Written By: Great Lakes Tour
Edited By: Garry McKay
Hamilton ON - The Great Lakes Tour (GLT) has confirmed that a new event is coming to Niagara National Golf & Country in Stevensville ON, only 10 minutes from the historic attraction and City of Niagara Falls.
The GLT Niagara Open will be contested on July 7-8, 2022 as a 36-hole, stroke-play competition open to all professionals and elite level amateur golfers.
The GLT is familiar with the Niagara Falls area and surrounding region as their TOUR Championship was contested at Legends on the Niagara GC in both 2016 and 2017. Since this time the GLT has been absent from the region, and 5 years later the Tour will return to a fresh new site that will be unfamiliar to most of the current players of the GLT...
GLT Niagara Open Trailer Video
Originally opened in 1976, the golf course sits on over 500 acres of land adjacent to the small urban centres of Stevensville and Douglastown located at the intersection of Netherby Road and the QEW, which is only a short distance between both Niagara Falls and the US border at Fort Erie. The lands surrounding the golf course are currently being reviewed for potential redevelopment by FORREC, an international design firm that specializes in resorts and community master planning. The redevelopment vision is to create a unique golf community that is family oriented and focused on healthy living with access to year-round recreational activities but will also offer agricultural amenities for those looking for a sustainable ‘Farm to Table’ lifestyle.
Jukic Group Limited (Niagara Falls), current ownership, is eager and committed to making it one of the top courses in Ontario, and a must-play for any golfer visiting the Niagara Region. In an effort to establish itself as a premium golf experience, the golf course has undergone a complete rebranding.
What was formerly, the International Country Club, is now Niagara National Golf & Country, and in 2021 the ownership quickly retained two prominent golf companies to assist and further drive this vision into a reality for the community.
World renowned and award winning golf course architecture firm Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design will handle the redesign of the par 72 championship layout. Notable Canadian work from the design group include Devil's Pulpit and Paintbrush, Georgian Bay Club, The Club at Bondhead, Dundarave and Le Diable.
Veteran PGA of Canada professional and owner of TV1 Golf Consultants Tom Vanderlip has been hired to oversee the management of the facility's renovation and day to day operations. Vanderlip and the team at Niagara National Golf & Country are extremely excited to bring a professional event to their golf course in 2022 as they will look to create a great experience for all the players while showcasing their new brand and image to the community.
"We are thrilled at the opportunity to showcase our facility to the incredibly talented players on the Great Lakes Tour.'' says Vanderlip. ''What they have accomplished over the past twenty years is quite impressive and they continue to strive to provide their tour members with first class tournament atmosphere and experience to help them further develop their professional careers. The GLT Niagara Open will allow players a great opportunity to compete at a very high level and we couldn't be happier to working with them on this event!"
The 2022 Great Lakes Tour schedule is still being put together, but President Jim Kenesky says all the dates are set with half of the host facilities still needing final confirmation.
''Our schedule is coming along nicely for 2022 and adding the GLT Niagara Open and Niagara National Golf & Country to our set of events is very exciting,'' says Kenesky. ''We expect to have eight multi-day tournaments and our GLT TOUR Championship on the list this year. The GLT Niagara Open will be contested the week prior to our Southern Ontario Open and Golf Ontario's Ontario Men's Amateur Championship. We should see a very strong field of professionals and elite amateurs from all across Ontario, Canada and hopefully the United States. Our team is looking forward to working with Tom Vanderlip and Niagara National Golf & Country.''
The GLT initiated a wrap-around season in 2020-21 due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and at the end of the season it was Mike Gonko of Sudbury ON who lead the GLT Order of Merit presented by Roll ReadyTM , but it was Austin Ryan of Waterloo ON who defeated Jake Scott of Strongsville OH in the GLT TOUR Championship Final Match 1up to be the 2020-21 GLT Tour Champion.
Great Lakes Tour presenting partner and Live Stream company GolfZoogle has confirmed they will have the GLT Niagara Open on their Live events in 2022. Last season GolfZoogle Beta streamed three major events in Canada (Southern Ontario Open, Machinex Open, Sani-Marc/Desjardins Canada Cup) with great success. The GLT Niagara Open will be live streamed FREE on YouTube Live and will give the venue, the players and the event an added boost.
''We're working very closely with Denis Condie and his team at GolfZoogle.'' states Kenesky. ''They issued a case study on their 2021 test events and we were very impressed with the numbers. There were thousands of viewers from Canada and around the world. Now with GolfZoogle moving to YouTube Live and offering a free service to view events, the expectation is to reach 10x or more viewers for each event. The GLT Niagara Open will be a truly great experience for both viewers at home, partners of the event and the players on the course.''
The GLT Niagara Open will be a 36-hole, stroke play competition July 7-8 with a local pro am the day prior on July 6th. Admission for spectators will be free and the event is projected to feature a $25,000 purse which Kenesky says will see a $6,500 winner's cheque. Amateurs with a verified handicap of 6.9 or less will also be eligible to compete and under the new rules of amateur status, can accept up to $1,200 for their final standing against the professionals. Kenesky also said that event registration and full GLT schedule will be available by February 15th.
For more information on Niagara National Golf & Country visit HERE
For more information on the Great Lakes Tour visit HERE
To Read about the plans for Niagara National GC visit HERE
To view and subscribe to GolfZoogle YouTube channel visit HERE
Niagara National G&C Gallery