Town gives tacit support to Senior Men’s Golf tournament sponsorship
It is “very likely” the Town will be a titanium ($10,000) sponsor of the Canadian Senior Men’s Amateur golf championship to be played at Saugeen Golf Club next September. Mayor Luke Charbonneau gave tacit support for the request from event hosts Doug Flowers and Sylvia Sheard who appeared before the Sept. 11 general committee meeting. Councillors asked staff to report on the request. Asking for support and touting the anticipated boost to tourism and the local economy sparked by the tournament, Sylvia Sheard said the event would generate a “significant” $300,000 boost to the economy with each of the expected 150 players spending $2,000 in Saugeen Shores. “Our committee anticipates more than 200 people staying for five-or-more nights with additional spectators also coming to enjoy golf and other fun events…” Sheard told councillors. “We will showcase our incredible area and invite players and families to return. The players and golf officials alone will contribute 1,000 overnight stays,” Sheard said, noting it will take over 200 volunteers to ensure a smooth and professional championship. Host committee member Doug Flowers, who most recently lent his organizational skills to the successful Ontario Tankard in Port Elgin, said it was a “happy coincidence” that the Saugeen Golf Club would celebrates its 100th anniversary next year.He said in recognition of the anniversary the host committee decided to complement the national golf championship with a celebration of a hundred years of golf in Saugeen Shores. “This decision transforms the championship into an event that will engage everyone in the community,” he said, adding they would “respond to our sponsors’ interests.” “We will put up a big top tent and attract spectators through entertainment, food and inter- active games. In turn, sponsors will set up displays, exposing their product of service to our marketplace,” Flowers said. While the tournament will use 18 of Saugeen’s 27 holes, it leaves room for a “golf festival” on the other nine, Flowers said. Plans include a golf simulator tent, curling displays, putting and chipping contests and a hole-inone contest with Port Elgin Chrylser offering the prize of a twoyear lease. “All of it will be oriented towards kids as well as adults. A number of activities will raise funds for charity, Flowers said, adding JumpStart will receive hole-in-one proceeds. Sponsorships are required to cover “substantial” expenses to stage the event, Flowers said. There are five levels of sponsorship from $150 to $10,000, and Flowers said they are asking the Town for the titanium level, which is $10,000. “Saugeen Golf Club is a not-forprofit and any excess funds from the event would flow into community development – into promoting sport in the community, with a focus on golf, of course, into upgrading the course, into junior programs and into local charities,” Flowers said, adding the objective is to make the Town’s sponsorship “an investment that makes a multiplied return to the whole community.” Vice deputy mayor Diane Huber congratulated Flowers for his role in the Tankard’s success earlier this year, and asked what if the request would go to this fall’s budget talks or could be dealt with earlier. Mayor Charbonneau suggested they send the request to staff to deal with depending on their workload. Asked how Saugeen Golf Club was chosen to host the national event, general manager Brad Young said that the selection process began when the club successfully hosted the Ontario Junior Champion in 2020, leaving Golf Canada “in awe” of local organizing and staging skills. He said the championship comes to Ontario, which has thousands of courses, every six or seven years so it is a “wonderful, wonderful award” to receive. After hearing councillors’ support for the event, Mayor Charbonneau gave this assurance: “I think you are very likely to get support from council…” he said thanking organizers for initiating the event which he said would take a lot of work but have a huge benefit to the community.