Clara Bernardi, made important contributions to women’s golf in Timmins and Northern Ontario through her accomplishments as an athlete, mentor and builder.
In 1954, she won her first club championship at the Hollinger Golf Club. In all, Clara won 14 club championships, 5 at the Hollinger and 9 at Spruce Needles Golf Course. On various courses throughout Northern Ontario, she won the Northern Ontario Ladies’ Golf Association title 5 times.
Through her example and determination, Clara expanded playing opportunities for women, influencing the expansion of women’s golf beyond the confinement of “women’s Tuesdays”. Because of her profile as a champion golfer, she influenced coverage of women’s golf in the local media and inspired young women golfers to take up the sport.
An important part of her legacy was her willingness to support and mentor young women. She often invited beginners to play with her and in low key ways, helped them adapt to the game.
Along with her husband Bruno, one of the founders of the Spruce Needles Golf Course, Clara contributed to the development and growth of “the Spruce”. She was an original member of the women’s section and served on the Board of Directors.