Golf NB Cancels 2020 NB Ladies Provincial Championships
For Immediate Release:
With the ongoing uncertainty and global concern related to COVID-19, Golf NB has continued to evaluate all aspects of its business to operate and make informed and responsible decisions within the best interests of our athletes, staff, volunteers, host clubs, partners and other stakeholders health and well-being.
Further to the already announced event cancellations (CLICK HERE) Golf NB has decided cancel this year’s NB Ladies Provincial Championships.
“COVID-19 is a significant concern for female golfers in New Brunswick,” said Golf NB President Judy Astle. Fewer than normal registrations, combined with concerns that have been voiced by longstanding event participants would see Golf NB reconsider its decision to host the 2020 NB Ladies Provincial Championships as scheduled. Astle would go on to say, “as a member-based organization, we felt that it was important to respect both the wishes of the players and the potential economic impact a limited field may have on our host venue, the Lakeside Golf & Country Club.”
Choosing to cancel an event on short notice is never an easy decision. Following the expression of concern from many past participants on Thursday, June 18th, Golf NB immediately formed a sub-committee to address player concerns as quickly as possible. The sub-committee made up of President Astle, Golf NB Executive Director Tyson Flinn, Golf NB Tournament Committee Chairman Gary Melanson and the three addition members of the Golf NB Executive Committee, Allison Chisholm, Brenda Parrott and Leanne Richardson, met during the evening of June 18th and a final decision quickly followed.
“It was important for us to be decisive, and to have the decision made by those who have participated in the event in the past and understand the nuances of the NB Ladies Provincial Championships,” said Astle. “The COVID-19 pandemic has already forced so many cancellations in all aspects of our lives that we wanted to provide as much clarity and notice to players and the host club as possible. We felt it was critical to be able to communicate the decisions as quickly as possible to allow all involved to alter their personal, and business plans accordingly.”
“The Ladies Provincials is not just a ‘Golf Tournament,’” said Astle. “It is an opportunity for friends to gather, reconnect, and enjoy each other’s company. COVID-19 has impacted society’s ability to do that, as we have become accustomed to. COVID-19, and the associated Provincial Protocols, would not allow for the traditional player gatherings and it was clear that with the lack of a social component has had a significant impact on the events registrations.”
Acknowledging that while the Ladies Amateur and Senior divisions of the NB Ladies Provincial Championships was way down, the Junior Girls (Under 19) field which was recently added to the NB Ladies Provincial Championships due to the COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 NB Pee Wee & Junior Championships, was on par with past years. “On Wednesday evening there were 26 registered participants for the 2020 NB Ladies Provincial Championships,” said Golf NB Executive Director Tyson Flinn. “Of those 26, 10 were Junior (Under 19) Girls, which was on par with 2019, and we felt those girls deserved their opportunity to compete.” With that Golf NB quickly moved to relocate the 2020 NB Junior Girls (Under 19) Championship for the second time in just a few weeks.
“The Lakeside Golf & Country Club has been a great partner through these challenging times, but we felt it would not be fair to the club to ask them to hold an event for which they had not previously agreed,” said Flinn. “However, we were working diligently to secure an alternate host venue for our 2020 NB Junior Girls (Under 19) Championship, on the same dates of July 5th to 7th, and hope to have additional information on this potential change in the very near future.”
While the NB Ladies Amateur, Mid-Amateur and Senior Championships will not be contested in 2020, the NB Men’s Amateur Championship and NB Men’s Senior Championship are both nearly oversubscribed. “We anticipate full fields, and waiting lists, for both events,” said Golf NB Tournament Committee Chairman Gary Melanson. “When we combined our Junior Boys, Men’s Amateur and Men’s Mid-Master Championships due to COVID-19 we really were not sure what we’d get, so we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.” With a maximum field size of 144 participants, the NB Men’s Amateur Championship will see Provincial Champions crowned in seven (7) different categories contested at the Royal Oaks Golf Club from July 10th to 12th. With provincial champions being crowned in the Bantam Boys (Under 15), Juvenile Boys (Under 17), Junior Boys (Under 19), Men’s Amateur (open), Men’s Mid-Amateur (25+) and Men’s Mid-Master (40+) categories, along with a newly formed 21 player Senior Men’s division the 2020 NB Men’s Amateur Championship will see some of the province’s best male golfers aged 13 to 71 competing at the same venue for the first time.
In addition to the full field at the Men’s Amateur Championship, the 2020 NB Men’s Senior Championship, to be held at the Miramichi Golf & Country Club from July 20th to 22nd, is also expected to oversubscribe in the coming days. Miramichi will play host to 99 of the province’s top Senior Men (55+ years of age) competing for Provincial Championships in the Senior (55+) and Super-Senior (65+) divisions.
“The decision to cancel the 2020 NB Ladies Provincial Championships was a difficult one,” added Astle. “We respect all of the hard work that the host committee has already put in, and the foundation that they have established for a great event, and we look forward to working with the Lakeside Golf & Country Club in an effort to see the club host the NB Ladies Provincial Champions again in the near future.”
Golf New Brunswick (Golf NB), a not-for-profit organization founded in 1934, is the official governing body for amateur golf in New Brunswick. In January of 2006, the New Brunswick Golf Association (NBGA) officially merged with the New Brunswick Ladies Golf Association (NBLGA), resulting in one united governing body for amateur golf in the province. Programs offered by Golf NB to its 6,800 members include 12 provincial events, rules of golf education, course rating and handicap services, junior golf development programs and member club marketing initiatives.