Golf Canada National Junior Squad

The Official Training Centre of Golf Canada’s National Junior Squad, Bear Mountain Resort is the ideal venue for the highly focused centre of excellence program. A total of 10 National Junior Squad athletes (five men and five women) are billeted with local families and surrounded by world-class technical coaching staff and experts in the areas of mental performance, physiotherapy, biomechanics and nutrition.

Designed to provide a centralized training environment and support the country’s emerging talents as part of Golf Canada’s next-generation strategy, the National Junior Squad members live and breathe golf full-time at Bear Mountain Resort every year from February through mid-June. Athletes are enrolled at Belmont Secondary School in Langford, B.C., where they attend classes in the morning, followed by training in the afternoon. Team members also work with the West Shore Distributed Learning Centre, where they take online courses in order to receive advanced credits for their sports training. The athletes’ academic commitment remains an important component of the Team Canada program with Golf Canada coaches and support team working closely with the teaching staff to ensure success in and outside the classroom.

In addition to the amenities at the Resort, the athletes also use the facilities of the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE), one of the best training centres in the country.

Meet the Coaches

Robert Ratcliffe
  • Junior Squad Lead Coach
  • PGA of Canada Class“A” member
  • Coach of Developing Competitors (certified)

Originally from South Africa, Robert Ratcliffe draws on a wealth of experience having played and coached golf all over the world. A Class ‘A’ member of the PGA of Canada and a Class ‘AA’ member of the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland, Robert is currently the Head Coach of the Men’s National Junior Team for Golf Canada, a role which has him working with Canada’s top junior golfers.

Ratcliffe has received several awards for his work over the years, including the 2009 PGA of BC Teacher of the Year Award, as well as the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2017 PGA of B.C. Coach of the Year Award. In 2013 the PGA of Canada recognized Robert with the Ben Kern Coach of the Year honour.

Ratcliffe was the first golf professional in Canada to complete certification in the PGA of Canada’s NCCP CDC Coaching program, the first program worldwide recognizing the difference in training and competency between a golf instructor and a golf coach. This certification, along with prior experience, propelled him into the position of Olympic Coach for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China.

 

Matt Wilson
  • Junior Squad Women’s Coach
  • Director of Next Generation Performance PGA of Canada Class “A” member
  • Coach of Developing Competitors (certified)

A native of Newmarket, Ont., Wilson captained Team Canada at both the 2015 and 2016 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan and assisted Team Canada coaches at various training camps as well as the 2016 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship before joining the program in 2017.

Wilson is the recipient of numerous teaching and coaching recognition awards, most recently named by the PGA of Ontario as 2018 Golf Coach of the Year. Golf Digest named Wilson one of the Best Young Teachers in America and US Kids Golf honoured him as a Top-50 Kids Teacher (2014 & 2015; honourable mention in 2011 & 2012).

As an accomplished golf coach, Wilson has an established track record of successfully elevating the performance of developing competitors as well as facilitating personal-best performances at the Junior, NCAA, Amateur, and Professional levels.

Wilson has most recently served as Director of Instruction at La Rinconada Country Club in Los Gatos, California (June 2014 to present) where he managed a junior golf development program that supports eight national, 14 regional level athletes and 30 club level athletes with holistic, year-round programming. He has also coached multiple athletes competing full-time on the LPGA and Symetra Tours, and has been a volunteer assistant coach with the Stanford University men’s golf team since January 2015.

Wilson earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) from Long Island University in Brooklyn and was a NCAA athlete and captain on the men’s golf team. He is currently working towards a Graduate Certificate in High Performance Coaching and Technical Leadership from the University of British Columbia.

 

About Golf Canada’s National Team Program

Canada’s National Amateur Team program incorporates advanced coaching, sport science expertise, training camps and world-class competition. Golf Canada allocates over $1.5 million of its resources annually to the National Team program, encompassing strength and conditioning, sports psychology, nutrition, biomechanics and technique development. Players who are selected to the National Amateur and National Developmental Squads represent Canada at six to 10 internationally-sanctioned golf competitions throughout the year. The intent of this comprehensive program is to aid Canada’s top up-and-coming amateur players in all areas of their development, helping Canada produce the best golfers in the world.

Team Canada, the pinnacle of Golf Canada’s High Performance Program, provides access to world-class resources including coaching, nutrition, sport science, mental management, equipment and elite competitive opportunities. The program builds on the support team members have received in their development years from their family, member clubs, personal coaches, university programs and provincial golf associations. Golf Canada’s High Performance Program and Team Canada are proudly supported by RBC, Canadian Pacific, adidas Golf, Titleist, FootJoy, ClubLink, Heritage Canada, Bear Mountain Resort and the Canadian Olympic Committee.