It was very windy last night and didn’t let up today. I was due to golf at Calgary Golf and Country Club with a fellow golf blogger Josh and his wife Beth, however due to tree snapping wind (he tweeted me a photo) we postponed the round to Friday.
I had an easy run to the course and didn’t have to use the GPS – Calgary is pretty easy to get around – then hitched a ride on the shuttle to the media centre.
I got chatting to Bill Graveland from The Canadian Press over breakfast and we talked golf and writing and travel and curling before I shouldered my bag and headed out into the wind.
It was not as cold as yesterday however there were winter coats and beanies (toques for the Canucks) and gloves on many volunteers.
Once again I started at the practice areas watching the women finesse their skills. I watch and learn and can’t wait to get to a range and practice some of the drills.
I then stopped in the CP Has Heart Activity Zone chatted to the volunteers there, took a few photos and headed off to the 10th deciding I was going to walk the back 9.
I was quite warm as I was walking at a steady pace stopping to watch the practice rounds, the numerous shots from areas they would hit their tee shots then the practice putts to the various pin positions.
The rough here is very thick and one of the volunteers (a member at the course) said that quite a few members have lost balls lately as the rough has been left to make the course more difficult for the elite ladies. Usually it is a little more forgiving.
As I wandered around the course taking photos and tweeting I stopped and chatted with numerous volunteers. I’m sure they were bored as there wasn’t much going on and play was slow.
I stopped to watch a deer eat, snapped a couple of photos before walking on down the hill as the deer bounded away. They actually bound – the kangaroos of Canada.
Heading past the 14th I got chatting to Baz Wheeler who was driving around saying hello and kissing babies (his words not mine). We talked about our various golf histories and he told me he kind of hates me. Due to the amount of golf I have played in such a short time.
We chatted about junior golf in Calgary and as he stopped to chat with some volunteers I marched up the hill. He then stopped asking if I wanted a ride which I readily accepted as we drove the icy wind hit me. I was fine walking at a brisk pace but on the cart I was freezing.
Baz stopped and chatted with every volunteer we passed, checking in, having a laugh and seemed to be loving what he was doing.
We parted ways at the 17th and I headed into the media centre for a cup of tea.
I saw Bill and we chatted about Lori Kane’s interview this afternoon (which I was due to miss) and he introduced me to a couple other media folk, Peter and Eric. We had a good golf chat and as lunch had just been served, I filled a plate and joined them.
Just as we finished eating, two Calgarians, Jennifer Ha and Jaclyn Lee, joined us for a press conference.
As they got wired up and sat down to speak, the wind picked up and I exchanged a quizzical glance with Eric as we had being joking about the tent blowing over.
Both girls spoke of being inspired by Lori Kane and Jennifer spoke in awe of playing two rounds with Lori in a recent tournament and Lori then helping her with her chipping.
Jennifer said that while the the Symetra Tour is great competition practice, it can get a little lonely at times and she was happy to be playing in her home town. Both girls are very excited to be playing in front of their friends and family and said they had even seen some of their old school teachers kicking around the course.
Josh advised that the ugly weather meant we needed to postpone our round this afternoon, so Friday it is.
That said the weather can change pretty quickly here and rolls through just as fast.
At least there was no snow nearby today.
I had a quick chat with Gavin Roth from Golf Canada who I had met at the RBC Canadian Open then grabbed a cup of tea and headed out into the wind.
Back to the putting green I watched for a while before heading back to the range. I met Patrick from the LPGA who is a legal stalker (my words not his) as he drives around checking the players are all ok and chasing them up for various duties.
Not a bad gig really.
The sun came out and I closed my eyes loving the feel of the warmth on my face.
More sun, less wind please weather man.
I hit the 18th green and had quite the golf chat with volunteer, Trent before making my way back to the media tent.
As I sat down to start some Fairways work, Lori Kane walked in as it was too windy to have a press conference at the 9th green, which was the original plan.
I don’t know Lori but I know her sister Mary-Lynn and her nieces Char & Marcie as I train with them on PEI and have also met her father Jack. Lori is so much like ML, in speech and mannerisms, I liked her immediately.
She spoke of becoming a pro late (29) and taking a little while to win and then winning some more and her wish to play at the Olympics but readily admitting she just didn’t have the game. She has twice been awarded the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award for Canadian Female Athlete of the Year and tonight she is being inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
Not bad at all from a girl from my adopted home, Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island.
Tonight’s induction was a closed event with no media as she wanted to share this with her family and friends who were instrumental in helping her achieve so much. She was hoping to be able to sit back and enjoy it, as she said “…as athletes we are told to look forward and never spend time in the past” and she hasn’t ever really taken the time to reflect on all she has achieved.
Lori is a great ambassador for the game, a leader in the sport and I was very pleased to have missed my afternoon of golf to hear her speak.