Hall Of Fame Inductee

Brian Kaye

Inducted into: Player Division in 2006

Location: Napanee

  • Player

While Brian Kaye was born in Guelph in 1948, he ultimately grew up in Simcoe, Ontario and, from that base, enjoyed an athletic childhood that included golf, hockey and, of course, an introduction to five pin bowling. From age seven, Brian played all star hockey and, on one occasion, played at Maple Leaf Gardens. However, his father, Ted Kaye, excelled at golf and bowling and planted the competitive seeds of both sports in his young son.

In bowling, Brian set pins at the bowling lanes in Simcoe and this centre was actually owned by Hall of Fame Hockey Player Leonard 'Red' Kelly. On the links, Brian began at the local Lakeside Golf and Country Club and, at age eighteen, he served a probationary year as an assistant golf professional at the Norfolk Golf and Country Club, before being officially carded as a golf professional in 1967. However, surviving at this level in the golf industry was extremely difficult and Brian investigated several alternative career choices, before returning to the golf word in 1971, when he joined the Lakeview Golf Club as an Assistant Pro. In addition, Brian also married in 1970 and son Sean, was born in 1972, as well as a daughter Dana, four years later.

From his base at Lakeview, Brian qualified for the Ontario team that competed at the Royal Montreal Golf Course in a competition for Assistant Pros from across Canada. As well, in 1974 and 1975, he played the Canadian golf tour representing the Wyldewood Golf and Country Club in Oakville. In the fall of 1975, Brian not only won two satellite events that followed the official tour but he also won the Pro-Am at the Canadian PGA Championship held at Bayview Golf and Country Club. In that event, one of his partners was Bob Foster, who also become a sponsor in bowling through his car dealership, Foster Pontiac Buick in Scarborough.

Following this success, Brian was hired by the prestigious Oakdale Golf and Country club in Toronto to be their head teaching professional while the legendary George Knudson was their touring professional. Brian continued to play in local events and was an alternate at the 1979 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey. However, despite this success, he had to abandon his golf career in 1979 to take a more permanent job building aircraft wings at McDonnell Douglas.

Brian now turned his competitive juices to five pin bowling and he stepped up both his league and tournament play. In league play, Brian began a competitive career in 1972 at Village Bowl before qualifying for his first provincial Open in 1974 and joining the Master Bowlers' Association two years later. At the Ontario level, Brian bowled in the 1978 Winter Games in Kingston, as bowling was one of the participating sports. Two years later, he had his first national experience when, as the Class V Bowler, he led a National Classified team to an Ontario championship and an appearance at the Canadian finals in St John's Newfoundland.

Overall, Brian has qualified for the Open on twenty-four occasions with eight as a single, five as zone champion, thirteen on the men's team and eleven on the mixed team. As well, he has coached on five more occasions. In 1986, Brian was a member of the Lake Ontario men's team that not only won provincially but also triumphed nationally in British Columbia.

In 2002, Brian was a member of the men's team for Central Ontario that won provincially and competed in the National Open in Winnipeg. As well, he was an aggregate champion on four occasions provincially from 1976 to 2002, and also twice nationally in 1986 and 2002. Brian coached five times provincially and twice won Ontario titles. In 2000, he guided the Central ladies to the provincial title and, in 2004, took the Central men to another championship and a national gold in Gatineau, Quebec. This team was outstanding, setting new Canadian Open single game, as well as personal three and four game, records. While Brian has retired from Open participation, he left his mark with an eight game record score of 2519 bowled in 1978 and a 5978 twenty game qualifying score in 1981.

In the Master Bowlers' Association, Brian won on three occasions provincially, but made a significant contribution nationally at the coaching level. For ten years, from 1991-2000, Brian coached the Ontario tournament men's team and, using a personal one-on-one approach, won six national gold medals, three silver medals and a bronze. In recognition of this effort, Brian was recognized provincially as Coach of the Year in both 1991 and 1996.

On the lanes, Brian won the 1981-82 aggregate championship and represented Ontario in the singles in Newfoundland. Brian followed that experience with three individual wins, the Holiday Inn Classic in 1982, the Rose Festival in 1984 and the 1988 Mixed Triples. Brian also won the 1986 Mark Ten Accuracy championship. The Rose Festival was covered by CHCH Television Channel 11 and Brian also was on television at the same tournament stepladder in 1982 and 1986. Overall, in the Master Bowlers' Association, Brian bowled 1550 games and averaged 251.56, both outstanding totals.

Brian was also active at the administrative level of our sport and served ten years at the local level and three years on the Provincial Board of Directors. The Lake Ontario zone was formed in 1980 and Brian was president for four years. During his term, membership skyrocketed as Brian visited every centre and every league executive to explain the benefits offered by organized bowling. Following his three years at the provincial level, Brian was named Executive for the Year for five pin bowling 1990, and honored by the Lake Ontario Zone for outstanding contribution in 1993.

Brian excelled in league and open events as well. In 1982 he won the singles title in the Metro Toronto Major League and also won the league championship in the same year. A year later, he bowled a perfect game in the prestigious Saturday league at Queensway Bowl in Etobicoke. At Bar Don Lanes in Stoney Creek, Brian won the Hamilton Open and its $2,000 first prize and also beat local champion, John Willock, in the Bar Don 'Beat the Champ' tournament. As well, he won a match play tournament in 1984 at Country Bowl in Whitby defeating Hall of Famer Terry Noon in the final game.

Brian retired from the aircraft business in 2003 and, in November of that year, married Debra Whalen. Following her retirement a year later from Bell Canada, they chose to tour the sunbelt of the United States during the 2005-2006 bowling season. While Brian may have left his bowling days behind, golf continues to be an ongoing pursuit. As recently as 2004, Brian registered an eighteen hole score of 64 at Hornby Towers and, in 2005, at his new home course in Napanee, he recorded his fourth hole-in-one. As you can see, the golf clubs are never far away.