Pro Puts Others Ahead Of Himself








Wilson Golf Reed On The Greens
June 7, 2017
by Jeffrey Reed, Editor,

There was a brief comment made about long-time Highland Country Club golf professional Mike Silver at last September’s Freedom 55 Financial Championship which spoke volumes about the man simply known as, Pro.

During the trophy presentations, fellow golf journalist Rick Young quipped, “I don’t think you’ll find anyone who has a bad thing to say about (Silver).”

Young was right. In fact, few other golf professionals in Southwestern Ontario have dedicated their lives to growing the game as much as Silver, this year’s recipient of the Heart Award. Silver, who retired after 39 years at Highland, is the seventh recipient of the Heart Award which recognizes members of the local golf industry who give back to and grow the game. Heart & Stroke is the official charity of, and June is Stroke Awareness Month. Silver receives his award Friday at the Heart Award ceremony at Highland.

Photo: Jeffrey Reed

Silver remains at Highland as golf pro emeritus, and fills an ambassador role which will include assisting in the promotion and operations of the Mackenzie Tour PGA Tour Canada’s season-ending championship, this year slated for September 11-17. Pro has embraced the tournament – now in its third year at Highland – like a new-born child, and now he wants the rest of London to do the same.

“This isn’t just Highland’s tournament,” Silver said. “It’s London’s tournament. When you think about how Augusta National stages the Masters Tournament year after year, that is the kind of legacy we are building here at Highland. It’s all about the community.”

Highland has committed to hosting the event through 2019, while title sponsor Freedom 55 Financial is on board through 2020. Thames Valley Children’s Centre remains the tournament charity – it received more than $70,000 last September.

Nothing touches Silver’s heart more than charity. A native of Copper Cliff near Sudbury, Silver started golfing at age 8. He joined the Highland staff in 1977, and since has not only mentored hundreds of others while also investing in junior golf, but also has run his Highland Cares For Kids Charity Classic golf tournament for 38 years.

A PGA of Canada member since 1971, and PGA of Ontario Golf Professional of the Year in 2000, Silver was awarded Master Professional status in 1998, writing his thesis on, Maintaining Playing Ability, and Maintaining Playing Ability for Seniors.

“Mike has always led by example,” said Rick Pero, Silver’s successor at Highland. “Whether that involves the business side – running the pro shop and merchandise side of business – or dealing with the board of directors and committees, he has always told me, ‘We’re here to help, and if the members want something, then we’ll make it happen.’”

“It’s all about communication,” Silver added. “And service drives this industry. I’ve hammered this into my staff over the years. Try to be the best professional you can be. Be respectful. If you want to be looked upon as a professional, then dress like one, and act like one.”

Fittingly, when asked what makes Highland a special place, Silver and Pero answered simultaneously, “The members.”

“We have a special group of members here who lover their club. It showed during (the Freedom 55 Financial Championship). It’s a normal week around here. The membership strongly supports their club. And we all continue to strive to make it even better, and to grow and become the number one club in Southwestern Ontario,” Pero said.

Always quick to credit others for any success, Silver applauded Pero and each Highland staff member from the backshop to the corporate office – but not himself – for the club’s success.

And now Silver’s name is engraved on the Heart Award, along with Mike Olizarevitch (2011), Fred Kern (2012), Patty Howard (2013), Mike Weir (2014), East Park Golf (2015) and Bob Martin (2016).


Reed On The Greens is a back-to-back winner of the Best Website Feature Column Award from the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. Jeffrey Reed is a long-time nationally-published golf writer, and is currently writing a book on the history of the Canadian Seniors’ Golf Association. Write him at

About Wilson Golf

For a century, Wilson Golf has designed, manufactured and distributed premium and recreational golf equipment throughout the world. Since 1914, Wilson Staff irons have won 61 major championships, more than any other iron manufacturer in history. That winning tradition continues today by delivering the highest quality golf equipment to all golfers to enhance performance on the course and overall enjoyment of the game. Wilson Golf is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sports equipment by Amer Sports. Consumers can log onto or call (800) 622-0444 for more information.

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office established 1989.