16 JUL 2018: And the winner of the annual ACTA Ontario golf tournament is - well, who really cares? After all, for most attendees, winning isn’t the point. It’s simply a great day to relax, mingle with old friends, make new ones, and with luck maybe even do a little business on the side.

In fact, with the number of industry tourneys seriously depleted these days (oh how we miss you, Irish and Spanish Opens, Airliners, RBC, etc.), the ACTA regional series – Ontario’s was its 30th annual – is one of the precious few big events left standing, and one that is open to all – subject to getting in ahead of the waiting list, of course.

As such it’s no surprise that the event is a summer highlight for the industry, this year attracting over 150 participants of varying skill levels (and more with eating skills just for the dinner portion) to the Royal Ontario Golf Club in Milton, Ont., on July 12. The title sponsor was Air Canada, but dozens of other industry partners chipped in (pun intended) with various other sponsorships and prizes.

“It’s such an amazing event and it’s great to see everyone coming together,” said Jacques Gilbert, of Manulife, one of the sponsors. “Everybody has fun; you meet people and, it’s, ‘Oh, I haven’t seen you for so long!’”

Industry inclusivity was certainly one of the themes, with ACTA president Wendy Paradis (on behalf of Canadian travel agents) and industry partners professing sincere gratitude to each other for making each other’s symbiotic professions possible.

“This is a fabulous event and ACTA is a great partner,” Air Canada’s Steve Goodfellow declared.

The event even attracted some out-of-towners, such as Collette VP of Global Business Todd Bridges, who journeyed from Cincinnati to join colleague Canadian VP Ron Lonsdale for a second ACTA tee-off in a week (after Alberta). Bridges declared the event the most fun he’d had on the golf course in a very long time.

But also good for business, as agents and suppliers began, renewed or strengthened vital relationships and exchanged the latest information, in some cases under umbrella or tent-covered booths on the course as duffers waited to tee off. Putting and various other contests added an element of fun and, in some cases, raised money for charity.

All in all, it’s fair to say that the event was a certifiable hole in one.

Oh, and just in case you are interested, the winners were:

Top Men’s Team – Don McPhail and James Ware, Enterprise Holdings, Ian Race and Danny Murray, Vision Travel

Top Ladies’ Team – Lynne Ray, Cathy Balec and Frances Donato, BrokerLink; Maria da Cunha, da Cunha Voyages

Top Mixed Team – Robert Needs, Sabre; James McNair, Uniglobe Travel; Carole Burnes, Sabre; Mitch McClung, Baxter

Most Honest Golf Team - Kim Clarke, Globus; Pam deHaan, Tripcentral.ca; Patrice Geske, Globus; Earl Lince – Baxter

Ladies’ Closest to the Pin – Kristina Rigby, Enterprise Holdings

Men’s Closest to the Pin – Ian Tillson, Myrtle Beach CVB

Ladies’ Longest Drive – Lori Patterson, Holland America

Men’s Longest Drive – Steve Goodfellow - Air Canada

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Michael Baginski

Editor at Large, Mike Baginski is well known and well respected within the industry across Canada, the US, in the Caribbean, Mexico and numerous other destinations outside North America.

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