Renfrew Golf Club Hosts 48th Annual Links of Friendship Tournament

The field at the 48th Links of Friendship Tournament (Photo: Joe McLean)
The field at the 48th Links of Friendship Tournament (Photo: Joe McLean)
The field at the 48th Links of Friendship Tournament (Photo: Joe McLean)

Flagstick staff stopped in at the Renfrew Golf Club on Saturday, June 18th to meet with Mike Moore and a number of golfers who were participating in The 48th Annual Links of Friendship Golf Tournament.

This tournament was begun in 1968 by Mike and twenty-eight golfers participated in the original event. Mike Moore was kind enough to talk about the annual event held at the Renfrew Golf Club.

“First of all, we’re talking about the Links of Friendship Golf Tournament and the name has some significance because the idea behind the golf tournament was to get friends back together who had grown up in Renfrew. We started in 1968 when I was 28 years old. I had left Renfrew and was teaching high school in Ottawa and a lot of my friends who I had grown up with, the same thing had happened. They had gone to Toronto, Ottawa, London or wherever the case may be and we didn’t get to see each other very much anymore. So I came up with the idea of having a golf tournament and getting all our friends to come. Through the years, they’ve come from a lot of different places to come back.

When we started, the original tournament, there were twenty-eight players and it grew quite dramatically over the years. After twenty years, we would get maybe 225 to 250 people coming back to play. The reason for that was that friends were bringing friends and then the second generations of families started to come and so we’ve actually had grandchildren play. It’s been an awful lot of fun for a long, long time. It was a very competitive tournament at one time. We probably had twenty guys that would break 75 and that means we had plenty of quality golfers.

But that’s not the reason for the tournament. We want to see our friends and have a really good time, have a beer, and enjoy the sunshine on a really good golf course. We, who started this, love to play here; we love to be here. It’s pretty; it’s a good challenge and people from Renfrew are wonderful people. We’ll probably have at least a dozen of the original players here today and some of their kids will also be playing.”

The original players that Mike referred to were Larry Armitage, Bill Butson, Bill & Bob Cox, Brian & Mike Kelly, Bob & Chuck Lemenchick, Mike Moore, Rick Smith, Al Stitt, Peter Vice and Muzz Wren.

There is a trophy for The Links of Friendship Golf Tournament and it is hotly contested for by many of the low handicap golfers. But the trophy is secondary to the event. The joy in re-uniting with old friends, exchanging stories and just catching up on life is the main purpose in coming back to Renfrew for this occasion.

That passion was evident by the smiles, handshakes and hugs when friends met friends in the registration area at the Renfrew Golf Club.