History, Purpose and Mission
Above (left to right): GHSC FOUNDERS – George Elliott, Norm Moireau, Bob Nutley and Jack Rutherford
Golf Historical Society of Canada (“GHSC”) was formed in November 1988 when two Toronto friends, Bob Nutley and Jack Rutherford, got together to trade some golf clubs at the Nutley home. Jack’s father owned a prominent Camera Shop on Yonge Street where the large basement floor was to become the home of Jack’s large collection. Bob was already in the process of filling his family home with his own extensive collection. After talking to some friends, Bob, Jack, and five other individuals decided to meet on November 14, 1988, at the Toronto Granite Club. Four gentlemen decided to proceed with a development plan for GHSC—so George Elliot, Norm Moreau, Bob Nutley and Jack Rutherford became the founding members of this new group.
The name the founding members came up with—Golf Historical Society of Canada—suggests they had big plans for this organization. A newspaper article attracted 120 persons to sign up and soon they were in business. However, despite the fast start, GHSC was to remain a group mostly centered in Southern Ontario. With a token number of members outside Ontario, the membership was to level out at just under 300. While GHSC members were serious collectors of all sorts of golf-related ephemera, wood-shafted clubs were the primary items sought.
Swap meetings were held on a regular basis at golf course venues and naturally it was decided that they should also play some golf. This proved very popular and the group settled into holding Spring and Fall meetings with golf becoming a regular event. Not all collectors were even recreational players, so the golf outings were in a “scramble” format. This allowed all players to learn about the clubs and put together their own decent set of play clubs. Also, if the groups were properly selected, the resulting scores were very competitive. Another feature was an auction at every meeting or show, which proved very popular In the first few years. Outside bidders would come in and actively bid up and buy some of their favorites. Usually they ended up becoming GHSC members. Even better, most members soon became quite knowledgeable about hickory clubs aided by the veteran members. Clubs were bought and sold and restored to the levels of the originals when required. Some members made a hobby of restoring clubs and selling them to members for play and competition. By 2000, competitive tournaments were springing up and everyone was looking for a good play set. Local competition within the Society was improving quickly as better players joined the group. Several events were held each year.
But the big change occurred when a member offered his personal course, Kitchener Westmount, for a 100th year anniversary celebration. It was planned to have GHSC members join the Westmount members in a scramble format with the Society supplying the clubs and the host club offering an after-golf dinner celebration for all.
The Society asked GHSC members to pay a fee to play this wonderful course with the money going into the Society’s coffers. This was in 2006 and over the next 14 years, 17 such events were held. The financial advantage to GHSC’s Board was obvious and to its members, such events allowed them to play some of Ontario’s finest golf courses. The financial situation of GHSC has greatly improved and we now look forward to greater enjoyment as a group once the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. This is certainly a great time to join our group, so if you love golf as it used to be, come join us!
Doug Marshall, GHSC Historian
30th Anniversary Issue of the Jigger
Here is a link (GHSC_30TH_ANNIVERSARY_BOOKLET_Web) to the 30th Anniversary copy of The Jigger, GHSC’s Official Newsletter. This copy, Bulletin 112 – December 2018, contains a lot of interesting information about the Society’s origins and first 30 years of operation.
(Why we exist)
The purpose of GHSC is as follows:
- To encourage, promote and preserve the history and traditions of golf especially as it relates to Canada, and to disseminate related news and other information through the Society’s website, social media, publications, meetings, and other means.
- To provide the opportunity for our members and guests to play golf using historical original or replica clubs and balls, by participating in fun and enjoyable casual and competitive golf events.
- To provide a forum for our members to share in the enjoyment of collecting, including buying, selling and trading golf equipment, memorabilia and other collectibles.
(What drives us)
GHSC is dedicated to the fun and enjoyment of Canadian historical golf experiences through playing, collecting, learning and sharing.