Dundas’ Tristan Mullally Leads New Golf Canada Program
Ask him about his new title and Tristan Mullally stops for a bit.
This is the “National Talent Identification Lead” for Golf Canada.
It’s a position that for all intents and purposes the 42-year-old Dundas resident designed and he’s very happy to have the opportunity to build the job from the ground up.
“It’s just that this title doesn’t represent everything I’m going to do,” he says.
Mullally joined Golf Canada 11 years ago when he was the successful candidate to lead the country’s National Women’s Amateur Team.
Hailing from Straffan, Ireland, Mullally had worked on a golf course back home, and as a provincial coach and in their national team program before applying for the job in Canada.
“I’ve had a number of different jobs, but coaching is my passion and I felt I had a good experience to add to the existing program (in Canada),” he says. “And being full time with players who are trying to reach great heights is a big attraction and that was something I wanted to do.”
He has done so successfully with Canada’s National Women’s Team for 11 years, but Mullally felt there were gaps in Golf Canada’s national team development program.
“One of the things I thought we should be doing more of, was under our existing program, working with parents, athletes and coaches and supporting them to get into the national team program. That wasn’t happening and I felt it was a real lack.
When Golf Canada appointed Kevin Blue as the new Chief Athletic Director, he met with everyone in the program and this gave Mullally the opportunity to present his plan.
“He asked me if this was a position I would be interested in because I was clearly passionate about the position and had done a lot of research,” Mullally said.
“I told him I was because I felt it was an area where we could make a real difference. I think that’s an important role because it builds connections with players earlier and helps support coaches, who are doing a phenomenal job in the market, to do things with a longer-term view.
In his new position, which he started last May, Mullally will not give up training altogether.
“I had previously worked with the PGA of Canada on coach education,” he says. “I’ve been a facilitator for them and I’ve done a bunch of stuff to educate parents and work with coaches, so that just formalizes that.
“I will work with (younger) players, but it will be much more in tandem with their current coaches and I will help them so that by the time they reach the age of the national junior team, their level will be a little more raised.”
Mullally said coming into the role he believed Golf Canada needed to create a network of cross-country coaches so that teachers at the grassroots level would have more support.
“It would also give us a pool (of coaches) that we could recommend to parents,” he says. “These will be men and women who do a great job with long-term development in mind in their market.”
Mullally also hit the ground running in terms of talent identification.
“Part of the job is to get to know the players across the country better,” he says. “And we started doing physical testing and golf game testing to get a better understanding of the landscape.”
The new system, Mullally notes, is not set up to identify Canada’s next golf superstar.
“We are already ready to do that,” he says. “When Brooke (Henderson) arrived, she was identified and joined our program. We are looking for the stragglers or the player who is number six when only five are in the squad.
In other words, they want to have fewer players who for some reason fell through the cracks.
“We were doing pilots on the tests and we’re going to align with the junior tours across the county and get them into those events so junior-aged players who are starting to compete have access to those tests,” he says. .
“And we’re also going to use it as a tool to educate on how to practice and the coaches that are part of our network will provide it to the market.”
The goal, Mullally says, is to achieve Golf Canada’s stated goal of having 30 players on the PGA and LPGA Tour by 2032.
All-in-one: It’s club championship season.
- At the Hamilton G&CC, Nicholas Hofland won the championship steal. The other flight winners were: A-Tom McBarron, B-Jeff O’Brien, Net-Peter Rakoczy.
- Jennifer Lochhead won the Women’s Club Championship. The flight winners were: A-Cam Sakas, B-Diane Campbell, Net -Rhona Scott.
- At Hidden Lake, Craig Pinder won the Men’s Club Championship, Paula Gillis won the Women’s title and Carson Skinner won the Junior title.
- Aces in the area include: Chris Ridgewell on the 136-yard fourth hole at Glendale with a nine iron and Gary Crowell on the 148-yard eighth hole at Burlington Springs with a hybrid 4.