Glencoe Golf & Country Club – August 2016 Today I had the pleasure of golfing with Glencoe Superintendant, Kerry Watkins, Brock Coates (his 2IC) and Jo Hruska, who is on the Board at Glencoe Golf and Country Club – my 84th course in 2 years.
While the weather was poor yesterday, today it was the perfect day for golf.
I arrived about 40 minutes early and had a golf chat in the pro shop with Yvonne and a couple of other staff chatting about my golfing adventures and of course Fairways. Yvonne took one of my cards, as her brother has worked his way up to being a golf pro in Bolivia and runs programs for juniors and she said he would definitely be interested in what I am doing and plans on putting us in touch.
As it was getting close to my tee time I headed to the starters hut advising who I am and was introduced to Jo and Brock as we waited for Kerry to join us.
We decided to play a match play with boys versus girls and all play from the white/gold tees depending on the hole. We were playing The Meadows course (Lakes 9 & Slopes 9) as The Forest was having maintenance until 12pm and Kerry had to get to his son’s hockey later in the afternoon.
We teed off, smiling and chatting down the fairway. Kerry and I are both friends with Gordon Moir, who had told me to contact Kerry while I was in town so we swapped stories about our visits with Gordon at St Andrews and then Brock mentioned his flatmate Josh who also knows Gordon and who Gordon spoke of only yesterday.
Golf is a small world.
The weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny with not much wind and it was glorious out there. We could do naught but smile.
I asked about the design and the damage following flooding a few years back but the thing I was most impressed about is the membership.
Not just because they have a healthy 2800 members, the impressive part is the ratio of 1:1 female to male. This is the first course I have played where there is no disparity in membership.
I also loved seeing a lot of junior members out golfing today.
I played my usual game of good and great with mediocre and rubbish thrown in amongst it. I topped my 3w a couple times (trying to whack the crap out of it) and then hit some stunning shots with it later.
My driving was great and I smashed drive after drive but Brock was just out of our league – driving the par 4’s. His putting though – well he was making some great pars.
We teased and taunted as we challenged each other yet celebrated each others golf. Between us we all dropped some amazing putts and I was delighted with some of the putts off my club and yet I also four putted.
We had some great golf chat going on with all of us sharing stories about our golfing adventures.
The course is in wonderful condition thanks to Kerry, Brock and the rest of his staff and you can see the respect and camaraderie they have with one another. Some close hugging after Brock dropped his birdie putt but not too much inappropriate touching hahaha.
The greens are hard and run true and I do believe are the best in the world according to Jo (she may have thrown in some colourful commentary around this).
There is a lot of water on the front nine and the bunkers were glistening like jewels in the sun. Jo’s ball had a sand magnet and her sand shots were fabulous. I managed two great bunker shots – one a 7 iron from the fairway and another green side but the rest of my bunker work was mediocre at best.
We talked about Fairways and they asked me how I got the idea and how it has evolved into heading to India arranging lessons for juniors in West Bengal. They were impressed with the amount of work we have achieved to date and may even host a Fairways fundraiser next year as part of our Summer Solstice Challenge.
As we headed to the back nine Kerry asked what time I had to leave to head to the CP Canadian Women’s Open saying I should try and get on The Forest course this afternoon.
I decided to stay and do exactly that, so Jo and I got a tee time to head out as soon as we finished our round with the boys.
In our match, Jo and I had started off well and were three up by the 7th yet dropped to even by the 10th and then by the 16th we were down a hole and after holing out we had lost the match.
Not a bad showing by us and we all had a fantastic round in great company.
I shot 99 with a few pars but 7 seemed to be my number today.
After taking our leave of Kerry, Brock, Jo and I stopped for a quick snack as Mike Kenney (the General Manager) walked by. Jo introduced us asking if Mike had five minutes for a chat.
Jo told me to tell him what I was doing and while Kerry had given Mike a little information about me, I filled in the gaps. I do believe he was quite surprised at what I was doing and how deep into golf I was considering I only started playing two years ago.
He and Brock walked us to the first tee and waved us off as Jo and I headed down to accept the challenge of The Forest.
I started with twin sevens then on the 5th had a great birdie with two fantastic golf shots and when we hit the 7th we were joined by John, Jo’s husband.
It was silent and golden in the late afternoon sunshine and my only lament was I had to leave before finishing as I had dinner plans with my Calgarian hosts.
The Forest course is much tighter than The Meadows and is less forgiving. I hit some great golf shots yet the bounce was terrible and instead of a par I ended up with an 8. But that is golf and it doesn’t stop me smiling.
I was happy to get a couple of pars on the back 9, putting off the green on the 13th dropping a great putt after two very mediocre golf shots.
The Forest, being only a few years old, is tough to navigate as the greens are very hard and the ball just runs. I did change up a little from how I played The Meadows and was incorporating some of my links golf shots which worked quite well.
I had an amazing day with wonderful people and wasn’t too upset that I missed the ProAm at the CP Canadian Women’s Open.
Enjoying the company of great people on the golf course quickly translates into having made new friends and I definitely made new friends today.
I am sure I will golf with all of them again – somewhere in the world.