I flew in from Prince Edward Island last night, arrived at my accommodation in Mississauga and thought my research had sorted my transport needs to Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville.
I was wrong.
Maps informed me to walk 1.7kms to get the 45 bus which I had no problem with. I spoke with the bus driver about connecting with the 19 bus and where it stopped. He had no idea but I got off on the right stop and went to find the connecting one. Turns out that stop only runs busses in the afternoon. So I called a cab – I should have phoned an uber (which I will tomorrow).
The taxi took just under an hour to arrive after five phone calls and constant assurance it was minutes away. All the while I was googling car hire and phoning companies for availability although I didn’t like the idea of hiring a car to sit in a paddock next to a golf course for 8 hours.
Finally a taxi arrived.
What should have been a 25 minute commute turned into two and a half hours.
But I made it.
I headed up the blue carpet into Glen Abbey Golf Club smiling as I thought about the next seven days chock full of golf – I even plan to play once while in town (that is another story altogether).
I asked directions and made my way to the Shaw Media Centre and had a chat with Taylor while I collected my pass. Taylor is new to golf this year is loving the challenge. She, like me, hates being bad at anything.
I grabbed my pass and headed out.
There was quite a bit of excited energy around the groups getting ready to play the pro am. I followed a couple that were off to practice and had a golf chat with a volunteer handing out practice balls.
I love watching golfers set up in their own unique way. The endless variations of a similar stance, yet we all have idiosyncrasies.
I watched some putting and chipping drills while having a great chat with another volunteer/caddy for the day for an amateur playing with Garett Rank.
As everyone headed off to tee up, in front of me I noticed a golfer and his caddy with Ferrier scrawled across his back.
I assumed there was the only Ferrier playing, called out to Branson and introduced myself. We had tweeted last week to arrange a golf chat and a professional player profile while at the RBC Canadian Open.
We had a quick chat. He was excited to be playing and I was excited to be there but his brother, who was caddying for him today, not so excited about carrying the heavy bag in the hot sun.
I then headed back to the media centre and got talking with Mark Williams from the PGA Tour Media Team. We swapped golf stories and I told him all about Fairways, meeting the juniors we have sponsored and the excitement of the kids.
Who would have thought that two years after I picked up a club I would now be CEO of Fairways and working to develop golf and grow the game at the grassroots.
After lunch and my chat with Mark I headed out to watch some of the golfing action. The 17th tee is right outside the media centre and Branson Ferrier was teeing off so I decided to follow him for a couple of holes and tweet a few photos.
I spoke with all the volunteers as I went up and down the 17th and 18th and we are all excited about watching the amazing golfers this week that will be part of this fantastic event.
I nearly didn’t recognize Graham DeLaet freshly shaven with a smooth chin.
I heard rumours about Jason Day having a spot of practice but didn’t see him and am not too worried as I am sure I will be able to watch his warm up later in the week.
I headed back to the practice area and watched Bryson DeChambeau hitting a few balls then stopping to speak with everyone who called out to him.
I first saw Bryson at the Australian Open and thought how good he was with the juniors always stopping and giving them signed cards as he walked from hole to hole.
Tomorrow he is conducting a CN Future Links Junior Clinic at nearby RattleSnake Point Golf Club.
All I need to do is hitch a ride with someone else from the media centre.
Can’t wait for more golfing action tomorrow.