Star Studded Line-Up to Headline the Windsor Championship LINKS & RINKS 19th Hole Kick-Off Party

Windsor, ON – The Windsor Championship is pleased to announce that Bob Boughner, DJ Smith and Garret Rank have all confirmed their participation for the Kick-Off party at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts on Wednesday, July 4th. Boughner, Smith and Rank will participate in a key note discussion which will focus on their experiences as players, coaches and as a referee in the NHL. They will provide their personal stories as to how they came to be in their present profession, as well as some humorous stories about their journeys. Rank will also highlight his experiences at his most recent US Open participation.

This event will officially open the inaugural Mackenzie Tour event that will be played at Ambassador Golf

Club July 5-8.

Boughner, a Windsor native, is the long-time owner of the famed Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, and Head Coach of the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers. Boughner is coming off his first year as the Panthers Head Coach after serving as Assistant Coach in the NHL with various teams. Prior to that, he coached the Windsor Spitfires to two Memorial Cup Championships. DJ Smith, also a Windsor native, played 45 games in the NHL with Colorado and Toronto before turning his attention to the coaching ranks. Smith joined the Spitfires in 2005 as Assistant Coach under Boughner, winning two Memorial Cups. He then went on to lead the Oshawa Generals for three seasons which included a league championship in 2015. Smith is currently an Assistant Coach on Mike Babcock's coaching staff with the Toronto Maple Leafs and often considered one of the top head coaching prospects in the game.

Rounding out the threesome is NHL Referee Garrett Rank. Rank recently competed in the U.S. Open and won the Ontario Mid-Amateur last week in Burlington. Rank is a former Golf Canada National Team member and referees full time in the NHL, officiating over 70 games last season. Rank is also competing in the Windsor Championship alongside some of the top up-and-coming professional golfers in the world.

The evening will also include

  • A special musical performance from Kelly Authier and Norm Ackland, both celebrated local artist representing the LiUNA! Bluesfest to be held at Windsor Festival Plaza on July 12 – 15;
  • A silent and live auction which includes unique items that will be sure to excite the close to 400 attendees;
  • Several unique beverage tasting presentations; and
  • The announcing of the winning Pro Am Teams and presentation of prizes.

It will be an evening not to miss. Dress code is smart casual.


The LINKS & RINKS Kick-Off Party is open to only the Media, Event Sponsors and Special Invited Guests.

For more information about the Kick-Off Party, please visit Kick-Off Party