Thunder Bay

Golf course architect who helped shape sport in northwestern Ontario to receive award

A golf course architect who worked on courses in Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario, will receive a prestigious award from a golf industry association this week.

Late Stanley Thompson to receive John B. Steel Distinguished Service Award from CGSA

The late golf course architect Stanley Thompson, who designed the course at the Fort William Golf and Country Club, will receive a prestigious award from the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association on Wednesday. (Fort William Golf and Country Club/Facebook)

A golf course architect who worked on courses in Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario, will receive a prestigious award from a golf industry association this week.

Stanley Thompson, who died in 1953, will be recognized by the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) at a virtual ceremony scheduled for Thursday, as the recipient of the 2020 John B. Steel Distinguished Service Award.

"He's a well-known architect, probably one of the most-prolific golf course architects in Canada," said CGSA president Darren Kalyniuk. "He's definitely left his mark on Canadian golf landscape from coast to coast."

The Stanley Thompson Society lists more than 150 courses that Thompson designed, or worked on, in Canada, the United States, Jamaica, Brazil and Colombia.

Among them are the Fort William Golf and Country Club and Chapples Golf Course in Thunder Bay, as well as the Kenora Golf Club and the Minaki Resort International Golf Course.

Thompson, who was born in 1893, worked as a course designer from 1912 to 1952, the CGSA said. He was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1980 and was named a Person of National Historic Significance by the Canadian government in 2004.

Thompson was also named to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

"He was a brilliant architect who sculpted some pretty amazing landscapes throughout his illustrious career, from coast to coast … and even south of the border," Kalyniuk said. "He has been a huge contributor to the Canadian golf industry. And we felt as a board … that Stanley Thompson was a great candidate for this award."

The John B. Steel award is presented annually to someone who has "made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the profession of golf course superintendent," the CGSA said.

Thompson's award will be accepted by two of this relatives at Thursday's ceremony and will then be displayed at the Stanley Thompson Society in Burlington, Ont.

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