When the last putt had dropped at the 2008 Canadian Amateur Golf Championship at Paradise Canyon, Darrell Ell and his organizing committee began looking for a way to create an event legacy.
They had surprised their own expectations by realizing a profit of $30,000 and, with the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s blessing, decided to invest in the development of local junior players.
That vision drove them to Lethbridge College’s Professional Golf Management program, where, when matched by the college, they created a $60,000 perpetual scholarship to send a PGM student to the Canadian University/College Championship. Each year, a student holding a GPA of at least 2.5 will be awarded $2,500 to defray costs of entering the event, a hallmark of postsecondary golf.
Interestingly, Ell completed the Professional Golf Management program, graduating in 1997, and understands the value of a trip to the national championship.
“Several of our committee members were grads of the program and thought it would be the best way to leave a long legacy and a great way to develop golf down the road,” says Ell, manager of the Lethbridge Curling Club since graduation.
“Playing on the national stage is a lifetime opportunity for any young golfer. And, it’s a chance for the rest of Canada to learn about the program at Lethbridge College and to hear about the quality of a Lethbridge golf course that hosted a national championship.”
Ell came to post-secondary education following a 22-year career in the military. He started at Lethbridge College the year his daughter started at the University of Lethbridge, managing to win the odd GPA battle around the kitchen table. After graduation, he realized the crossover between golf and curling, taking the position at the curling club.
“The business skills I learned at Lethbridge College were easily transferable,” he says. “It’s a great, all around program.”