Since 1904, Canada has hosted the annual Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Canadian Open on the prestigious Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour, inviting Canadian golf lovers across the country to come and enjoy the best of the best for a weekend. 

While the PGA Tour predominantly travels to courses across the United States, the RBC Canadian Open has cemented itself as a mainstay in the ever-changing tour. In fact, it is the third longest-running tournament on the tour: only the Open Championship and the US Open have existed longer, both of which are major tournaments. This past June, numerous top professionals on the tour arrived at Oakdale Golf Club, which is around an hour’s drive from downtown Toronto. Favourites like Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, and Matt Fitzpatrick headlined the event. 

Yet, Winnipeg native Nick Taylor took home the $1.6 million winnings in dramatic fashion. Taylor sunk an impossible 72-foot eagle putt to take the crown and became the first Canadian to win the RBC Canadian Open in 69 years, instantly establishing himself as one of the most well-known Canadian golfers in the country’s history.

While there are only seven Canadian golfers currently on the PGA Tour roster, in the past, other Canadian golfers have had success on the PGA Tour and the Canadian Tour as well. Mike Weir’s name immediately comes to mind when people discuss who might be the greatest Canadian golfer; his 2003 Masters win stands alone as the only major championship a Canadian has won in history. Combined with his eight wins on the PGA Tour, Weir has established the standard for Canadian golfers. 

In terms of pure talent, Moe Norman’s ball-striking ability remains the greatest Canada has ever seen. Though Norman spent most of his career on the Canadian Tour, his 55 wins are still an impressive feat. 

Despite Taylor’s recent historic win, Canada hasn’t garnered much attention in the professional golf world. Considering that golf is the third most popular sport in the country only behind hockey and soccer, it’s cause for concern that only seven Canadians are presently on the Tour. Yet, when looking at the culture of golf within Canada, strides have been made by Golf Canada to improve upon the existing infrastructure of the sport. It’s evident that the country wishes to transition talent and passion into nationwide success and recognition. 

Golf Canada laid out a detailed plan in January 2022, outlining goals and objectives to advance the game both socially and economically. Along with the goals of increasing the total number of professionals on the PGA and Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour to 30 by 2032, the report accentuated the importance of fundraising and training youth players to at least get on par with other countries. Further, the country must invest in more women’s events and tournaments to promote the talent that Canadian women golfers possess.

With Canada containing over 2,300 golf courses nationwide, the groundwork for advancing the sport has never been more present. The sport continues to grow in popularity among youth and adults alike, and official reports such as the one from Golf Canada indicate that the country is taking the future of golf very seriously. Though Nick Taylor’s 72-foot eagle putt will exist in Canadian golf’s history forever, perhaps its significance lies more as the catalyst for success in Canadian golf for years to come.