Stage set for 2023 RBC PGA Scramble National Final at Cabot Cape Breton
By: Brendan Stasiewich, PGA of Canada
In terms of rewards, the one earned for advancing through two stages of RBC PGA Scramble qualifying is the pinnacle of Canadian golf; getting treated to a professional tournament experience at the No. 1 and No. 5 ranked courses in Canada at Cabot Cape Breton.
For most of the 80 qualified amateur golfers, whose handicaps range from +1 to 36, this will be the golf trip of their lifetime, spent with their closest friends or family members.
While some may have family members at home holding a little amiable resentment through Thanksgiving weekend, those who arrive in Inverness, Nova Scotia on Saturday likely won’t spare too many thoughts on the missed turkey dinner – they will be looking for turkeys of a different variety on the Cliffs and Links; though, a National Championship title would just be the gravy on top of the experience.
How did they get here? Each of the 20 teams, comprised of four players ranging in handicaps that add up to no less than 32.0 and no more than 112.0 (with no more than two single-digits per teams), felt the thrill of winning a local qualifier near them.
For the first time ever, local qualifiers with enough competing teams also advanced a low gross team, in addition to the low net team. Two spots at the National Final were also reserved for All-Female teams for the first time this year.
With thoughts of the Atlantic Ocean and a unique golf experience in their heads (seriously; you could consider any of the 14 clubs in the bag from 100-yards out in some circumstances at Cabot Cape Breton), competitors travelled to a regional final close to them and were accompanied by a PGA of Canada professional from their local qualifying host club, hoping to find lightning in a bottle one more time to make their dreams come true.
Flash forwards a few months; and here we are. Decked out in new gear thanks to adidas, and a whole bunch of perks for Avion card holders, finalists will begin their experience with the Avion Night Golf Shootout on Saturday night under the lights of The Nest.
The 54-hole championship will cap off what has been the most successful year to date for the RBC PGA Scramble; more than 12,000 amateur golfers from across Canada competed this year at over 170 local qualifiers. Female participation also hit an all-time high, seeing a 39% increase over 2022, with more than 1,200 women competing.
A full list of teams and scoring throughout the event can be found here. The first group set to tee off at 8:30 AM AT on Sunday.
If you are a PGA of Canada professional wondering how your club can get involved in 2024, contact RBC PGA Scramble Manager Wayne MacPhee at Wayne@PGAofCanada.com.