A Life Well Played
( 1944 – 2011 )
On August 29th, 2011 golf lost an ally and a friend. And GolfScene suffered the loss of its founder and publisher Norm Woods. It was unquestionably our darkest hour.
Norm’s impact on the game of golf within the region was immensely positive. Something never more evident then in the outpouring of gratitude in response to his passing. The list of those he took the time to help along the way is long. The impact, indelible. A tireless supporter of junior golf (Kiwi/Junior Tour etc), his legacy within golf circles was that of a friend – the kind of person welcome in any foursome.
Norm was a guy who shared an enjoyment for the game, the people who were part of it, and a passion for making golf more enjoyable for all. His efforts unwavering. His spirit, generous.
So with a raise of the club, a nod of the head, and a tip of the hat we say, please play through. Enjoy every shot. And take a moment to breathe it all in. He would not have wanted it any other way.
A very special thank you to all for the kind words and condolences. The Fall 2011 magazine has a few pages dedicated to Norm’s life in the golf industry.
This page will be archived forever. Some of us will return here often.
Thanks to all for supporting us over the years.
In 2014, Norm was honoured for his contributions to the game of golf as a co-recipients of Golf Canada’s Distinguished Service Award. Created in 1993, Golf Canada’s Distinguished Service Award has been awarded annually to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the game of golf in Canada.
Norm Woods is remembered as a passionate sport enthusiast who strived to give individuals the opportunity to experience the game of golf. He was devoted to the benefits of health and fitness, receiving a Physical Education degree from the University of Waterloo in 1967 as well as a Masters degree in Physical Education from the University of Oregon in 1971.
He spent considerable time affiliated with the YMCA, first working as the Physical Education Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA before later becoming a program coordinator with the Regina Saskatchewan YMCA where he spearheaded programs such as KinderSwim and KinderGym. In 1975, he was one of eight Canadians selected by Concordia University to travel to Russia to experience how Russian athletes trained and would later be named Director of Preventative Health for the Saskatchewan Government.
He returned to Ontario in 1976 and while working as Vice-President of the Institute of Canadian Advertisers, was involved in the launch of the national PARTICIPACTION program as well as the building of PARTICIPARKS.
He would also become an advocate for providing scholarships to student athletes and in 1991 he purchased the regional franchise for College Prospects of America, opening the door for many student athletes across the country. His College Prospects franchise provided upwards of $5 million in scholarships for Canadian athletes including numerous competitive golfers and many others who would go on to work in the golf industry.
In 1999, he was instrumental in bringing some of the top U.S. golf coaches to Angus Glen Golf Club to showcase 144 of Ontario’s top golfers and coaches. His showcase provided many players with scholarships to U.S. universities including David Hearn as well as Sean Foley, who later went on the write his first series of instruction articles in GolfScene – a regional golf publication Woods launched in 2000 serving southwestern Ontario.
The GolfScene publication originated as a tabloid that was hand-delivered throughout the golf community. In 2008, the publication evolved into a magazine and continues to be delivered to over 340 courses and facilities.
Woods’ passion for junior golf lead to the development of the GolfScene Junior Tour, a recreational tour dedicated to providing fun golf competitions for juniors that instilled values such as integrity and fair play. The junior tour – which also encouraged parents and grandparents to play – saw Woods become a mentor, father figure and friend to countless golfers including the 2014 LPGA Tour rookie Jennifer Kirby, Team Canada members such as Corey Conners and Garrett Rank, Web.com TOUR rookie Cam Burke and PGA TOUR Canada players such as Michael Gligic.
Before his passing in 2011 at the age of 67, Woods – a past member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada – was a social golfer who most enjoyed health benefits of walking the golf course, along with the camaraderie of friends. A mentor to many and lifelong proponent of health and wellness, Woods taught by example and provided opportunity to many enthusiasts who may have never been introduced to the game of golf.
A COMMEMORATIVE BRICK RESIDES AT THE WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME – COURTESY OF THE CANADIAN GOLF JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION