Canadian Golf Hall of Fame Welcomes Two New Members

-Richard Zokol and Stephen Ross Named as latest Inductees-

British Columbia native Richard Zokol is the 69th member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame
British Columbia native Richard Zokol is the 69th member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. Photo: National Speakers Bureau www.nsb.com

As a person who spent his teen years living on the Northwest coast of British Columbia I was more than proud to see Richard Zokol announced Tuesday, along with Stephen Ross, as the 2011 inductees for the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

Zokol, who made his mark as a touring professional and always did things with his own style, was iconic among my own golf crowd.  Born in Kitimat, B.C., the town built by the giant aluminum corporation, Alcan,  he experienced the entire upper echelon of golf through his career.  In amateur, college, and the professional circuits he managed to have success that lit the way for many other junior golfers in his home province.

A member of the World Amateur Team in 1980, he won the 1981 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship and helped his Brigham Young University squad to an NCAA Team Championship that very same year.

After turning professional he spent more than two decades on the PGA with two wins to his credit, both in 1992, when he captured the Greater Milwaukee Open and Deposit Guarantee Classic titles. In his career he also had wins at the 1984 Utah Open along with the B.C. Open and Canadian PGA Championship in 2001.  He also represented Canada at the World Cup (1992 and 1993) and was a member of the Dunhill Cup Team (1985-1987 and 1992-1993).

Never afraid to challenge himself, Zokol went on to host a television show, write a golf book and most recently became a partner and driving force in the highly respected Sagebrush Golf and Sporting Club.  He also does public speaking through the National Speakers Bureau and is already a member of the Brigham Young University Hall of Fame and the British Columbia Golf Hall of Fame.

“Being inducted into our country’s Golf Hall of Fame is an immeasurable honour considering the past contributions of Canadian legends of the game beforehand,” said Zokol.  “The feeling of gratitude of just being considered is overwhelming.”

Zokol will be formally inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame this summer at a ceremony in Vancouver.

Zokol is the 69th inductee into the Hall and will be joined by administrator Stephen Ross, the  former Executive Director of the Royal Canadian Golf Association (Golf Canada).

“It is an honour to be nominated and elected into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. I have worked in golf my entire adult life and it is very rewarding to have my life’s work recognized in this way,” said Ross.  “Congratulations to Richard Zokol and his entire family for his election.  I accept my election to the Hall on behalf of my family and all those employees who worked with me over the years and helped make this announcement possible.”

Ross spent three decades with the RCGA starting as a Assistant Amateur Tournament Director in 1977 eventually working his way up to the Executive Director position by 1989.  He spent 17 years in that role.  He stepped down in 2007.

Ross is currently the Managing Partner at Oak Gables Golf Club and Learning Centre near Hamilton, Ont.

Not date or location has been announced for Ross’ induction ceremony.

“The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame seeks to recognize excellence as golfers, contributors and supporters of the game,” said David Shaw, Chair of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame Selection Committee.  “Stephen Ross and Richard Zokol have each amassed their own unique golf-related legacies and are fine examples of what makes golf such a great sport.  Both of our 2011 inductees made tremendous contributions to the game and it is only fitting that as such, they are recognized for their accomplishments.”

For more on the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame & Museum visit www.cghf.org.

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