In 2018, Sergeant Bruce Phillips (ret’d) CD and Warrant Officer Tom Martineau (ret’d) CD had an idea on how to support ill and injured veterans.
They decided to organize Canadian Veteran Bravo Zulu Tour, a competitive golf tour in Eastern Canada. The men had both benefited from golf in the past, Phillips through the Soldier ON Golf Camp 2014 and Martineau was on the Invictus Team Canada 2017 Golf Team.
Phillips and Martineau both believe that veteran wellness had the best outcomes when it is done as a community, and they felt using the game of golf as the method was an ideal way of supporting it.
After the success of this tour, Phillips and Martineau decided they needed to take this initiative farther, so they decided to co-found a not-for-profit.
“The 2018 tour success exceeded our expectations, and we decided to move the initiative to be the first veteran not-for-profit organization of its kind in Canada. The organization has since been renamed to Emeritus Golf (Emeritus – meaning is a veteran soldier), and the tour is now called the Emeritus Tour,” said Phillips.
They have decided to expand the 2019 tour beyond just ill and injured veterans, as well.
“Emeritus Golf is committed to providing access to the game of Golf to members of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, both retired, serving and their families, in recognition of their selfless service to Canada. We are also prepared to offer assistance to under-resourced groups,” said Phillips.
Phillips and Martineau have been finding a lot of support in the community for their endeavour. Not only have they partnered with Golf Canada, giving them access to tournament management software and a national ranking system, but they have had a lot of community support.
“We have an army of volunteers of like-minded veterans that support the cause and tournament and really keep this experience one truly unique to veteran camaraderie,” said Phillips.
Phillips commented that one of the ideal aspects of golf is that it can level the playing field between players.
“This isn’t just for the best golfers – it’s for everyone, we have “flights” to separate skill levels and use a handicap system to keep it fair,” said Phillips.
Emeritus Golf has an upcoming tour in 2019. Confirmed locations include Trenton, Kingston, Hamilton, Ottawa, Petawawa, Gatineau, and Shilo. They are currently working on having a stop at Valcartier, as well.
“We hope that you join the competitive tour to rediscover the camaraderie, integrity, and respect that is unique only soldiering and the Canadian veteran community,” said Phillips.
For those of you interested in learning more about or participating in Emeritus Golf, you will find their contact information on their website.