Stephen Ross

Category: Builder

Stephen Ross

Inducted: 2011

Born: June 22, 1954, Newmarket, Ontario

Stephen Ross joined the Royal Canadian Golf Association as Assistant Amateur Tournament Director in 1977 serving under W.T. Hamilton. Within a short period of time he became the Director of Amateur Tournaments and one of the world’s foremost experts on the Rules of Golf. Stephen was with the association in 1982 when they suffered severe financial difficulties during the initial years of ownership of Glen Abbey Golf Club. In 1989, Geordie Hilton, Executive Director of the Association since 1978, became ill.  Stephen moved into the position of Executive Director and led the organization for the next 18 years playing a significant role in the growth of the Canadian Open while raising the associations’ profile both nationally and internationally. During Stephen’s tenure, the RCGA became financially stable and expanded their services significantly (see programs listed). As well as providing leadership within Canada, Stephen is known internationally as a respected member of the golf community.


  • 1977 – 1980 Assistant Amateur Tournament Director
  • 1980 – 1989 Director of Amateur Tournaments for the Royal Canadian Golf Association & Director of Rules, Amateur Status, and Handicapping
  • 1989 – 2007 Executive Director of the Royal Canadian Golf Association


  • Respected international authority of the Rules of Golf
  • Member of the Joint Rules Committee (R&A, USGA), 1992, 1993
  • Rules Official at:

• The (British) Open – 1991 – 2006
• The Masters, 15 years
• The President’s Cup, 6 events
• The Australian Open, 2 years
• World Match Play, 4 years
• US Open
• Player’s Championship, 15 years

  • Led the bid and organized the 1992 World Amateur Team Championship
  • Served on the World Golf Hall of Fame election panel.

Significant Items during his tenure:

  • Increased the RCGA revenue base by more than 400%
  • Grew the RCGA staff from 14 to 61
  • Introduced the CN Future Links program
  • Responsible for the growth of the RCGA through the 90’s, early 20th century
  • Expanded the Green Section
  • Built and expanded the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Orchestrated the purchase of the RCGA Learning Centre in Calgary
  • Created the RCGA’s Rules of Golf certification program, taught many seminars
  • Introduced the USGA ‘slope’ handicapping system
  • Restarted the Canadian Senior Open
  • Conserved the Canadian Women’s Open Championship
  • Expanded the Amateur circuit from 3 to 18 tournaments
  • Successfully negotiated the sale of Glen Abbey
  • Amalgamated the Canadian Ladies Golf Association and the RCGA
  • Successfully negotiated many Title Sponsorships for the Canadian Open, Canadian Women’s Open and the Senior Open
  • Introduced the RCGA Foundation University / College Grant Program
  • Led the organization through its Centennial
  • Spearheaded the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Open
  • Maintained strong relationships with the PGA Tour through the 90’s, kept pace with rising PGA Tour purses at a time when the Canadian dollar was valued at 60 cents US
  • Re-introduced Golf Canada Magazine
  • Organized the Four Nations Cup – Japan, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
  • Introduced the RCGA’s Distinguished Service Award to recognize dedicated volunteers


Inducted to Ontario Golf Hall of Fame in 2012

2014 International Association of Golf Administrators Distinguished Service Award


Photos of Stephen Ross from our collection.