Dick Grimm has been awarded the prestigious President’s Award by Sports Media Canada in recognition of his contributions to the game of golf. The presentation was made during Sport Media Canada’s Annual Awards Luncheon which celebrates the accomplishments of journalists, broadcasters, writers, photographers and executives that have impacted the sports media landscape in Canada.
Grimm was involved with Golf Canada (formerly the Royal Canadian Golf Association) from 1965-1993, serving as the president of the organization in 1974 and Director of Professional Championships for a decade from 1983-1993. Grimm, an Honorary Life Governor with Golf Canada since 1975, also acted as the chairman for the Canadian Open eight times from 1965-1985. In 1993, Grimm shifted his focus to the Canadian Tour (now PGA TOUR Canada) where he acted as the TOUR’s commissioner from 1993-1997.
As a diligent fundraiser and advocate for the sport of golf and the volunteers that drive the game in this country, Grimm is one of only a few members of both the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Ontario Golf Hall of Fame.
Renowned Globe and Mail golf writer Lorne Rubenstein wrote the tribute below for the Sport Media Canada Journal about his friend and fellow Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member, taking an in-depth look at Grimm’s longtime dedication to the game of golf in Canada.
Where does one begin with Dick Grimm’s accomplishments? The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member was the chairman of the 1965 Canadian Open at the Mississaugua Golf and Country Club, and then he was chairman six more times. He was the president of the Royal Canadian Golf Association (now Golf Canada) in 1974. He was a governor from 1969-1974, and has been an honorary life governor since 1975. He was the RCGA’s director of professional tournaments from 1993-1997, and when he showed up at a PGA Tour event to encourage and nudge golfers to play, they could hardly say no to this gentleman of the game who commanded such respect. He was known as “Mr. Canadian Open.”
Dick was also the commissioner of the Canadian Tour–now PGA Tour Canada–from 1993-1997. He was always available to players. He was always trying to improve the tour. He wanted it to become a top-notch developmental tour for golfers hoping to reach the PGA Tour. He succeeded.
Along the way Dick made friends with just about everybody in golf. He was instrumental in the development of the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario, when he worked closely with course architect Jack Nicklaus. This was in the mid-1970s. Nicklaus in 1989 invited his friend Dick to become a member of the prestigious Captain’s Club at his Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Dick joined Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Sean Connery in the club, and he made a point of getting to the annual dinner during the Memorial Tournament as often as he could.
Then there’s Dick’s dear friend Craig Stadler, the 1982 Masters champion. Dick has not had it easy in recent years, as he’s faced some serious medical issues–-not that he ever complains or even informs friends who join him for coffee about the latest news. But how could Dick turn a bogey into a birdie, or better? He along with his friends at the Agnico-Eagle Mines company started a tournament to raise funds for Princess Margaret Hospital’s Head and Neck Centre research programs. Who shows up every year at the tournament to support his friend Dick Grimm? Craig Stadler. He was at the Devil’s Paintbrush this year. He’s been at Coppinwood, and other courses. He’s there for his dear friend.
Above all, Dick is a huge supporter of the game, and of using it to do meaningful work off the course. He knows the game and he knows its players. He invited Nick Price to play the Canadian Open long before anybody knew much about Price. Price never forgot Dick’s gesture and played many Canadian Opens. He won the tournament in 1991 and 1994 and went on to win three majors. Dick gave him a leg up. He cared about Nick and Nick cared about Dick and the Canadian Open.
Dick Grimm, now 90 and still caring, has achieved so much in his career. He is a most deserving winner of Sports Media Canada’s Career Achievement award. What a career it’s been.
Click here for a complete list of award winners from the 2013 Sports Media Canada awards