Mike Weir Looking to Carry on a Montreal Cup Raising Tradition in 2024

Posted on December 1, 2022

Weir was introduced Wednesday under those banners as captain of the Internationals at the Cup, which will be held for the second time down the road at the Royal Montreal Golf Club. He’s had his share of individual success. His 2003 Masters victory is the greatest moment in Canadian golf and one of the biggest in Canadian sports history. HIs singles victory over TigersWoods at the 2007 Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal was another gem.

But, for the most part, golf is a singular pursuit.

Weir, who grew up playing hockey and loved the shared satisfaction of winning with teammates, got a taste of what it feels like to be part of a team in golf in his first Presidents Cup in 2000 (he was the first Canadian to play in the event). Since then, he’s been a player five times and a vice-captain three times. The International Team has won but once in 14 tries against the USA and that was in 1998 before Weir was on the scene. The Americans are on a nine-event winning streak, including the last in September, 17.5-12.5 in Charlotte.


Being part of a team win at the Presidents Cup might surpass his Masters victory, Weir said.

“At this stage in my life, and my career, that would be a real feather in a career that’s gone above and beyond what I’ve ever dreamed,” he said. “To bring that trophy, not only to the fans in Canada, but to those 12 players in the room, the caddies, the wives. Being part of five and not winning one is tough. Growing up playing team sports, when you win something together, it’s a lot funner than winning by yourself, honestly. It’s great winning a tournament by yourself and you celebrate with your family and your caddie, but to win something big with a team, there’s nothing like it,” he said.

“There’s been 24 of them here in this city. That’s what we want. That’s what we hope happens. I’m going to be pushing for that, and it would be a great thrill, probably the biggest thrill of my life golf-wise.”

Those 24 banners were hoisted on the strength of team play. Weir said the International Team has taken big strides in the past two events bringing players from different countries (seven were represented at Quail Hollow) together. A big step was taken under captain Ernie Els, who introduced a logo for the team in 2020 — “the shield,” as they call it — and gave the players more of a sense of belonging to something.

It used to be the International players got together for a week and introduced themselves to each other every two years. Weir said players will now seek each other out for practice rounds on the weekly grind of the PGA Tour. There’s more of a connection there now.

“Ernie started something pretty significant with our team logo and really brought some unity to our team, and Trevor (Immelman) continued that momentum in Charlotte.

“As the great Scotty Bowman said, one of your famous coaches, “You’re always trying to adapt to win in this league,” that’s what he said, and I think we have to learn to adapt and adjust as we move forward, and I think we’ve done that. Ernie started that, Trevor continued that, and I’m going to try to continue that, as well, and try to get this thing on the winning track for our team.”

I asked Weir if he plans on reaching out to coaches, specifically in hockey, to pick their brains about some team-building principles that could be portable.

“I think you’re exactly right. I’ve got a few guys in mind. I haven’t reached out to anybody yet. I wanted to get through this announcement. Look, I’ve never been a captain before. I’ve been part of the teams, on the assistant side. I’ve watched, as I said, Pricey and Ernie and Trev do their thing.

“But we’re golfers, and we try to learn from those that have done it before, and leaning on hockey coaches, in Utah where I live, maybe the basketball coach, picking the brains of some guys that have done it a long time,”

He’s already dipped his toe in those waters. He attended the Montreal Canadiens morning skate on Tuesday as they prepared to face the San Jose Sharks and observed Habs coach Martin St-Louis at work.

“More about leadership, learning about that, watching Martin even just for the few minutes I was down in the team room yesterday, there’s a lot to be learned there,” he said.

“Just the extra time he spent with some of the other guys on the ice after practice was over, some guys that weren’t even suiting up, those are things that I’m going to try to implement. I’m going to try to get out to a lot more events. Guys that are even maybe further down the list to boost their spirits and boost their confidence so they can maybe make a run. All those things I’ve been thinking about quite a bit here the last few weeks.”

Weir will have the chance to return to Royal Montreal where he delivered another thrill for Canadian golf fans in 2007 when he defeated Woods in singles on Sunday (Weir said it would be great if perhaps Woods was the captain of the American team in 2024, setting up another rematch of sorts).

“Yeah, 2007, that match was very special, and the fans were incredible, and we’re hoping that it’s even better and bigger in 2024. We’re off to a great start. I think it will be. Really looking forward to the challenge of being the captain and motivating those guys to be that underdog but overcome those odds.”

Next spring will be the 30th anniversary of the Canadiens last Stanley Cup victory.

Weir would love to raise a Cup of a different kind in September 2024.

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Rideau View’s John Holzman Inducted into OVGA Hall of Fame

Posted on July 7, 2022

There could not have been a more fitting time or setting for John Holzman’s induction into the Ottawa Valley Golf Association’s Hall of Fame.

The late afternoon sun bathed the patio overlooking the 18th hole at Rideau View Golf Club in a warm glow as four generations of the Holzman family gathered with friends to honour their late patriarch’s contributions to golf in the Ottawa Valley.

Nearby, the final moments of the prestigious Alexander of Tunis tournament, one of Golf Quebec’s Big Three amateur events and an event that John Holzman helped organize and officiate in the 1970s and ’80s, were concluding.

Patriarch is the perfect description for John Holzman because, in his role as a golf administrator, he was like a father to hundreds of young players who benefited from his advice and mentorship on and off the course and from the comfort of the Holzmans’ living room floor.

HIs son Mark Holzman spoke on behalf of the family at the ceremony.

“When tournaments were held in Ottawa, especially junior tournaments, my sister Lisa remembers the living room floor filled with sleeping bags of players hosted by our parents to save on expenses,” Mark remembered.

On an easel next to where Mark was speaking, a caricature created by Rusins Kaufmanis, the Ottawa Citizen’s cartoonist from 1963-1986, captured perfectly Holzman’s place in Ottawa Valley golf history.

It’s fitting that the cartoon was crafted by Kaufmanis, whose son Eric benefited from John Holzman’s influence to become one of the best junior golfers the area has produced (Eric Kaufmanis was part of the first class to be inducted into the OVGA’s Hall of Fame last year).

“He depicted John hurrying along, a bag full of young golfers over his shoulder, wearing one of his trademark sweaters and sporting the biggest, proudest smile you can imagine,” Mark said. “This embodies John’s love and devotion to building the game by supporting junior golf. It certainly makes John Holzman a wonderful candidate for induction in the builder category and our family is thrilled to accept this honour on his behalf.”

John Holzman was a single-digit player who played on Rideau View’s early Intersectional teams. He said he was a single digit player, but better than scratch as an administrator which he discovered was his true calling in the game. He was honoured previously by having the OVGA’s Senior Intersectional Trophy bear his name.

“From my youth I remember his fast, low swing like his idol Arnold Palmer and John’s low, worm burner drives down the fairway. I can still hear is ‘oh, no’ when that swing resulted in an errant shot,” Mark said, drawing knowing chuckles from the crowd. “And who can forget his assortment of sweaters, never coming off until the temperature hit the mid-90s or so.

“But John’s biggest thrill and greatest contribution was not from playing competitive golf but from being involved in organising and supporting golf competitions here in the region, in the province and nationally.

“John had a gift for organization and for leading teams of volunteers to organise countless successful tournaments and other events.”

He was a crack rules official whose path often crossed that of son Bill Holzman, a two-time Tunis winner and one of the best players Rideau View and the Ottawa Valley produced. Bill remembered his dad offering a word of encouragement from his golf cart during a time when Bill might have been running a little hot.

“No wonder that the most exciting day at our house was when the new version of the Rules of Golf arrived in the mail,” said Mark.

John rose through the administrative ranks to the national and international level. Mark recalled one of the highlights of the golf season was John working the scoring table at the Canadian Open.

“Some of my fondest golf memories are being allowed to stand behind his chair in the tent and seeing him truly in his element,” Mark said.

“This is emotional for us,” Bill said looking out over the group which included his mother Jackie, the former mayor of Ottawa from 1991-97. “We gather support and encouragement from our parents and they make us very proud. We make them proud, but in this case, Dad and our mother Jackie have made all of us very proud with their accomplishments in their own way.

“Dad would be very humbled by this. This is not what he expects out of his volunteerism. Sometimes these awards are granted to you, but that’s not why John does these things.

“John would be truly honoured by this recognition,” Bill said, “and a bit embarrassed, too.”

Induction into a Hall of Fame is an honour bestowed on few. Accomplishments are easily listed. Less evident is the positive impact on individuals, on lives. Those are much harder to ascertain and, ultimately, so much more important.

The final speaker during John Holzman’s induction ceremony was Rideau View member Liam Maguire, the hockey trivia expert whose life has been connected to Rideau View for 43 years. A caddie, back shop worker (along with Bill Holzman) and a member. Maguire grew up at Rideau View.

Maguire caddied for John Holzman at Rideau View and, later, had him as a professor at Algonquin College when Maguire was going through a tough time as many in their late teens do.

“I was going off the rails. I was totally consumed with hockey and stats and trivia and facts and Molson Ex and other things. Things didn’t end well for me at Algonquin and subsequently things weren’t ending well for me on the home front,” Maguire said.

“Mr. Holzman gave me a call at home after my tenure at Algonquin ended abruptly. We had a little conversation. He said, ‘what are you doing? Put your dad on the phone.’

“He talked to my father and he gave me the phone back. He said, ‘you are going to go see Morris Weltman on Monday. You’re not going to sit home on your ass. You’re going to work, you’re going to figure things out. You intend to go back to Rideau View?’

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, you are going to clean your act up and work for Morris and Harry Weltman.”

“That straightened me out, that call. Imagine him phoning me at home. I’m 19 years old and then asking to talk to my father who’s right off the boat from Dublin, Ireland. John Holzman talking my dad off the ledge, talking me into some common sense and I’d like to think I kind of straightened things out. Without that call at that time, I’m not quite sure how things would have worked out.”

No matter how long the list of accomplishments, can there be anything more important than having that kind of impact on even one person’s life?

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Introducing Rideau View’s Lot 57 Artisanal Gin Distilled and Bottled by Dunrobin Distilleries

Posted on April 11, 2022

When it’s time to toast Rideau View Golf Club’s 65th anniversary in 2022, the club has crafted another first-class, home-grown option to fill members’ glasses.

Lot 57 Artisanal Gin, a collaboration between the club and Durobin Distilleries, is Rideau View’s second adventure producing the club’s own unique taste experiences with an idea and ingredients cultivated at the club.

In 2019, in collaboration with Ottawa’s Big Rig Brewery, the club produced its own beer, No. 17, with hops grown behind the 17th tee. It’s believed Rideau View is the first golf club to produce its own beer with hops grown on its course.

The blonde ale quickly became a hit with members and their guests and is the most popular beer poured from the taps at Rideau View.

The expectation is Lot 57 Artisanal Gin will be an equally pleasing taste experience for Rideau View’s members.


“After exploring some options, a collaboration with Dunrobin Distilleries felt like the right fit for us, the same as it was with Big Rig Brewery for our No.17 beer,” Rideau View general manager Steve Ducat said. “At Rideau View, we love the idea of aligning with local businesses. These relationships are important to us and we can all take pride in the quality of the creations those relationships produce. It is an excellent way to add to our members’ experiences on the food and beverage front.”

The success of the collaboration between Big Rig and Rideau View didn’t go unnoticed at Dunrobin Distilleries.

“Everything they do at Rideau View is top notch. To be asked to partner with a club and organization like Rideau View is really exciting,” Dunrobin Distilleries vice-president Jonathan Hatchell said. “I’ve golfed there and I know the vibe. Just to be asked, after the success of the Big Rig initiative, it’s a wonderful opportunity for two great organisations to partner up.”

Distiller Ryan MacDonald said he got a jolt when the chance of a collaboration with Rideau View presented itself.

“The Big Rig beer is not just a cool idea, it was a brilliant idea,” he said. “The first time I heard about it I was absolutely blown away. I worked in the golf industry many, many years ago and that was one of the coolest things I ever heard.

“Oh my goodness, the second Jonathan kind of hinted at something like this my brain started going a million miles a minute. The potential is outstanding.”

When it came time to deliver a fresh take on gin for Rideau View, MacDonald drew upon his own experience on the golf course. He asked himself, “what would a golfer want in a gin?”

He had three guiding thoughts to form his process.

“The first one was to have a true gin, not to get too funky with it. I wanted the main ingredients to be juniper and coriander. The second, because it’s hot, you’re sweating and you just played the best round of your life, I wanted it to be really, really citrusy. We have included three types of citrus: lemon, lime and orange and in pretty heavy quantities.

“The third thing is I really wanted Rideau View members to be able to say this is their own, not another gin that they could have got off the shelf. We added some cloves and some star anise to give it an interesting little finish after you get that little citrus kick.”

The popularity of gin-based cocktails has been growing at Rideau View, said food and beverage manager Taylor Kohlman. Lot 57 appears poised to appeal to both the tastes of Rideau View members and the sense of pride No. 17 has inspired.

“The first thing a member does when they sit down with a guest is to tell the story of No. 17, the story of the hops and teaming up with Big Rig,” Kohlman said. “It’s really cool to see the sense of pride our members have in our unique brands, great quality products made with botanicals grown at the club.”

As Rideau View celebrates its 65th anniversary, the label on Lot 57 honours the vision and creativity of the club’s architects, Howard Watson and C.E. “Robbie” Robinson, the designers of the current back nine and front nine, respectively.

It’s a touch of Rideau View history to go with a fresh, new taste.

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Rideau View’s Lisa Weagle Ready for Another Olympic Challenge

Posted on February 7, 2022

Lisa Weagle’s second trip to the Winter Olympic Games has started out much differently than her first, four years ago to Pyeongchang.

Here’s hoping it has a different ending, too, for the Ottawa curler and her fans at the Rideau View Golf Club, where she is a member.

Weagle is the alternate on Team Jennifer Jones and they will begin their quest for gold in Beijing Feb. 10 when they play South Korea.

“It’s so exciting to go back to the Olympics. In women’s curling you pretty much get the sense you are only ever going to go once so to be able to go back a second time is a dream come true for me,” Weagle said.

She was the lead on Team Homan for the 2018 Games and they wound up finishing sixth. Weagle joined Team Jones two years ago.

“While (2018) was an Olympic experience, this one is completely different,” she said. “We’re heading into more of a bubble situation. I’m going with a different team in a different role. I tried to take as much as I could from that (2018) experience and bring it forward. I’m excited! Our team has been doing its preparation and really focusing on ourselves and what we can control and trying to be as prepared as possible to represent Canada.”

Weagle spent the weeks leading up to the departure for Beijing training by herself in Ottawa with the overarching goal of preparing for the Games while avoiding COVID. The pandemic has presented challenges for people in every walk of life and has added another layer to preparing for a world-class competition.

“That almost seemed like job No. 1 right now, just to avoid COVID,” Weagle said. “It’s definitely a different preparation than I would have anticipated. Safety is No. 1 but I think everyone is also wanting to enjoy the experience and have some of those special moments that you would only get at an Olympic Games.”

In addition to her solo training sessions, she spent time on Zoom with the other members of the team. They have been apart since winning the Olympic trials in November. The on-line connection has allowed her to continue to build on the relationships she has been growing with her new teammates.

“It’s kind of crazy to think our last team game together was in November winning the Olympic trials. In a normal season, we would have played in a Grand Slam event by now, and we would have had some training camps. It is different and everyone practised individually,” Weagle said.

As alternate, she said he is enjoying the responsibilities that come with a different contribution. It’s more of a support role and she said she’s embraced it. Most of her contribution to the team will be taking place behind the scenes this time around.

“I’m an alternate so part of my job is being prepared if I have to play but also being prepared for the night time practice and matching rocks for the team and gathering information. I’m really trying to prepare on the ice and off the ice for whatever role I’m called upon,” she said. 

“I think that one of my most important roles is to make sure everyone is feeling good and in that optimal space where everyone is ready to perform. I’ve gotten to know the team really well over the last two years and have developed some great friendships and really understand what makes everyone tick. I actually really like that part of the job, the player/coach role and player management. I just want to make sure I am eliminating the distractions for them and setting up the conditions where they can go out on the ice and shine.”

It is going to be a very different and quiet atmosphere in Beijing with no fans at the events. Athletes will typically draw energy from the emotion sparked by spectators. Weagle said Team Jones learned from the Olympic trials experience — which was also held in a bubble — and has a strategy to make up for the deficit in energy.

It’s going to have to come from within.

“One of the things Team Jones is so good at is just rolling with the punches and making the best out of every situation,” Weagle said. “We’re going to make this special and we are going to create our own atmosphere and our own energy. We had to do that last year in Calgary when we were competing in the bubble with no fans. That was something new for us, competing in an empty arena. 

“You’ll probably see some extra high fives and broom taps and smiles out on the ice just to try and create our own atmosphere and energy because we are really going to be missing our friends and family back home. Through all this, it is not lost on me that it is a privilege to be competing and travelling right now at this time in our lives when a lot of people just don’t have that option right now.”

She’ll have her fellow members at Rideau View cheering her on, if from the other side of the world.

After her husband, Robin Guy, joined Rideau View in 2020, he — like much of the world, it seemed — found golf a great escape during the pandemic.

“He was playing three, four, five times a week. Seeing him do that, I thought, ‘you know what, this is something I would like to do as well,’” Weagle said.

She played a few rounds with Robin and liked the reception at Rideau View, something as simple as people saying hello in the parking lot. She discovered she had friends from the curling world who were members at Rideau View and, putting it all together, she made the decision to join last year.

“I love the vibe at Rideau View. Rideau View was very welcoming. I just felt instantly welcomed from the moment I joined the club. Everyone has been very welcoming and it feels like a really great place to be, a great atmosphere,” she said.

As a world class athlete, she has been able to draw on her experiences to build on some common skills between the two sports.

“I find that there are so many parallels. I think there is a reason why curlers are golfers as well, kind of how the game works and I love that part of it, too. Picking a target, reading greens, getting the speed right and those little elements that go into golf. The thing with curling is if you miss your shot, you don’t have to go and get it. It’s someone else’s turn, but with golf you have to go find your ball and keep hitting it. There’s nobody to pick up the slack if you’re not playing well.”

She “put herself out there,” overcoming her shyness and joined Ladies Night.

“I joined not knowing anyone. That was kind of a big deal for me, just being able to put myself out there like that. I’m kind of shy,” she said. “The women were all very welcoming. Getting to know them better has been really enjoyable for me. It’s a social thing. It’s nice to just play nine holes and then go have a drink with the ladies or a fun round of golf with my husband. I love everything about it.”

She estimates she played about 20 rounds last season and is hoping to play more in 2022. She would like to take more lessons and has set modest goals for herself, like playing a round with the same ball and keeping score on every hole. She said she understands the commitment it takes to improve while recognizing the challenge of finding time to work on her game.

“I’m pretty realistic about my skills and my abilities and the amount of time I have to put into golf right now,” she said. “I know the amount of time it takes for curling for me to be really good at that. It’s taken years and years and hours and hours and I just don’t have that right now for golf. For me, it’s more about going out and enjoying it. I’m hooked and I could see this as something in the future I would want to invest more time and get better.”

“I love it.”

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