Around Town this week
Learn from the experts
This week we launched our Learning Series. It’s going to be me searching for answers on how to become a better golfer. I have lots of questions and I’m going to pose them to various experts covering everything from the swing to fitness, nutrition, strategy and in this week’s issue, mental performance.
I’ve tapped Tim O’Connor, who is not only a golf performance coach but also a writer, podcaster and musician, to answer my first question about how you recover after a disaster. We talk about the 10 Tiger Woods made during the final round on the par-3 12th hole at Augusta last November, and how he managed to recompose himself and birdie five of the last six holes.
Over almost 20 years, Tim and I have talked plenty about the game and also shared some memorable golf experiences. One of the funnier ones happened on a trip to Wales. We were part of a media group playing in the International Pairs tournament at the Roman Roads course at Celtic Manor. Tim and I were partners.
Let me tell you a bit about Tim’s golf game. He has a silky, smooth swing and hits a baby draw. Time after time after time. He owns it. I’ve never seen him hit a fade or slice. So, during the tournament, we come to the 18th hole and Tim is positioned on the left edge of the fairway, about 200 yards out. The pin is tucked on the right and Tim asks me what I think. I suggest he forget about the hole and just hit something to the middle of the green. He says, “I think I can fade a shot in there tight.” A brief discussion ensued where I reminded him he hits a draw. I think he said something like, “I got this.”
Tim lined up for a fade, pulled the trigger and hit his usual baby draw – straight at the people watching from the patio beside the clubhouse. As spectators scrambled, the ball clanged off the clubhouse roof and fell into a garden. We were killing ourselves laughing once we realized nobody was hurt. I think every time we’ve played since, I’ve dared him to “fade one in there.”
Hope you enjoy our discussion.
People on the Move
David White to Executive Professional at Hawk Ridge Golf Club in Orillia. John Wellar to Head Professional at Hawk Ridge. Zac Henderson takes over as Head Professional at Dragon’s Fire Golf Club in Flamborough.
Show me the money
Sad to see the RBC Canadian Open cancelled for a second consecutive year. I don’t imagine that Golf Canada had much choice. Taking it to another venue in Canada at this late date would have been a stretch and with travel quarantines still in effect, it’s doubtful too many players would have crossed the border to play anyway. The PGA Tour said that they would look to replace the Canadian Open on the schedule for one year only and I expect we’ll hear something about that next week. The Tour is very careful not to make any announcements during Players Championship week. Would it be a huge surprise if RBC is the sponsor for the fill-in event? They’ve already budgeted the money.
No development at Beacon Hall …. so far
Last week we noted a story by Andrew Willis in the Globe and Mail about Beacon Hall members voting on a $250,000,000 offer to buy their golf course. On Sunday, the results of the vote were made public and showed that there weren’t enough YES votes to reach the required 66.7% threshold. The sale would have netted each member $960,000. I guess there are some people who just don’t need another million.
The Big Tease
Unseasonably warm temperatures this past week have lots of people speculating about an early start to the golf season. With the thermometer pushing close to 20 degrees and snow almost gone, it won’t be long before the phones start ringing in pro shops across Southern Ontario. I’ve heard a few GM’s talking about an April 1 start. Excuse me if I don’t get excited yet. If memory serves, this happens every year. Then along about the first week of April, we get a big dump of snow, followed by freezing temperatures or freezing rain, and it’s the first of May before it’s safe to venture back outside. No doubt, COVID lockdowns, work from home and social distancing have given everybody cabin fever but I’ll need more convincing before I put away the snow shovel.
Have a great week!