TORONTO - Former golf executive Dick Grimm, who was known as "Mr. Canadian Open" for his efforts to grow the game in Canada, has died. He was 91.
Golf Canada says Grimm died Monday.
A former chairman of the Canadian Open, Grimm played a key role in growing the tournament and in the building of Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.
Between 1965 and '81, he served as chairman of the Open on eight different occasions. He became director of professional tournaments for the Royal Canadian Golf Association (now Golf Canada) in 1983, a position he continued in until 1993 when he left to take on the role of Commissioner of the Canadian Tour.
He was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1993.
"On behalf of the entire golf community including the golfers, associations, sponsors, employees and volunteers whose lives he touched, we are extremely saddened by the passing of Dick Grimm," Golf Canada CEO Scott Simmons said in a statement. "Dick's contributions to the game of golf were outstanding and his legacy will forever live on as a leader, a gentleman, a mentor, a supporter of the game and one of the finest ambassadors Canadian golf has ever known."
Along with former RCGA governors Bruce Forbes and John Marshall, Grimm was involved in building Glen Abbey. He was a key figure in retaining golf legend Jack Nicklaus as the course architect and establishing it as the home of the Canadian Open from 1977 to 2000. He also worked to bring about the building of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, located on the grounds of Glen Abbey.
Grimm also helped expand the Canadian Tour (now PGA Tour Canada) in his role as commissioner of the circuit from 1993 to '97. To honour Grimm, PGA Tour Canada players and tournament officials will wear black ribbons at this week's PC Financial Open at Point Grey G&CC in Vancouver.
After retirement, Grimm served on a number of committees with the RCGA and the Golf Association of Ontario while also representing local golf courses and staying actively involved with the Golf Historical Society of Canada.
"One of the greatest men in golf and one if my dearest friends, Dick Grimm will be sadly missed by the golf world," Canadian golfer Ian Leggatt said via Twitter.
A memorial service will be held Friday at Temple Har Zion on in Thornhill, Ont.