GOLF HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF CANADA

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2017 Canadian Gutty Championship, Charles Blair Macdonald Challenge and Eastern Canadian Hickory Championship
Niagara-on-the-Lake, September 8 – 10, 2017

Please scroll to the bottom of the page to see some pictures from the event.

The Fifteenth Annual Charles Blair Macdonald Challenge was played at the historic Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Course on September 8, 9, and 10.

The course is the oldest in North America on its original site. It has been ranked in the top ten short courses in the world (excluding the United States) by Golf Magazine.

Participants included Americans from seven states - Oregon, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Ohio, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Illinois - as well as our fiirst Quebecer, from Montreal.

The tournament format has been altered over the years, and the event is now three tournaments in one.

Canadian Gutty Championship

Twenty-eight gutty enthusiasts teed off on the Friday and Saturday mornings, to determine the Canadian Gutty Champion.

Golfers played smooth face irons and long nose woods in this event. Replica gutty balls were in use.

Bob Sly's 76 in the first round and Bill Wardwell's 74 in the second round were the highlights of the event.

Wardwell's 150 total, took the Senior Canadian Gutty Championship title. Sly followed with a score of 78 to take the Open division trophy.

Vern P's 170 total was good enough to take the Super Senior Canadian Gutty Championship title.

Honourable mention goes to defending champion Tom Johnson with his 82-74-156 total.

Charles Blair Macdonald Challenge

The Charles Blair Macdonald Challenge is a team event reenacting the first international golf match in North America. The field was divided into four teams - Team USA, Team Eastern Ontario, Team Westtern Ontario and The International Team.

Forty avid golfers - 4 women, 166 super seniors, 12 seniors and 8 open division players - played 18 holes with pre-1900 equipment gutty balls, smooth face irons and long nose woods, and 18 holes of post-1900 golf. Each contestant played a match against the others in his / her foursome to determine the team champions.

After Saturday's round, Team Western Ontario, the two time defending champions, led with 19 points. Team USA was in second place with 18 points, followed by Team Eastern Ontario with 17 points and the International Team had 6 points.

Sunday's play was with post-1900 hickory equipment - mesh ball, socket woods and irons with markings on the face.

Team USA came on strong, and won 22.5 points. Team Eastern Ontario scored 18.5 points, Team Western Ontario won 10.5 points. The International Team scored 8.5 points.

Final scoring in the matches had Team USA came on top, scoring 40.5 points. The Eastern Ontario Team finished second with 35.5 points. Team Western Ontario placed third with 29.5 points. The International Team scored 14.5 points.

Members of the winning team included Rita Dietz, Tom Johnson, Mike Campailla, Bill Wardwell, Jeff Blomstedt, Bill Conant, JW McMath, Buck Barrie, Frank Rosenzweig, and Barry Herbert.

Congratulations to Team USA!

Eastern Canadian Hickory Championship

The Eastern Canadian Hickory Championship is a 54 hole medal play event using pre and post 1900 hickory golf equipment.

Our winners were...

Super Senior Champion - Vern P (250)
Super Senior Runnerup - Bob West (265)

Senior Champion - Bill Wardwell (223)
Senior Runnerup - Jeff Blomstedt (243)

Open Champion - Bob Sly (231)
Open Runnerup - Tom Johnson (2322)

We also have a 36 hole division. Our winners in the 36 hole division were...

Ladies Champion - Amanda Sly (1882)
Ladies Runnerup - Rita Dietz (2116)

Super Senior Champion - Rusty Weells (164)
Super Senior Runnerup - Tom Ochss (175)

Senior Champion - David Burgess (163)
Senior Runnerup - Paul Dietz (1667)

Jim McNeil Trophy

The golfer scoring best over the course of 54 holes wins the Jim McNeil Trophy. McNeil was a very good hickory golfer who left us way too young. This trophy is a memorial to Jim.

Bill Wardwell is the recipient of this award with his score of 223. This is only the second time in the history of this event that a senior division golfer has had the lowest score in the tournament.

Well done, Bill!

Congratulations to all our winners!

Note: I hold places for 2017 participants in the 2018 event until March 15, 2018. After that date, I fill the field with players from the waiting list. This is a limited field event. Get your entries in early to avoid disappointment. Hope you can join us.


The 2018 C.B. Macdonald Challenge and Eastern Canadian Hickory Championship will be played September 7–9, 2018.

Click here for details and entry forms.

For more information, contact Paul Dietz at clubdoc1@gmail.com.

Many thanks to Frank Collis for his fine pictures of this year's event (see below).
Click on small pictures below to see full-size version.
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Buck Barrie, Adrian Buis, John Duffy
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Gunner Eriksson, George Julie, Frank Rosenzweig, Christopher Korchin
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Paul Ready, Peter VanBeurden, George Supol, Bill Vossen
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Nick Waterfield, Mike Campailla, Bill Stewart
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Bob West, JW McMath, Ron Dunn, Wayne Linton
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Vern P, Bill Southall, Jeffery Blomstedt, Patrick Potter
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Bill Wardwell, Tom Johnson, Bill Conant, Bob Sly
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The Piper
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All of the participants
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The Eastern Team
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The Western Team
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The USA Team
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The International Team
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Senior Champion Bill Wardwell, Super Senior Champion Vern P, and Open Champion Bob Sly
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Ladies Runnerup Rita Dietz and Ladies Champion Amanda Sly
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Senior Runnerup Paul Dietz and Senior Champion David Burgess
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Super Senior Runnerup Bob West and Super Senior Champion
Vern P
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Senior Runnerup Jeff Blomstedt and Senior Champion Bill Wardwell
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Open Runnerup Tom Johnson and Open Champion Bob Sly
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Jim McNeil Trophy winner Bill Wardwell
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C.B.Macdonald Challenge winners, Team USA