New senior men’s golf tour launching in 2021
Derek Divok is a player and a member of the organizing committee of the new Niagara Senior Men’s Tour.
Bill Bodfield’s aha golf moment has led to the formation of the Niagara Senior Men’s Tour.
“I never played competitive golf myself and as I got older I was playing better golf and I got to a point where I wanted to play a little bit competitively,” said the four handicapper at Rockway Vineyards. “I wasn’t good enough or long enough to play on the men’s tour so I thought that I can’t be the only guy who gets into mid mid-50s and wants to play some competitive golf.
“I thought it would be great if there was a tour for old guys who can’t hit it 300 yards any more.”
Along with fellow committee members Derek Divok and Tim Dundas, the tour staged a test event last September at Rockway Glen and it was a rousing success.
“It was crazy,” Bodfield said. “I don’t even know how much advertising we did and we had to cap it at 80 guys. I actually had a waiting list.
“I got 100 senior golfers’ email addresses from that event and I used it to catapult us forward.”
The success of that inaugural event, won by Andy Labelle, led the trio to launch a five-tournament tour in 2021.
The schedule of Monday events includes: May 31 at Bridgewater at 9 a.m.; June 14 at Sawmill at 11 a.m.; Aug. 9 at Grand Niagara at 8 a.m.; Aug. 30 at 10 a.m. at the Legends on the Niagara’s Battlefield course; and, Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. at Rockway Vineyards.
As of this week, 68 golfers have already signed up to compete on the tour.
“Considering the COVID, that’s a pretty good response because a lot of guys haven’t been out at the golf courses and we are not able to advertise at restaurants,” Bodfield. “We are pretty excited that is this going to be a good, long-term venture.”
There is still room for about a dozen golfers to sign up for the tour and those interested should visit https://www.niagaraseniormenstour.com for more information. The two requirements to sign up are that golfers have to be 55 or older and have handicap of 15 or lower.
The registration fee for the five events is $380 which includes golf and prizes.
“The reason we are able to offer that (price) is because we are doing the events on Mondays and Mondays are way easier to get courses to do it,” Bodfield said.
There are concerns the province-wide COVID lockdown may cause the cancellation of the first tournament but plans are in place to reschedule it if necessary.
“I am still hopeful we are going to have our five events this year,” Bodfield said. “Long term, I think it might go to five events and a final.”
Tour organizers aren’t expecting to add a tour qualifier if number of interested golfers exceeds the 80 available spots.
“It’s supposed to be fun and a 15 handicapper is more of a fun golfer than a competitive golfer,” he said. “I think I did the math and there are 30 guys now with six handicaps or better but it’s just as important for guys who wants to go out, play a round and have a few beers with friends.”
Players registered to play are: Brian Allen and Randall Arrowsmith, Mark Fleguel and Joe Jacob from Freedom Oaks; Tim Robb and Larry Anderson from Port Colborne; Len Aubertin and Joe Baldinelli from Royal Niagara; John Wiebe, James Tucker, Rick Vaive, Derek Spense, Lou Roussy, Clary Ryan, Mike Petro, Cam McNish, Rick Lococo, Bodfield, Chris Giles, Divok and Dave Brennan from Rockway Vineyards; Joe Spiler, Doug Piett, Frank Mortensen, Gordon Henderson, Bill Boros and Chuck Garner from Lookout Point ; Des Brady from Cherry Hill; Dan Nywening, Vito Brigatino and Rob Gadawski from Bridgewater; Gordon Taylor, Mark Rankie, Ben Mercier and Donald Cooke from Grand Niagara; Steve Warboys, Drew Porter, Jim Panetta, Mark Derbyshire and Jim McMacken from Niagara-on-the-Lake; Wayne Lattamore and Mike Gibson from ICC; Bernie Haines from Queenston; Labelle from Rolling Meadows; Luke Sikkens and Harry Pelissero from Peninsula Lakes; Roger Perry from Cardinal Lakes; Mike Putman and Jeff Putman from Legends on the Niagara; Scott Read from St. Catharines; Kurk Whitnell and Jeff Hurst from Burlington; Ross Eisele from Cambridge; Bill Simmons from Flamborough; Scott Stacey from the Players Club in Hamilton; David Tenszen from Cutten Fields; and, public players Nazim Mohammed, Fred Karam, Jack Julius, Kohler Huskins, Tim Horhota, Derrick Hobson, Bruce Hartley, Tony Hart, Sarkis Eskedjian, Mike Eskedjian, Bill Brock and Danny Dionne.
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