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Rutledge gets the call to Canadian Golf Hall of Fame

Jim Rutledge Jim Rutledge - Canadian Golf Hall of Fame

Jim Rutledge, who played on more tours and in more countries than just about any Canadian professional, has been named to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

Rutledge, of Victoria, was joined by Robert Stanley Weir, a prolific golf writer who was also known for writing the English words to O Canada, as the 2023 inductees.

“My initial reply to [the congratulatory] phone call took me completely off guard,” said the 63-year-old Rutledge. “After it all settled in, I flashed back to my career and of how fortunate I have been to represent Canada and travel the world doing what I loved for so many years. I am truly honoured and thank all involved in my nomination.”

Rutledge first gained success by winning the 1975 Canadian Juvenile Championship and the 1977 Canadian Junior Championship. He turned professional in 1978 and was too young to rent a car or own a credit card, so he had to travel with his mother.

He spent the better part of the next four decades competing on golf tours all around the world.

“Our son was having a geography study at school and golf came up . . . so I started putting a pin everywhere on a map [that I had played]. It just became ridiculous," said Rutledge.

“It’s a long list and I have yardage books to prove it.”

Over his career, he has played on the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions, Korn Ferry Tour, the DP World Tour, the Asian Tour, the PGA Tour of Australia and PGA Tour Canada. He said the only major spots he missed are South America and South Africa.

Rutledge represented Canada at the World Cup three times and the Dunhill Cup twice. He was inducted in the BC Golf Hall of Fame in 2011 and the PGA of Canada’s Hall of Fame in 2022.

For many years, the PGA Tour was the one circuit he never seemed to be able to crack. He went to the qualifying school so many he times he lost count (he things it was “about 12 or 13 times,”) always getting close but never close enough to earn status.

Finally, in 2006, at the age of 47, he finished high enough on the then Nationwide Tour to get a spot on the PGA Tour, making him the second-oldest rookie in PGA Tour history.

Rutledge continues to compete, and last summer won the Canadian PGA Senior Championship for the seventh time.

Weir was born in 1856 and died in 1926. He wrote about golf as the sport established itself in Canada and the United States at the turn of the century and as the First World War ended. His early work on golf could be found in Canadian Golfer, Golf Magazine (in both the U.K. and U.S.), Golfer’s Magazine, and Golf Illustrated.

Weir joined esteemed golf writers such as Bernard Darwin, Jerome Travers, and Harold Hilton in the inaugural issue of Golf Illustrated. Darwin once said of Weir: “He has an easily intelligible method of explaining something which is horribly difficult to explain.”

Weir’s work also appeared in Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar. He published two books of poetry, plenty of legal works and is perhaps best known for penning the English lyrics to Canada’s national anthem.

Both inductees will be honoured. during this year’s RBC Canadian Open