Prince Albert’s Martin Ring is among the 2020 inductees into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame.
A self-proclaimed late bloomer, the retired mail carrier didn’t play his first competitive golf tournament until he was 20 years old. Ring said he dabbled in the game in his younger years in P.A. with his father, but it was his father-in-law that eventually turned him into a more active player. As time passed Ring began to spend more time at the Cooke Municipal Golf Club and a competitive amateur career blossomed with the help of another Hall of Fame inductee.
“I started playing lots in the evening and one of the people I got hooked up with playing was Ron Stewart,” Ring said. “Ron and I really hit it off. Ron’s son David came along and it just became a really good friendship and some really good friendly competition between us. Ron pushed me along to the point of all of a sudden playing in some Saskatchewan amateur events.”
Ring saw instant success at the provincial amateur level, he made the Willingdon Cup team in his first attempt in 1995. He also represented Saskatchewan at national events in 1997, 2004, 2008, and in 2014 after he won the Saskatchewan Amateur Championship at Cooke. He is also a four-time winner of the Lobstick at Waskesiu and has his name on the Men’s and Senior Men’s Northern Championship, P.A. City Open, May Day Masters, and the Cooke Men’s Championship eight times. Of all the wins over the years Ring said the provincial victory means the most for a couple reasons.
“The Lobstick is special, probably more special for us in the northern part of the province, but the Sask. amateur is the provincial championship,” he said. “That one really sticks out especially given my age (51 years old when he won), I think it was one I thought might have been out of my reach at that point. I was playing with Justin Wood and David in the final group, I remember it like it was yesterday.”
Ring’s Hall of Fame induction comes in two categories, athlete and builder. He gave back to the game of golf in Saskatchewan as much as he played. Ring was involved with the 1999 Canadian Club Champions’ Championship, the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship in 2004 and although he wasn’t on the host committee for the 2009 Canadian Mid-Amateur Men’s Championship he provided his expertise behind the scenes. Ring played in the event which was special as that was the 100th year anniversary of the Cooke. He said giving back to the game and his community was instilled at a young age.
“My parents and my upbringing was always giving back to the community and get involved. Whether it’s through a service club, mom and dad were very involved with the Raiders Hockey Club, my mom still billets hockey players. Community involvement has very much always been our family’s connection to the community and giving back so from the golf side it was pretty easy to step up when we were hosting tournaments,” Ring explained.
He also ran the junior golf program for a few years taking over from Stewart.
Later this year Golf Saskatchewan is bringing the Saskatchewan Senior Men’s and Women’s Championships to Cooke. Ring and Stewart are co-chairs of the event and will also compete for another provincial trophy. With recent renovations to both the course and the Rock & Iron Restaurant he said the club and city is looking forward to the event.
“We had it on our radar for quite a bit,” Ring explained. “Once we got the timeline in place for the renovations we felt we could reach out to Golf Sask. about hosting an event. The seniors is a perfect fit for our golf course. We are really excited about it.”
The senior championships will occur from July 28 – 30. The Hall of Fame induction will take place May 2 at the Art Hauser Centre. When Ring got word of his induction he had plenty of thoughts and thanks go through his mind.
“It’s an honour, it’s very humbling as well, especially looking at the list of inductees this year. Some really special athletes and from such a diverse group this year.”
“It’s a big commitment to play any sport at a high level, golf in particular, it’s a big commitment from family to give up some time with me because it can be selfish. I must thank my family for allowing me to get out and remain a competitive player. It’s both playing, practicing, time away from home,” Ring concluded.