Perched up in the Santa Clara mountains in Santa Cruz, California, is a little 6500 yard Alister MacKenzie gem you may have heard about. The fact that MacKenzie lived out the last years of his life along the 6th hole and had his ashes spread over the course says a lot about this place and what it meant to him. On our latest trip to the Monterey Peninsula, we took the one-hour drive north to Santa Cruz to see what all the fuss is about.
I am pleased to introduce our first playing professional on A Casual 9, Wes Heffernan. Wes is a journeyman pro who grinded his way through the ranks, and along the way picked up 9 professional wins, including 5 Alberta Open titles and 4 wins on the Mackenzie Tour (PGA Tour Canada). Wes has competed in 2 U.S. Open Championships, and in 2011 at Congressional (the year Rory ran away with it) fired a back-nine 31 in the second round to make his first major championship cut. Please enjoy.
The tradition of trying to prematurely predict each major champion for the entire year continues with Golf is Mental’s 5th annual Major Championship Predictions. I seem to do this earlier and earlier each year, because sometimes in golf the less time you spend grinding over something and the less info you try to process, the better.
The Valley Course at Bear Mountain Resort, located in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, is often referred to as the slightly tamer of the two Jack Nicklaus designed courses on property, but it is by no means tame. You are still treated to a thrilling and challenging mountain golf experience with elevation changes, beautiful views, tough greens, and a remote feel to each hole.
For this episode of A Casual 9, I am humbled to have the provincial governing body for golf in Alberta since 1912 — Alberta Golf — join us. Alberta Golf is a subsidiary of our national governing body, Golf Canada, and conducts amateur championships within Alberta, including the Alberta Men’s and Ladies’ Amateur, The Alberta Open, and many more. They also run programs for junior golf development, performance development, grow the game initiatives, they administer the Rules of Golf and the handicap system within Alberta, provide scholarship programs, and more. Please enjoy.
I continue to be humbled by all the amazing golf courses we’ve been able to play and write about over the years, and looking back on 2017, it was no exception. Our 2017 journeys took us to the California desert, Vancouver Island, the Monterey Peninsula, Ontario, and the Canadian Rockies. Needless to say, there was no shortage of tremendous courses to discover for the first time.
With my off-season training in full swing, I thought it would be appropriate to get a dose of golf fitness information by welcoming the founder and owner of DM (Dynamic Motion) Golf Performance, Shannon Heffernan, on A Casual 9. Shannon has a Master’s degree in Kinesiology, is a Class “A” teaching professional, a TPI-3 Golf Fitness Coach and TPI-3 Golf Instructor. Her combined knowledge of the body, the golf swing, and fitness has turned DM Golf Performance into the go-to golf fitness facility in Calgary. Please enjoy.
Unless we’re talking about a fine red wine, not many things get better with age by sitting idol, particularly golf courses. It takes hard work, innovation and a willingness to not only maintain, but improve over time. This is why many courses actually get worse, whether it’s from overgrowth, complacency, or even evolving public perception as to what a “good” course is. Poppy Hills Golf Course, located along famed 17-mile drive in Pebble Beach, California, was a course that made a commitment to be better.