A Hole In One on Opening Day!

How would you like to start your 2018 golf season with a hole in one? I know I sure would! My friend Jeff did that exact thing. Although our season has not started, Jeff’s home course of Paragon Golf and Country Club opened yesterday and he took full advantage of playing golf as early as possible. Continue reading

An Unexpected Surprise on the Golf Course

Grateful GolferYesterday, I was in Kingston, Nova Scotia, Canada, as part of my vacation. During our trip down memory lane, I took the opportunity to visit Paragon Golf and Country Club. This track has a special place in my heart because it was the home course of my Mom. She passed a few years ago, but my memory of playing golf with her is still very fresh! When my Mom passed, the family decided to donate a bench in her memory. So I thought I would take a picture while I was there.

When I arrived, I quickly popped into the Pro Shop and asked if I could head out and take some pictures of the course and the bench. Unexpectedly, but not being surprised at the Nova Scotia hospitality, Barb gave me a key to a cart and said to take my time. I will be posting the pictures and providing a review of this gem at a later date.

While cruising around the course, I happened across two older ladies enjoying their round. I patiently drove up behind them and asked if I could pass by because I was just taking some pictures. While starting to pass, Sue and Joan asked where I was from and the conversation started.

We stopped at the 14th tee (which is where my Mom’s bench was) and started to chat. These elderly ladies actually knew my Mom and played many rounds of golf with her. We talked for about 5 minutes and I explained that I was taking pictures for my blog and that I was on vacation. They asked when was the last time I played and I said about 3 weeks ago.

Suddenly, Joan asked if I wanted to hit a couple of balls off the tee. Never one to pass up the chance to hit golf balls, I happily agreed. First, both Sue and Joan split the middle of the fairway with their drives; so the pressure was on for me to do the same. Joan offered her driver and a couple of old balls and to the tee box I went.

Surprisingly, I crushed both balls down the middle of the fairway. During my swing, I slowed my tempo down considerably because the club had a very flexible shaft. After making solid contact, I was very pleased with the results. Picking up the tee, both ladies suggested they would use the balls I hit and laughed. After returning Joan’s club, the ladies waved good-bye as they drove off.

Meeting these ladies was a chance encounter that brightened my day. Both were fantastic to talk to and I was grateful for how positively they talked about my Mom. Thanks Sue and Joan for making this year’s trip to Paragon a memorable one.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the special people who make our lives awesome! My Mom passed three years ago, but I think of her every day and thank my lucky stars that she guided me through my life. She was a loving, good-humoured, and strong woman who always knew exactly what to say and at the right time. She was a great influence in my life and I love her dearly!

My Mom was also known for here insatiable desire to become a better golfer. In 2013 and 2014, I talked about some unique golfing stories that were dear to my heart and this year will be no different!

There is one aspect about my Mom that many people do no not know; she was a fierce competitor. When this mild-mannered saint walked to the first tee, a transformation occurred and it was all about playing well and shooting the lowest score possible. Most who knew my Mom would never have guessed, but it is true! For those who wonder where I get my competitive edge from….well, thanks Mom!

For those who do not believe it, let me tell you a story about the Strawberry Classic held at the Paragon Golf and Country Club in Kingston, Nova Scotia, Canada. Mom was 68 years old when this particular story took place.

The Strawberry Classic is a fun 2-day tournament with an interesting format. Each team had to consist of a man and a women.

The first day, we played a Pinehurst Format. For those who do not know what this is:

Also known as Chapman System, Pinehurst (or Pinehurst System) is a 2-person team competition format. The “inventor,” Dick Chapman, came up with the format at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. Hence, the format is Chapman or Pinehurst. And, for good measure, it is less frequently referred to as American Foursomes. In the Pinehurst System, both players tee off, then they switch golf balls. Player A plays Player B’s drive, and vice-versa. Each player hits the second shot. They then select the best of the second shots, and from that point until the ball is holed they play only one ball in an alternate shot format. (about.com)

The second day we played a scramble format:

2-person scrambles are popular and handicaps are usually applied. In our case I was an 8 and my Mom was 22, and we ended up with 8 strokes (8+22= 30; divide by 2; divide by 2) In a scramble, each player tees off on each hole. The best of the tee shots is chosen and all players play their second shots from that spot. The best of the second shots is picked, then all play their third shots from that spot, and so on until the ball ends up in the bottom of the cup. We also had to use at least 3 drives from each player.

As we walked to the first tee, our strategy was in place, and unfortunately our plans did not make it past the first hole. Our plan was to have Mom chip into all the greens as she felt that was the best part of her game. After the first hole, it became apparent (much to the frustration of my Mom) that I would end up chipping into most greens. Well, this change of strategy worked out for the best because Mom was putting the lights-out! Her best putt was the 65 footer she made for birdie. I can still envision her strutting towards the golf cart now! As her confidence grew, her putting improved. By the end of the day, our score of 2 over par 74 was good enough for first place in our flight!

After a night of strategizing and discussing each hole, we were ready for another great day on the links. Mom was ready and had thoughts of winning the whole event! After a slow start, we fought our way back to shoot an even par 72 for the second day. It was a day of smiles, frowns and laughter. But through it all, Mom never lost focus on scoring well.

As a result of our play, we won low gross for A Flight and were only two strokes off for low gross of the entire tournament! Mom was over the moon. Over the next two years we played in the Strawberry Classic, we only finished second in our flight. Mom loved playing in the tournament together, but secretly I think she was trying to make her way back to the winner’s circle.

I think of my Mom every day! She always knew the right things to say, at the right time. She loved to talk about golf and frequently asked my advice. I miss talking to her and although she is gone, she is never forgotten.

Happy Mother’s Day!