Roberts New Seniors’ Golf Association President

Ontario Golf Hall of Fame Member New Canadian Seniors’ Golf Association President
by Jeffrey Reed, Editor, LondonOntarioGolf.com

Ed. Note: London’s Kelly Roberts, 65, was appointed president of the Canadian Seniors Golf Association at the association’s annual general meeting in Ottawa on August 20.

In the same style as Canadian Seniors’ Golf Association (CSGA) founding member George S. Lyon, and CSGA member Sandy Somerville, the 1932 U.S. Amateur Champion, newly-appointed CSGA President Kelly Roberts of London Hunt and Country Club has fully embraced his status as a champion amateur golfer.

Kelly Roberts

The 2017 and 2018 CSGA Vice President and former International Team Captain has excelled on and off the golf course, ever since he captured the Ontario Bantam Boys’ Championship in 1966. Today, he relishes not only the competition afforded him by the CSGA Annual Tournament, Devonshire Cup and Triangular Matches, but more importantly the friendships he has forged and will continue to enjoy as a heavily-involved member of the association.

(The Devonshire Cup is a bi-annual event pitting the CSGA against the United States Seniors Golf Association, while the Triangular Matches are held in opposite years with Canada, the U.S. and the Senior Golfers’ Society of Great Britain. This year’s Triangular Matches will be held Sept. 26 to Oct. 3 at Royal Lytham Golf Club.)

One of the most successful amateur golfers ever produced in London, and a member of the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame (2006), Roberts won numerous Junior Invitational tournaments, as well as the Ontario Junior Boys’ Championship in 1969. His 1971 championship season was perhaps the best ever assembled in Southwestern Ontario. That year, Roberts won the Ontario Schoolboy Championship, the Ontario Junior Boys’ Best Ball Championship with partner Adam Brown, and the Canadian Junior Boys’ Championship. He also played on two Ontario Schoolboy Championship squads in 1970 and 1971, and represented Ontario in winning two Junior Interprovincial team titles in 1969 and 1971.

Roberts attended Indiana University on scholarship with the Hoosiers golf squad, winner of the 1974 and 1975 Northern Intercollegiate Championship, and the 1975 Southern Intercollegiate Championship. He was a Second Team All-American in 1974, and First Team All-American in 1975.

Back on home turf, Roberts won the Ontario Men’s Amateur Championship in 1972 and 1973, and represented Ontario on four Willingdon Cup teams from 1971 to 1974. He played on five George S. Lyon Championship teams in 1974, 1984, 1985, 1993 and 1999. Roberts won the Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship in 1997, played on four Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur teams and in 1973 represented Canada in the Dominican Republic at a tournament which also included a young junior golfer by the name of Seve Ballesteros.

1973 Ontario Open champion Kelly Roberts. Photo courtesy Kelly Roberts.

In addition, he captured two Ontario Men’s Best Ball Championships, again with partner Adam Brown in 1974, and in 1991 with Len Foran, another decorated amateur golfer and winner of the 1983 Ontario Men’s Amateur.

Along the way, Roberts has claimed numerous Ontario-hosted Men’s Club and Men’s Senior Club championships, as well as Invitationals including the prestigious Early Bird Tournament at St. Thomas Golf and Country Club in 1973 and 1974. His many amateur titles also include wins at the 2003 Ontario Mixed Championship with Judy Dotten, and at the 2006 and 2008 Turks and Caicos Amateur Open.

A CSGA member since 2009, Roberts has been a key member of the International Team ever since, and instantly continued his prowess on the golf course at the Association’s annual tournament.

“Before I became a CSGA member, Donny White (a fellow London Hunt member) had told me about the different opportunities to compete in tournaments, and (CSGA) International Tournaments,” Roberts remembered. “That sounded very exciting to me. But soon after joining, I realized that there’s a lot more to belonging to the CSGA. You quickly realize that there are endless opportunities to meet people though golf, and to have a lot of fun.”

In 2010, Roberts captured the Shaughnessy Cup, Robinson Cup, Chipman Trophy with partners White and Dick Lockwood of London Hunt, and the Somerville Trophy with partner Mike Jackson of The Georgian Bay Club. He repeated with a Robinson Cup win in 2011, and in 2014 claimed the Rolph Cup, and again the Somerville Trophy with Jackson. That year, the duo tied with the teams of Chris Kertsos/Dan Partland, and Dan Mochernak/Ian Montgomery.

Roberts was part of two Duke of Devonshire Cup winning CSGA teams in 2010 at Mount Bruno Golf Club, and in 2012 at Mountain Lake. At the Triangular Matches, he helped Canada claim the Early of Derby Cup, the Triangular Trophy and overall championship in 2015 at his home club, and as Captain helped the CSGA win another Derby Cup in 2017 at Pine Valley Golf Club.

As have countless other CSGA members throughout the past century, Roberts has accumulated an impressive golf CV outside of Association play. Among his accomplishments: winner of the prestigious John R. Williams Invitational Senior Division 2010 and 2011 with Dr. John Pate; twice winner of the National Senior Invitational; 2009 winner of the London Hunt Senior Invitational; 2008 winner, Willie Park Memorial Invitational Senior Division; and competing as a member of Senior Team Ontario in 2008 and 2009.

Roberts was ranked the No. 3 Ontario Senior Amateur in 2009 and 2010. He has competed at three British Senior Amateur Championships, and has finished in the top 40 twice. In 2008, he qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, and made it to match play. His best finish at the Canadian Senior Amateur Championship was fifth in 2011.

In the boardroom, Roberts has displayed as much character as a leader and decision maker as he continues to show on the golf course. He served as chairperson of the Standards Committee at London Hunt, on various committees at The Oaks Golf and Country Club, Sunningdale Golf and Country Club and at Cutten Fields in Guelph. Roberts has also filled several committee roles as a member of the Golf Ontario Board of Directors, and in 2017 was a member of the Investment Committee, and Sport Development Committee with the Golf Canada Governors’ Council.

Kelly Roberts (left) with fellow CSGA members at The Royal Montreal Golf Club. Photo: Jeffrey Reed.

A well-respected investment advisor with National Bank Financial Wealth Management, and heading the Roberts Advisory Group, Roberts is co-chair of Golfers Care, an annual fundraiser for the London Food Bank and involving seven London and area private golf clubs for the past 14 years. Said Roberts, “Golfers Care helps ensure people in need have food throughout the year. It’s a great organization. They do a wonderful job for our community. And it’s fun to play a part in supporting this great cause.”

Roberts’s wife, Marcia, is also a financial advisor and, like her husband, she is heavily invested in her community. She was Co-Chair of the 2014 CP Women’s Open at London Hunt. The couple have five daughters – Dana, Natasha, Samantha, Jocelyn and Robyn – and three grandchildren.

In terms of his golfing family, Roberts said, “Golf is really one degree of separation. Wherever you go, at any golf course in North America, you can talk to a pro or some of the better players, and they’ll know someone you do. The CSGA is like that. We’re a very close-knit family.”

-Words copyright Jeffrey Reed, from his book, The Canadian Seniors’ Golf Association, Celebrating 100 Years of Senior Golf 1918-2018 (2018).

 

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