Remembering Fallen Golf Heroes
Geoffrey Cornish Was A Disciple Of Stanely Thompson And Helped Build The Capilano Golf Club In West Vancouver. He Was Also A Major In The Canadian Army, Serving In Europe From 1940-45 - Golf Canada Image
By Terry Lenyk/Golf Canada
They are some of Canada’s most renowned golf legends, a list amassed of professional and amateur players, course architects and administrators. They have all contributed to the growth of the game of golf in this country. However, their contributions to golf pale in comparison to their contributions to the fabric of our nation.
November 11th is Remembrance Day. A day we remember and pay tribute to the brave men and women who have served in our armed forces. What better day to remember Canadian golfers of the past who helped our nation during its greatest times of need.
The following are just some of the contributions Canadian golf legends made to the Allied forces during the First and Second World Wars.
During World War I, Hamilton, Ont. native Florence Harvey, along with other women golfers in Canada, raised enough money to purchase an ambulance for use in Serbia.
During WWII, the CLGA also raised money, this time their money went towards the purchase of a Spitfire plane.
Karl Keffer is best known for becoming the first Canadian-born golfer to win our national championship – the Canadian Open – in 1909. He also won in 1914.
Keffer, from Tottenham, Ont., was a founding member of the PGA of Canada and held numerous positions during his 29-year involvement with the association including; secretary-treasurer, captain and president. Keffer, a war veteran, pleaded with other golf professionals of his day to join the war effort.
Donald Carrick, born in Thunder Bay, Ont., was a standout amateur golfer. A two time Canadian Amateur champion, Carrick also won the 1924 US Junior Boy’s Championship, several Ontario amateur titles and played for Canada against the British Walker Cup team before retiring from competitive golf in 1933 to focus on his family and law practice. Carrick would become a political figure and also competed as a boxer in the 1928 Summer Olympics.
Carrick also received the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E) for his service in the Royal Artillery during WWII.
Geoffrey Cornish, one of the legendary Stanley Thompson’s protégés, fashioned a career in golf course architecture. He was one of the best Canada has ever produced. Born in Winnipeg Cornish received a bachelor's degree from the University of British Columbia and a Master's from the University of Massachusetts, both in agronomy.
His interest in golf course architecture was aroused upon graduation in 1935, when he was hired to evaluate soils and find topsoil on the Capilano Golf Club, then under construction in West Vancouver, for Canadian architect Stanley Thompson. Cornish then continued his training for four years with Thompson before becoming Head Greenkeeper at St. Charles Country Club, Winnipeg.
With a career that included more than 200 golf course designs or remodellings, Cornish turned his attention towards chronicling the history of his field, becoming an author and penning several internationally-acclaimed books on golf course architecture in the later part of his career.
Cornish was a Major in the Canadian Army, serving in Europe from 1940-45.
To these and other notable figures in Canadian golf who have supported our troops as well as all of the brave men and women who have served our country – thank you.