Golf Canada to Honour Quebec Trio with Distinguished Service Awards


Montreal, Que. (Golf Canada) – Golf Canada is pleased to announce that Debbie Savoy Morel of La Tuque, Que., Réal Labbé of Quebec City and Roger H. Legault of Deauville, Que. will be honoured for their contributions to the game of golf as the 2012 co-recipients of the Distinguished Service Award. 

The Distinguished Service Awards will be presented on Saturday, February 11th during the National Sport Organization’s (NSO) Annual General Meeting at the Westin Hotel in Montreal.

“Golf Canada is honoured to be celebrating the tremendous career accomplishments of Debbie Savoy Morel, Roger Legault and Réal Labbé as our 2012 Distinguished Service Award recipients,” said Golf Canada Executive Director and CEO Scott Simmons. “In their own special way, Debbie, Roger and Réal have had a significant impact on the game of golf. Their commitment and passion for the sport makes each of them a truly deserving recipient.”

Created in 1993, Golf Canada’s Distinguished Service Award has been awarded annually to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the game of golf in Canada.

Recipients of Golf Canada’s Distinguished Service Award are traditionally selected from within the province of the organization’s incoming president. On Saturday, February 11, 2012, Diane Dunlop-Hebert of Montreal will be sworn in as Golf Canada’s 109th President.

As President-elect, Dunlop-Hebert will succeed 2011 President Karen Rackel of Edmonton. The Annual General Meeting and presidential appointment will conclude four days of meeting – February 8-11 – at Le Westin Hotel in Montreal.

Following an accomplished amateur playing career, Debbie Savoy-Morel joined the teaching professional ranks in 1993. In 1997, she became the first woman in Canada to be appointed head golf professional of a 36-hole golf facility – Le Mirage Golf Club in Terrebonne, Que.

Since 2007, Savoy-Morel has worked closely with Golf Québec, assisting in the planning and presentation of training clinics through which the provincial association encourages women to play the game. To pay homage to Savoy-Morel’s efforts, Golf Québec created the Debbie Savoy Morel Cup in 2010, one of the three events comprising the Jocelyne Bourassa Series.

In 2006, Savoy-Morel released an instructional DVD for golfers of all levels entitled “A Swing for a Lifetime”, in collaboration with Anne Chouinard, formerly the director of golf at the Canadian Golf Academy in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Savoy-Morel has worked with all-French sports television station RDS, providing analysis LPGA Tour events, and has also served as a club tester for Golf Magazine.

A former chairman of the Québec Golf Hall of Fame Selection Committee from 2001 to 2010, Roger H. Legault played a prominent role in the creation of the Québec Golf Hall of Fame in 1996.

A long-time contributor to the development of golf in Québec and across Canada, Legault formerly served as Director of the Eastern Townships with the Québec Golf Association (Golf Québec) before joining the association’s Board of Directors and eventually becoming President of Golf Quebec in 1990. Nominated as a Governor of the Royal Canadian Golf Association (Golf Canada) in 1991, Legault was a Level 4 Rules Official until the beginning of the 2000’s during which time he officiated at numerous amateur, professional and international championships.

A member at the Club de golf Venise in Magog, Que., Legault was also notably involved with the Quebec Open and served as Co-Chair of both the 1997 Canadian Open at The Royal Montreal Golf Club and the 1999 (former) Canadian Senior Open at Richelieu Valley Golf Club.

A sports journalist since 1967, primarily with Le Soleil newspaper in Québec City, Réal Labbé has provided coverage of countless professional and amateur sporting events in and around the Quebec City area during the course of a distinguished career.

A member of the Golf Writers’ Association of America, Labbé has covered numerous provincial and national golf competitions as well as professional tournaments including The Masters. He has also covered the NHL’s (former) Québec Nordiques, the Québec Remparts of the QMJHL and the the long-standing Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. In 1988, Labbé covered the Calgary Olympic Games, and has also reported on bicycling, ski World Cups, and biathlon competitions across the globe.

Labbé currently works as a special columnist with Le Soleil, focusing on golf, and also serves as a radio commentator and editorialist on Québec City radio.

Golf Canada – a member-based organization governed by the Royal Canadian Golf Association – is the governing body of golf in Canada, representing close to 350,000 members at almost 1,500 clubs across the country. Recognized by Sport Canada as the National Sports Organization (NSO) for golf in this country, Golf Canada is responsible for promoting participation in and a passion for the game of golf in Canada.

A proud member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Golf Canada actively conducts championships, programs and services to help shape the present and future of golf in Canada. High performance athlete development, Golf in Schools presented by Callaway, Golf Fore the Cure presented by Subaru, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum and CN Future Links, Canada’s national junior golf program, are only some of the initiatives the association leads for golf in Canada. As the authority for golf in Canada, the association also administers the Rules of Golf, amateur status and handicapping and course rating under the respected RCGA brand.

In addition, Golf Canada conducts Canada’s most prestigious golf championships. The RBC Canadian Open and CN Canadian Women’s Open attract the best professional golfers in the world, while regional junior and national amateur championships provide world class competitive opportunities for Canada’s top golfers to showcase their talents.

For more information about what Golf Canada is doing to support golf in your community, visit us online at  

For more information contact:

Dan Pino
Director, Media and Public Relations
Golf Canada
(t) 1-800-263-0009 x 406
(c) 416-434-5525