Jim Rutledge of Victoria, B.C. has been selected for 2023 induction into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
Rutledge will be officially honored during an induction ceremony on Tuesday, June 7, 2023 during the RBC Hall of Fame Day as part of the 2023 RBC Canadian Open at Oakdale Golf & Country Club in Toronto.
“My initial reply (when I was told of my selection) took me completely off guard,” Rutledge said. “After it all settled in, I flashed back to my career and of how fortunate I have been to represent Canada and travel the world doing what I loved for so many years. I am truly honored and thank all involved in my nomination.”
Rutledge is one of Canada’s most accomplished touring professionals, and continues to compete to this day.
Born in Victoria, B.C., and still a member of that city’s Uplands Golf Club, Rutledge, now 63, was a celebrated junior and amateur golfer in British Columbia before winning the 1975 Canadian Juvenile Championship and the 1977 Canadian Junior Championship. He turned professional in 1978 and has spent the better part of the next four decades competing on golf tours all around the world.
Rutledge was a member of the European Tour (now DP World Tour) in 1990 where he finished a career-high 55th in the Order of Merit. He also competed in the 1990 and 1991 British Open Championships, making the cut in 1990 and finishing tied for 57th.
Rutledge competed on the Nationwide Tour (now Korn Ferry Tour) from 2001-2009. He won his first event on that tour in 2006 and finished 14th on the money list, which earned him PGA TOUR status for 2007. Rutledge earned the distinction of being the second-oldest rookie in PGA TOUR history when he teed it up that season.
After turning 50, Rutledge has made several appearances on PGA TOUR Champions.
He has won on the PGA Tour of Australasia and on the Asian Tour, but most of Rutledge’s success has come in Canada. He is a six-time winner on the Canadian Tour (now PGA Tour Canada) along with the 1984 PGA of Canada championship and the PGA of Canada Senior Championship seven times including most recently in 2022.
Rutledge has also represented Canada at the World Cup three times and the Dunhill Cup twice.
“Now is when it hits you and you get to sit back and think about it all,” he said. “And it makes you feel a little bit old. But hopefully I’m not done yet.”
He certainly isn’t and proved that by winning the 2022 PGA Seniors Championship of Canada last summer in Medicine Hat, Alta. for his seventh title in the event, one behind the record of eight held by Canadian golf legend Moe Norman.
Rutledge joins other B.C. players Moe Norman, Dave Barr, Stephen Ames, Gary Cowan, Lorie Kane, Stan Leonard, George Knudson, Violet Pooley-Sweeny, Margaret Todd, Alison Murdoch, Dawn Coe-Jones and Pat Fletcher among the 85 inductees in the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
“You never think you’re going to join a list like that,” said Rutledge.
Rutledge was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame of BC in 2011 and the PGA of Canada’s Hall of Fame in 2022.
Being inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame along with Rutledge will be Robert S. Weir, the first Canadian golf writer, who wrote on the subject for more than two decades in the early part of the 20th century. Something of a Renaissance man, Weir published two books of poetry, plenty of legal works and is perhaps best known for penning the English lyrics to Canada’s national anthem. He also served as a Board member with the Royal Canadian Golf Association (now Golf Canada) in 1905.
Click here for more information about the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.