Kerr Family Profile – January 2024

This profile originally appeared in our January, 2024 newsletter.

The Kerrs – Two generations, CPGA professionals and a great sense of humour
Bill II and Bill III both played in the Father and Three Sons and both are CPGA pros. Bill III has hosted the event twice at his home course, Black Bear Ridge in Belleville. The whole family loves golf and has a lot of laughs.

Here is the profile as it appeared in January, 2024

2022 The Kerrs Host Family at Black Bear Ridge with the Lancasters

2023 The Kerrs Low Gross Winner - left to right - William, Matthew, Bill III, Chris

Kerr Family FATS Profile:

left to right – Bill Sr, Chris, William, Matthew, Bill

From Dad:
I can remember vividly the day at Black Bear Ridge when a gentleman was checking in to golf. He was wearing a FATS Pullover. I said to him that I should be playing in a FATS tournament. Coming from a family of portly gentlemen. I thought that the event would involve chubby players. He said that we could play if I had three sons, or if my Father had three sons. I said we fit into both categories. I have three boys and my dad has 5 sons.

We joined FATS in 2010. I played with my Dad, brothers Dan and Jon. In 2011 – We won the gross event with the same three players. We hosted the tournament in 2013 at Black Bear Ridge. I played that year with my three boys (William, 14 – Matthew 12 – Christopher – 10 years old at the time) Dad played with Dan, Jon and brother Mark.

Dad played his last game of golf (ever) at FATS event at Whirlpool in 2017. We played in the Scramble portion. Dan, Jon and I were all overwhelmed by the comfort and concern expressed to my dad at the gathering. Dad was dealing with Alzheimer’s and soon after entered into long-term care. He never came out of LTC. With Covid soon to follow it was a trying time for all families.

2022 Fats was back in person and back at Black Bear Ridge. We hosted with a mix of players (Jon, Matthew, Will, Marc, and myself). It was a great event and lots of tears and laughter at the Family Awards dinner and banquet. In 2023 we were back at Whirlpool and back with the 2nd Kerr Family (William 24, Matt 22, and Chris 20) We were lucky enough to win the Family Scramble (I was designated to sit in the cart, hit the occasional putt and buy the pints) We also won the Low Gross at Whirlpool. That was the last game that I played in Canada that Summer dealing with some cancer issues. I am so happy for the boys (and myself) – for being able to see their names on the same trophy that was won by their grandfather, father and uncles. It is a great memory for all of us.

Fingers crossed we will be able to make the 2024 event and many more in the future.
I wish you all many more FATS Events in the future.

Bill III

From the Oldest Son:

Growing up, my dad used to play in the tournament as a son, with his brothers and father. I always enjoyed hearing his post-FATS weekend stories; how they were one lip-in away from winning the scramble, or how they couldn’t find granddad the morning of the tournament. In 2012, I got the chance to play in the tournament for the first time as a part of the host family at Black Bear Ridge Golf Course. Dad got to play as a father for the first time with my brothers and me, while my uncle Mark got the opportunity to step in and take Dad’s spot in the original foursome. It was an amazing experience and remains a core memory from my childhood.

My next appearance in the tournament was 10 years later, on a ‘legacy’ team with my brother Matt, my Dad, and my uncle Jon. It was an emotional year because we lost my granddad, Bill Kerr II, the previous winter, but it was a very special experience being able to honour him (and win the longest drive contest for him) over the course of that weekend.

My brother Chris rejoined Matt, Dad, and me in 2023 at Whirlpool, and helped us win both the scramble and low gross trophies for the year (a strong headwind and a Burkholder stinger held me back from winning the long drive in back-to-back years). Being able to get my and my brothers’ name on the trophy for the first time, and my dad’s name on there as a father is something that I hold in very high regard and is a memory that I will cherish forever.

I have always felt extremely grateful to have been born into a family of golfers, and given the choice, would have Dad, Matt and Chris in my foursome every single time. The Father and Three Sons golf tournament brings so many families together to share these special moments of family camaraderie, competition, and fun; and for that, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

BK IV

From the Second Son:

When I was twelve years old, I played in a golf tournament with both of my brothers, my father, three of my uncles, and my grandfather. I played fine, well, fine enough I guess. I distinctly remember one shot that I hit into the woods. I had pulled my drive, but I think that I was swinging a little too hard at it. You see, I had just bogeyed the last hole, and I was putting a little more oomph into the swing.

That’s a lie of course. I don’t remember a single swing from that tournament, nor do I remember what I shot. What I do remember, was how honoured I felt to play in the FATS, a tournament that meant so much to my grandfather, and my family. At that point, my father had been playing in the tournament for three years.

Since then, I’ve played in two more tournaments, in 2022 and 2023. In 2023 we managed to play well and won the family scramble and low gross at Whirlpool GC. It was an incredible experience to get my name on the very same trophy that held the names of my grandfather, uncles, and father before me.

I was very lucky to be born into a family of golfers. I’ve had my family to lean on through the good times and bad. And through all of my life, golf has been a way to connect with them.

I have felt incredibly welcomed by this tournament. In each year that I have had the honour to play, I have found nothing but welcoming tourney goers, flowing drinks, and good memories to be had. The tournament brings so many families together, and for some, it’s the only time each year that they’ll get out to play with family, thank you to everyone who attends, and who makes this such a special event.

Matt

From the Youngest Son

Growing up in a family of golfers has always been something I was very thankful for. I am lucky enough to have two older brothers and my amazing father who helped me find my love for the game at a young age, and as I have grown older, I am still so thankful for every time I get to play a round with them. Growing up, I remember my dad used to play in the FATS tournaments with his brothers and dad, and I always thought it seemed like such a great time, and was waiting for the day that I could play in the tournament as well. That day came in 2012 when the tournament was held at Black Bear when I was 10 years old. I remember that tournament very fondly, especially because one of the days I snapped my driver over my head (accidentally), but I also was the youngest competitor in the tournament, meaning I hit the tee-off to start the day of the stroke play format. That was the most nervous I had ever been in my ten years of life up to that moment, but thankfully, I was able to hit a pretty decent shot that made the nerves go away.

I, unfortunately, missed the 2022 tournament at Black Bear, as I was away for work at the time, but was excited to be able to play this last summer with my brothers and dad again. The few days of the tournament were the best days of my summer, as I got to play 4 rounds of golf in three days, each of them being with at least one member of my family. The scramble day was a great time, drinking beers, and playing golf on the side, we were able to win and get our names on the trophy. This continued the next day, as I was able to play with my brother in the stroke play, we decided to play a friendly match between the two of us, starting on a par three. I was feeling confident at the start, after being able to hit a decent shot into the green, and Matt had a lengthy putt for par. My confidence quickly disappeared as my brother made a 40-foot slider, and I left my birdie butt about halfway to the hole. The day continued and I don’t even remember who won the match between my brother and me (I did), because we were just having a great time within our group, and were thankful for the opportunity to be there.

Being able to win the stroke play tournament that day and knowing my dad’s name is on there as a father, and that my brothers and I have our names on there as well, is a feeling I will never let go of. Unfortunately because of work and school, our family is not able to golf together as much as we did when we were growing up, but it just made this tournament that much more meaningful. Those two days of golf with amazing people are something that I will always think back on, and I look forward to every time I get to play the game of golf that I have grown to love, with my dad and two brothers.

Chris

 

Editor Notes

Editor’s Note (Gary) – Black Bear Ridge is near our family cottage so I have gotten to know Bill III outside of FATS as Bill is the Director of Golf at BBR. He is always helpful in getting me a tee time or helping organize our family events at BBR. Bill as many of you know has a wicked sense of humour so always makes me laugh when I see him. One of my favourite Kerr stories was when I was sitting with Bill II at dinner and Kerrs got announced as a net prize winner. Bill II was grumbling (and swearing) about a family with two professional golfers winning a net prize. Bill II would not have his photo taken for the net prize. He was hilarious. Bill, we are all hoping you get through your health issues and continue to join us at FATS for years to come.

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