Three Named to Canadian Golf Hall of Fame

The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) in Oakville, Ont., have announced that Graham Cooke of Hudson, Que., Brent Franklin of Barrie, Ont. and the late Ben Kern of Rolandia, Brazil have been elected as the 2010 inductees into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

With their inductions, Cooke, Franklin and Kern become the 65th, 66th and 67th honored members of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

"The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame seeks to recognize excellence as golfers, contributors and supporters of the game," said David Shaw, Chair of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. "Graham Cooke, Brent Franklin and Ben Kern have each amassed their own unique golf-related legacies and are fine examples of what makes golf such a great sport. Each of our 2010 inductees made tremendous contributions to the game and it is only fitting that as such, they are recognized for their accomplishments."

Cooke and Franklin are being inducted under the player category while Kern will be inducted as a builder.

Graham Cooke

Cooke, 63, enters the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame as both a prominent amateur player and a renowned golf course architect. A standout amateur, Cooke has amassed seven Canadian Mid-Amateur titles and four Canadian Men's Senior titles throughout his illustrious playing career. His 11 national amateur championship titles is a record for most national events won by a Canadian male amateur. Cooke also won the 1965 Ontario Junior Championship; the 1981, 1984, 1993 and 1996 Quebec Amateur Championships; and the 2006 and 2008 Quebec Senior Amateur Championships. In addition, he is a five-time Duke of Kent champion, a four-time Alexander of Tunis champion and has made 27 Willingdon Cup appearances at the Canadian Men's Amateur Championship as a member of Quebec's provincial team.

He also served as a RCGA Governor in 1990 and played an important role in implementing Golf Quebec's slope and handicapping system for courses.

Cooke attended Michigan State University where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Landscape Architecture. He later apprenticed with Canadian golf course architect Howard Watson before forming his own firm. As a golf course architect, Cooke and his team at Graham Cooke & Associates have worked on more than 100 courses, earning 10 awards for their efforts.

Cooke's induction ceremony will take in Montreal at a date yet to be determined.

Brent Franklin

A native of Barrie, Ont., Franklin enjoyed a great deal of success as a junior golfer. He won the 1983 and '84 Canadian Junior Boys Championships as well as the 1983 and '84 British Columbia Junior Boys Championships before receiving a scholarship to Brigham Young University.

Throughout his collegiate golf career at Brigham Young, Franklin earned three All-American selections, including Honorable Mention in 1985, First Team in 1986 and Second Team in 1987.

In addition to winning the 1985 Alberta Amateur Championship, Franklin is just the second person to win three straight Canadian Men's Amateur Championships (1985-87). He was also a member of the Canadian team that won the 1986 World Amateur Team Championship.

Franklin turned professional in 1988; later that year he won the Canadian PGA Championship. He was selected as Canadian Professional Golf Tour's Rookie of the Year in 1988 after claiming six top-10 finishes in just eight Tour starts. He would later move to Japan to compete on the Japan Golf Tour from 1989-1995, where he posted four runner-up finishes in 112 starts.

A 1995 cycling accident in Vancouver would eventually curtail Franklin's professional golf career. After a brief return to professional golf, he turned to instruction and coaching, bringing his golfing experiences and expertise to young golfers in the United States. Now 44, he works as a teaching professional in Colorado and has been assistant coach to the University of Colorado Women's Golf Team since 2003.

Franklin will be inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame this summer at a ceremony in Vancouver.

Ben Kern

The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame will posthumously welcome the late Ben Kern (August 11, 1946-October 14, 2002). Kern will long be remembered for his dedication to Canadian junior golf. He organized the first International Teaching and Coaching Symposium, bringing world-renowned instructors to Canada in 1990. He also served on the board of the Canadian PGA and coordinated completion of its teaching manual.

golf instructors. He gave his time and energy at every level of the game in Canada with a goal of helping to foster the development of Canada's elite golfers, both amateurs and professionals. He also wanted to introduce more children to the sport of golf.

In the mid-1990s, Kern partnered with the RCGA to design the curriculum for what is now the CN Future Links junior development program. Until that time, there were no formally organized junior programs to teach golf to children in Canada. The CN Future Links program was launched in 1996 and continues to serve as a junior golfer program run by Canadian PGA professionals across the country in partnership with Canada's provincial golf associations and the RCGA. More than 845,000 have taken part in CN Future Links programming since 1996.

With help from Devils Pulpit Superintendent Ken Wright, Kern also invented the Accuform bunker rake, which has became the industry standard at most golf courses and PGA Tour stops across North America.

Kern also played an instrumental role in starting the Golf Management program at Humber College in Toronto.

He was born in Brazil, but moved to Canada with his family at an early age. Kern's posthumous induction will take place at the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in early June.