I play golf because I love the game and everything that comes along with playing it -- time with friends/family, exercise, challenge, purpose, and a post-round beer, to name only a few things. This doesn't mean there aren't sporadic feelings of frustration and betrayal. Most of us who play the game, in many ways, experience the emotions of being in a lopsided relationship. It feels at times as though we love golf more than golf loves us. We put so much into it and at times get nothing back on the scorecard. When it feels like golf is betraying us, we swear coming off the 18th green that we need to take a break, just to wake up the next morning with renewed optimism, that our next effort or tweak will encourage golf to be more faithful to us.
Despite getting emails on a daily basis with requests to write about golf gadgets or the next great golf idea, I don't publish very many product reviews. To be blunt, there's a lot of bad ideas out there. Having said that, when I come across something I think my readers would be interested in and may not already know about, I'm willing to give it a go. When I found out about Peak Vision through a social media connection, I checked out their website and was very intrigued by a company dedicated to making sunglasses with golf in mind, and was keen when the opportunity arose to test out their product.
I’m excited to introduce our first Club Professional on A Casual 9, Frederic Teno II. Fred has been an Associate Professional at one of Canada’s best private clubs, The Calgary Golf and Country Club, for the past 5 years. Fred played competitively for many years as an amateur and has also been a senior project manager in the General Motors IT department, has caddied on the LPGA, is a trained chef, and golf architecture nerd. The biggest feather in his cap is probably having the patience to take me on as a student and best-ball partner in the Calgary Golf Association's Riley's Best Ball over the past few years. Fred is one of the most genuine golf pros I’ve met, and easily one of the most underrated in Canada. Please enjoy.
While there is still a grotesque amount of snow on the ground here in Calgary, the days are getting longer and people are starting to agree with me that Tiger is going to win The Masters, which means spring is in the air and it's time to get fired up for the season.
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.
The winners have been drawn! Also, other things to look forward to in 2018, including more giveaways, new hats, and introducing Golf is Mental Year End Follower Awards.
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.