The easy thing to say is Rideau View and long-time head pro Paul Sherratt got a holiday gift with the news Sherratt received the ultimate honour for a golf pro in our country: induction into the Canadian PGA Hall of Fame.
But this was not a gift. It was earned over more than 40 years of upholding the highest professional standards of the game while still innovating and embracing change.
It was earned by building the Rideau View Golf Club into one of the most respected clubs in the country and representing the Rideau View standard where ever golfers gathered: PGA annual meetings, the Ryder Cup, The Masters and any of golf's other majors.
Sherratt, who will become Rideau View's Head Pro Emeritus in 2019 as Matt Robinson takes over as Director of Golf, received the news of his lofty honour with typical modesty. He credits the honour to Rideau View giving him the opportunity to do his job the way he thought it should be done.
"It's certainly very humbling because it makes you think about what you do and why you would be recognized. You're first instinct is to kind of almost apologize for it," Sherratt said. "My reaction to this one is, 'I guess people do look and they do recognize that there is something different going on at Rideau View Golf Club.
"I think it's the magic at Rideau View. I would not have been able to do the things I've done as a golf professional if I had been anywhere else.
"In a word: very, very humbling."
In the current culture of private golf clubs, where instability and turnover in the pro shop and front office have become the norm, Sherratt and Robinson, who have close to 70 years experience between them at Rideau View, have become the exception. They have delivered consistent adherence to the highest standards of their profession.
Rideau View general manager Steve Ducat said Sherratt's individual recognition is a result of his actions for Rideau View's collective good.
"Paul's tenure at Rideau View has spanned 41 years, including 38 as our Head Professional. During that time, he has always been and continues to be the consummate golf professional, putting the members and welfare of the club first," Ducat said as part of Sherratt's nomination for the Hall of Fame honour.
"I have personally known Paul for 33 years and am proud to call him my friend."
Among the pros who apprenticed under Sherratt and went on to make their own mark in the golf world are Robinson, the PGA of Canada's 2017 George Knudson Coach of the Year, and Henry Brunton, a PGA of Canada Master Professional.
"Paul has always given me, and others, opportunities to learn, thrive, and succeed," Robinson said. "More importantly he provided an environment where you could feel safe to learn, thrive, and succeed. This selfless attitude is a core fundamental in my coaching today and it most definitely will follow me into this business venture of operating the pro shop."
Said Brunton: "Paul Sherratt has had an extraordinary career as a Head Golf Professional, exemplifying the values and traditions in the role of the golf professional within his golf club, the Association, and community.
"Paul's career accomplishments speak volumes. His list of awards and service to the Association is remarkable and demonstrates his worthiness for this great honour of being inducted into the PGA of Canada Hall of Fame. He is clearly one of Canada's top club professionals of all-time."
Sherratt will be recognized, along with the PGA of Canada's other national award winners, at Canada Night at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando in January.