Golf News

NHL Referee Qualifies for U.S Open

Garrett Rank is no stranger to the big stage when it comes to sports, the only difference is he is use to officiating side of things. That all changed for the 30 year old Canadian when he qualified for this years U.S Open at Shinnecock Hills shooting 71-71 around the challenging Ansley GC which was good enough for tied medallist honours.

Having just concluded his second full season with the NHL in which he refereed 73 season matches and 3 playoff games Rank has shown his clear golfing talent after admittedly only playing 4 games of golf throughout the season prior to the qualifier.

Garrett Rank has been a notable golfing talent for sometime now having attended University of Waterloo on a golfing scholarship and being part of an Golf Canada National  Team which included Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Conners, but always maintained his position of keeping his options open.

Admittedly a handy hockey player Rank was realistic with himself and decided that whilst he was talented it would not lead to a career and as such began refereeing from the age of 15.  When asked about how he decided to Ref over play golf he answer was simple  “I said to myself, ‘If golf works out, or hockey works out … whatever works out first, is what I’m going to do.’ Then the NHL saw that my golf was going well; they’re like, ‘We’ve got to make a decision on this kid soon.’ They offered me a contract, and I wasn’t turning it down.”

With no doubt an understanding of what it takes to remain cool, calm and collected out there Rank is keeping a level head and when asked what this meant for him he simply replied;

“Everyone back home in Elmira will be really proud and jazzed up,” said Rank inside the clubhouse at Ansley GC, taking a seat after a long day’s walk. “My brother was jacked, and my mom was crying on the phone. It’s cool to see that, and cool to represent the NHL, the hockey officials that are still out working the Stanley Cup Finals.

“I’ve been at this amateur game for a long time. To play with the world’s best at the U.S. Open, it’s really humbling. I’m really proud, and really honored.”

We look forward to seeing Garrett out there and wish him all the best!


Feature Image: Icon Sportswire