. Thoughts?

gbrgolf
Apr 15, 2011, 06:32 PM
more of an observation than anything but why do we have so much difficulty in producing world class golfers while countries with much smaller populations (Sweden/Australia to name 2) have produced numerous players. Looking at this weeks Valero Open (post major = weaker field) and the number of CDN's making the cut will 0/4, Hearn is +6, McQuillan +13, Weir +17, Baryla +20.

It's not the lack high quality courses, facilities, programs, US college opportunities or passion for the game (we have that in spades). I'm at a loss to explain it. Thoughts?

i'm sure there is a combination of many reasons, but the obvious ones are..... The countries that supply the majority of high level Touring Professionals all have much longer golf seasons. And the majority of top athletes in this country commit to other sports. In this day and age kids have to be dedicated to one sport at an early age (not that I agree with this!), and golf falls behind several others in Canada..... notably one on skates! Last reason is $$$$, in golf programs and the Canadian Tour.
Our high performance programs are very close to working, just a year ago, the top 2 amateurs in the world were Canadian..... making it to the next level is sooooo tough!

Bellyhungry
Apr 15, 2011, 07:04 PM
There's quite a few Canadians on the LPGA this year: Sharpie, Richdale, Shepley, Sherlock...Hopefully they continue to improve and contend...

jefflin
Apr 15, 2011, 07:36 PM
Golf is very hard to play year round in Canada. Considering Ames practices min 20 hrs a week you would be hard pressed to be able to afford (cost and daylight time) that type of practices time during the winter months. Plus the interest is not as strong as hockey, yet I am sure that has changed with influence of Wier and even the folklore of Moe Norman. Only having one PGA tour even doesn't help either. To be honest, this can really apply to most sports in Canada except for Hockey. We historically have not invested lots of money to sports programs even though it has recently changed a bit to accommodate the Vancouver Olympics. Another problem is what money we do spend on sports we spread it over many many sports program. Australia has a similar sports budget yet only concentrates them on the sports they excel and succeed at.

But really we are a hockey country. This is probable the same reason as why Canada produces so many hockey players compared to the states even though the Americans have 10 times the population.

Weirfan
Apr 15, 2011, 08:45 PM
who cares ....everyone knows it's only about Tiger;)

Lefty17
Apr 16, 2011, 07:08 AM
I think right now and I've had this chat was someone close to the Jr golf program is these up and coming kids are being over coached and out worked. Making the golf fun should be the most important things.

These kids don't have lives outside of golf. Where are all these talent kids over the last 8-10 years??? Richard Scott, Jeff Halpern, James Lepp, Andrew Parr, Matt Hill(still early), Nick Taylor(still early), Victor Ciesielski, James Love, Ryan Yip... I know it takes time but most of these guys haven't even got a sniff of the PGA Tour. Loves has made it to the Nationwide Tour with some success but nothing consistent. A few PGA Tour events across the board other then that all these hopes we've had have been hopes.

We've got some bright lights on the LPGA Tour with some great hopes coming up behind in the AM program.. Kirby, Lee Bentham(played well at the US AM), Vandermade.

It also comes down to sponsorship $$$ to get these golfers further. I've seen more sponsor on Danny King(teaching pro) then some Canadian Tour players. Plus places like Sweden and Austraila have institutes to help develop athletes. These places don't drive the kids in the ground. It gives them a structured life as a kid to have funny but puts in the work to keep them motivated.

laps
Apr 16, 2011, 07:15 AM
i'm sure there is a combination of many reasons, but the obvious ones are..... The countries that supply the majority of high level Touring Professionals all have much longer golf seasons. And the majority of top athletes in this country commit to other sports. In this day and age kids have to be dedicated to one sport at an early age (not that I agree with this!), and golf falls behind several others in Canada..... notably one on skates! Last reason is $$$$, in golf programs and the Canadian Tour.
Our high performance programs are very close to working, just a year ago, the top 2 amateurs in the world were Canadian..... making it to the next level is sooooo tough!


I partially agree with what you are saying. Hockey sucks up many of our best athletes, but I think the reason why Canada is not a top sports country like Sweden or Australia, is that overall participation rates are low for all sports. As a whole Canadians don't engage in sporting activities as part of our culture. So the pool of people that is required to produce star athletes is small. It applies to all sports including golf.

Mule56
Apr 16, 2011, 08:09 AM
more of an observation than anything but why do we have so much difficulty in producing world class golfers while countries with much smaller populations (Sweden/Australia to name 2) have produced numerous players. Looking at this weeks Valero Open (post major = weaker field) and the number of CDN's making the cut will 0/4, Hearn is +6, McQuillan +13, Weir +17, Baryla +20.

It's not the lack high quality courses, facilities, programs, US college opportunities or passion for the game (we have that in spades). I'm at a loss to explain it. Thoughts?

I`m going to put some thing out here for thought. $$$$$$$$$$$.

Here in Canada, very little money is put in to programs unless done by the player and their families.
In the US, lots of money put in by foundations (First Tee, etc.). Go watch high school golf and see people watching them play, college scouts included. The go watch the college golf and see crowds following players, media included.
This is not uncommon in the Canada vs US amateur sports discussion. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has two football fields (one seats over 109,000) and a basketball gym that seats 13,000+ and their own golf course. Trying to get tickets for their football games is almost impossible and you don`t get on the golf course unless you are a guest of alumni.
All this adds up to big $$$$$$ which the education system and the government of Canada is not willing to spend.

dillon1up
Apr 16, 2011, 08:27 AM
I think that these smaller countries have Sport Institutes which follow and support their up and comers in many sports not just golf.They support them and when it comes to golf help them get into US colleges where so many of these non- US players get their golf grooming.
Basically Canada needs to create a Sports Institute system where young athletes can go and train and be streamed into the next level no matter where in the world it is.

Bellyhungry
Apr 16, 2011, 10:56 AM
.....I think the reason why Canada is not a top sports country like Sweden or Australia, is that overall participation rates are low for all sports. As a whole Canadians don't engage in sporting activities as part of our culture. So the pool of people that is required to produce star athletes is small. It applies to all sports including golf.

Hey, we won more gold medals than anyone in the last Winter Olympics. :)

dekker
Apr 16, 2011, 11:06 AM
what we lack in Canada is a serious recruitment program for talent at a very early age.(from age 6)
We like to believe that nature will sort out the good apples for us. Meanwhile everyone else is doing a Mendel on us.

Deuce66
Apr 16, 2011, 11:14 AM
I think right now and I've had this chat was someone close to the Jr golf program is these up and coming kids are being over coached and out worked. Making the golf fun should be the most important things.

These kids don't have lives outside of golf. Where are all these talent kids over the last 8-10 years??? Richard Scott, Jeff Halpern, James Lepp, Andrew Parr, Matt Hill(still early), Nick Taylor(still early), Victor Ciesielski, James Love, Ryan Yip... I know it takes time but most of these guys haven't even got a sniff of the PGA Tour. Loves has made it to the Nationwide Tour with some success but nothing consistent. A few PGA Tour events across the board other then that all these hopes we've had have been hopes.

We've got some bright lights on the LPGA Tour with some great hopes coming up behind in the AM program.. Kirby, Lee Bentham(played well at the US AM), Vandermade.

It also comes down to sponsorship $$$ to get these golfers further. I've seen more sponsor on Danny King(teaching pro) then some Canadian Tour players. Plus places like Sweden and Austraila have institutes to help develop athletes. These places don't drive the kids in the ground. It gives them a structured life as a kid to have funny but puts in the work to keep them motivated.

makes sense, I see this a lot in hockey and I've seen golf parents drive their 10 year olds into the ground trying to create the next Tiger, if they lose the joy of playing the game by the time they're 15, it's no wonder they get completely burned out which is sad, kids need to be kids and have some balance in their lives

goshawk
Apr 16, 2011, 12:15 PM
I partially agree with what you are saying. Hockey sucks up many of our best athletes, but I think the reason why Canada is not a top sports country like Sweden or Australia, is that overall participation rates are low for all sports. As a whole Canadians don't engage in sporting activities as part of our culture. So the pool of people that is required to produce star athletes is small. It applies to all sports including golf.I'm kinda leaning toward what you're saying here. The number of teens involved in sports in Canada is much lower than the US, per capita. When I was growing up, we got involved in sports at a very early age and branched into lots of different sports throughout our growing years....football, basketball, tennis, baseball/softball, bowling, soccer, etc. There was never a shortage of organized sports to get into, even in financially depressed areas. It was an outlet for boredom as well as a passion. When a kid shows exceptional ability in a particular sport, it's cultivated at the school level, not forced on him/her by the parents....although there are some parents who see $$ signs waiting through pro contracts/endorsements.
There's no telling how many Gretzke's, Woods', Nash's, etc. there are running the malls or skate parks around Canada because they didn't have the guidance from schoos, sports foundations or parents.

Golfnut88
Apr 16, 2011, 01:58 PM
Definately money is the major factor as accessibility to coaches, tournaments and practice facilities are a must. Look at South Africa and the Ernie Els/Fancount Federation which has produced some great talents and now major champions. They aim to:

"To identify talented young South Africans predominantly from families of limited resources and provide them with educational and life-skill assistance and playing opportunities in order to produce successful, well-rounded and educated young golfers."

Granted they have the ability to play year round but I think if we are able to identify kids at a real early age and help them along with their progress but not drive them away from the game it would go along way. Were getting there but we still have a ways to go...

jefflin
Apr 16, 2011, 02:50 PM
There's no telling how many Gretzke's, Woods', Nash's, etc. there are running the malls or skate parks around Canada because they didn't have the guidance from schoos, sports foundations or parents.

These guys didn't need guidance. They had an inner drive that told them they could achieve the highest levels no matter what obstacles were in front of them or who was putting them down and holding them back. If kids are staking around at the mall, no guidance is going to spark that kid's inner drive except if the kid wants it. I wrote more about this here:
http://www.torontogolfnuts.com/showthread.php?t=71707&page=2

I think this also brings up another point about our Canadian culture. We don't push to be the very best. We are afraid of stepping on toes and hurting peoples feelings. Thus we don't have that many athletes that are over confident that we mistake as arrogant. We give out ribbons, prizes and trophies to our kids for participating in tournaments. There is nothing wrong with this. It allows us as a culture to be look upon as polite and kind. Yet in turn we are not going to produce alot of Tiger Woods, Micheal Jordans or Derek Jeters coming out of our sport systems.

goshawk
Apr 16, 2011, 03:34 PM
These guys didn't need guidance. They had an inner drive that told them they could achieve the highest levels no matter what obstacles were in front of them or who was putting them down and holding them back. If kids are staking around at the mall, no guidance is going to spark that kid's inner drive except if the kid wants it. I wrote more about this here:
http://www.torontogolfnuts.com/showthread.php?t=71707&page=2

I think this also brings up another point about our Canadian culture. We don't push to be the very best. We are afraid of stepping on toes and hurting peoples feelings. Thus we don't have that many athletes that are over confident that we mistake as arrogant. We give out ribbons, prizes and trophies to our kids for participating in tournaments. There is nothing wrong with this. It allows us as a culture to be look upon as polite and kind. Yet in turn we are not going to produce alot of Tiger Woods, Micheal Jordans or Derek Jeters coming out of our sport systems.Jeff, I think there probably are thousands of potentially very high quality Wood's, Jordans and Jeters in Canada. They probably will never get to their potential because of a lack of funding, guidance, support, and infrastructure to either help them get there or give them that little push to get past the "I only want to do this for fun" syndrome. There's also a small part of the "nice guy" effect involved as well, but I doubt it's a primary factor. JMHO

Bender
Apr 16, 2011, 04:15 PM
I think the main reason is there is just no encouragement to play golf. How often do you see groups of kids on the course? In the GTA golf is $$$ and popular so there is not allotted times for Jrs.as the adults fill al the slots. I have heard that Australia has an amazing jr golf program unlike Canada. Also as mentioned, 6 months of poor weather has to be a factor.

jefflin
Apr 16, 2011, 04:17 PM
Jeff, I think there probably are thousands of potentially very high quality Wood's, Jordans and Jeters in Canada. They probably will never get to their potential because of a lack of funding, guidance, support, and infrastructure to either help them get there or give them that little push to get past the "I only want to do this for fun" syndrome. There's also a small part of the "nice guy" effect involved as well, but I doubt it's a primary factor. JMHO

My friend I am totally in your ball park about increasing the funding, guidance and support function for sports. I too see kids driven more to their TV set and Xboxes than ever before. I also believe a healthier body leads to a healthier mind and mind set. I am involved with coaching kids and see first hand how one can influence a young mind. It was also evidence in the lead up to the Vancouver Olympics. There was more funding and support and you see the results.

Yet I don't think you can push a kid past the "I only want to do this for fun" part to encourage drive. I think one has to be hungry, starving to be better and I do not think one can teach that into another person's head. Sure if the support system is there one has more options to pursuit one's dream yet if one is hungry enough they will find a way to their dreams whether we have the proper funding or not. Positive thinking and will opens avenues to success.

vijay
Apr 17, 2011, 11:34 AM
more of an observation than anything but why do we have so much difficulty in producing world class golfers while countries with much smaller populations (Sweden/Australia to name 2) have produced numerous players. Looking at this weeks Valero Open (post major = weaker field) and the number of CDN's making the cut will 0/4, Hearn is +6, McQuillan +13, Weir +17, Baryla +20.

It's not the lack high quality courses, facilities, programs, US college opportunities or passion for the game (we have that in spades). I'm at a loss to explain it. Thoughts?

Because it snows here even in APRIL!!!!! :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

Lefty17
Apr 17, 2011, 11:40 AM
and May and June... I've witnessed it.:D

Bartender
Apr 17, 2011, 02:05 PM
I think that these smaller countries have Sport Institutes which follow and support their up and comers in many sports not just golf.They support them and when it comes to golf help them get into US colleges where so many of these non- US players get their golf grooming.
Basically Canada needs to create a Sports Institute system where young athletes can go and train and be streamed into the next level no matter where in the world it is.

Correct. The VIS - Victorian Institute of Sport and the AIS - Australian Institute of Sport are models Canada needs to adopt.

Gunsynd
Apr 19, 2011, 05:56 PM
As an expat Australian, I think the institute model produces good athletes, however most people seem to overlook what was required before these athletes made it to the Institutes!

Most Australian clubs have an interclub pennants competition, where juniors and intermediates aspire to represent their club against other clubs in a team competition without handicaps. The junior interclub program in toronto gives all kids the chance to play using a handicap -- this teaches kids to sandbag at a young age.

If you want to develop talent, you have to reward ability and let the best play, not give every kid a medal.

Although the GAO and other junior tours provide opportunities to compete, they become individual pursuits for the kids, and do not create the camaraderie and peer group that helps young players reach their potential in my opinion. I have considered trying to start a pennants style competition for juniors in Toronto. The George S Lyons provides bragging rights for a club at the senior level once a year -- a pennants comp does this over a number of weeks at multiple courses.

Playthru
Apr 19, 2011, 08:15 PM
Having lived and followed sports development in other countries there is an important element that propels a sport forward - that is a home grown hero.
The first world class runner in Kenya ( Kipchoge Keino), the first world class runner in Ethiopia ( Abe Bikila), the first world class golfer in Germany ( Bernard Langher, Spain ( Seve Ballesteros), S. Africa ( Gary Player), Korea ( See ree Park) etc etc.
Mike Weir's Masters win did a lot for golf in Canada, and probably a lot of the young guys playing now were propelled by his success. We need one or two of these young guys to make it big and you will see young people trying to emulate that success.
Programs and all do help, but nothing works like a home grown hero.