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Golf empire Goody's way of giving back

Glenn Goodwin `helping to shape future' of sport

Star Amateur founder starting two new tourneys

MICHAEL CLARKSON

SPORTS REPORTER

Glenn Goodwin does not have children in the traditional sense.

But his golfing family continues to blossom, spreading beyond the GTA to include top collegiate players, working moms and underprivileged kids.

Goodwin, who founded the Greater Toronto Area Golf Association and the Toronto Star Amateur championships for men and women six years ago, has lined up two more prestigious tournaments for coming seasons in what is quickly becoming his amateur empire.

Next year, the Star advertising man will welcome back legendary Arnold Palmer for the inaugural Kings and Queens, a national event for senior men and women, at Weston Golf and Country Club.

It will also mark the 50th anniversary of Palmer's first win on the PGA Tour, the 1955 Canadian Open at Weston.

As well, in 2006 Goodwin will unveil the Kern Cup, a junior tournament that he hopes will eventually attract global competitors.

And who knows what is to follow in coming seasons as the personable, energetic "Goody" becomes known as Mr. Amateur Links in the GTA? He''s certainly got Arnie''s attention.

"Just as my win at Weston was important to my career, I know the Kern Cup will foster a new generation of great golfers," said Palmer, who changed the face of professional golf with his charisma and talent in the 1950s and ''60s. "And I want to congratulate the GTAGA for creating the new senior championship. I know it will be a premier event in North America."

In next year''s senior event, which is being billed as the Return of the King, Palmer will play with Marlene Streit of Unionville, the newest member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Goodwin''s tournaments will benefit his new charity, Greens and Dreams, with donations to several children''s hospitals and junior golfers, including those from underprivileged homes.

"It''s always been my wish to help kids who can't afford to go to a golf course," said Goodwin, who grew up plucking balls out of a creek in St. Thomas, Ont., and got his education caddying and rubbing shoulders with the greats of Ontario golf, including Streit, former LPGA star Sandra Post, and former Canadian and U.S. amateur champion Gary Cowan, who are now among his tournament advisors.

"I want to give something back what the game gave me — allowing me to walk on a manicured fairway, freshly cut putting green and experience the beauty of golf etiquette," says Goodwin. "I know that changed my life."

The Kern Cup is named for the late Ben Kern, a respected local golf instructor who played on the PGA Tour.

"This will be special to juniors because here is a man (Kern) who not only wrote the curriculum for the Royal Canadian Golf Association''s Future Links program, but who was the first Canadian voted to first-team All-America in college," Goodwin said. "It should be like the Porter Cup (in Lewiston, N.Y.), a can''t-miss for top intercollegiate players."

Meanwhile, the fifth annual Toronto Star Women's Amateur for the GTA championship begins today and tomorrow at Islington Golf Club and finishes Thursday and Friday at St. George''s Golf and Country Club with a full field of 150 players.

"Glenn''s leadership has allowed the region's best players to develop skill while staying close to home and thus reducing costs," says RCGA executive director Stephen Ross. "He is helping to shape golf''s future.
12/12/2008

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