A few days ago, Blair and I were invited to play in a fun scramble at Pine Grove Golf Course in Sudbury, Ontario. Bruce, my brother in law, extended the invitation to play in the Mine Mill Local 598 Unifor Retirees Tournament which we could not refuse. Bruce also invited Jack to play, thus rounding out our 4-man team. I have to say that it was one of the more enjoyable rounds of golf I have played in some time. I hope Bruce includes us again next year because Blair and I are ready for another shot at Pine Grove.
Pine Grove is a short course compared to my usual tracks. At a par 64, there are 9 par 3, 1 par 5, and 8 par 4 holes, it has more to offer than meets the eye. Except to 3 holes measuring over 400 yards, the course is tight and required all our shot making skill to be in position to score well. But, do not let the length of the course confuse you, the great equalizer of this course was the greens. The rolled true and there was no flat spot anywhere. It was a great challenge putting on the greens because it test all aspects of our short game.
Our team consisted of Bruce, Jack, Blair and myself. We were a perfect match because they had the experience and Blair and I were the youth! Actually, all kidding aside; Jack was 76, Bruce in his mid 60s; Blair and I were in our 50s. Actually, we melded well as a team and had a great time poking fun at each other for the entire round.
Bruce was our course knowledge expert. He knew where to hit, what was the best club selection, and how the greens would roll. Bruce made some great putts and a few long shots off the tee (he was proud that he out drove me on one of the holes). He is a consistent player who understands how to make the most advantage of a difficult situation. We were fortunate to have him on the team because he directed to a third place finish.
Jack was the elder statesman of the team. He was a smooth player who gleaned every ounce out of his game. He hit the ball very straight and kept us in play 90% of the time. However, his greatest asset was on the greens. He read everything perfectly and putted like a pro. He made at least 5 critical putts and burned the edges on at least 6 more holes. To top of that, Jack was an import from Florida; he was a true gentlemen and I learned a fair bit from him about working the green to my advantage.
This tournament was a bit different. We played in two groups of four and that was a pleasant surprise. We played against Jim, Tim, Gord and Roger. They were of our vintage and were not shy of expressing what they were thinking. Gord was the funniest of the groups because no matter which team hit a poor shot he would state: “why the $%#^^^ did you hit it there!” Yup, I received a few of those comments as well. These guys were fantastic and I hope to play golf with them again sometime in the future!
We started on the 15th hole. It looks more difficult that it was because of the elevation difference. We had 3 shots on the green and guess how made the birdie putt? Yup, it was Jack. He actually carried us for the first 3 holes. After that, Blair, Bruce and I woke up and started to help with the score. The great thing about our team is that everyone contributed. There was no time when any of us dominated with the most shots; everyone helped us finish 6 under.
Playing Pine Grove Golf Course was a great challenge. The tournament was extremely well organzied and considering the number of players (144), everything went extremely smooth. A big shout out to the tournament organizers on a job very well done! The tournament was great fun and the company on the course was fantastic. We had a fantastic time and Blair and I are grateful that Bruce invited us to play. Thanks Bruce.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!