When I think about the town of Canmore, the first things that usually come to mind are the hardcore outdoor activities such as back country skiing, mountain biking and rock climbing. However, our recent visit to Canmore Golf and Curling Club set me straight -- Canmore is also a very proud golf town. The Canmore G&CC was born in 1926 when local residents comprised primarily of coal miners and businessmen funded the building of the first 9 holes with sand greens, coffee cans for holes, and a membership fee of $5.
I am pumped to finally announce a little project I've been working on - The Golf is Mental Hat Shop. I wanted to give my faithful email subscribers the first look at The Hat Shop before announcing it on social media, so here it is.
I am stoked to feature our first golf course architect on A Casual 9, Riley Johns. A fellow Canadian, Riley grew up in the Rocky Mountains near Banff Springs Golf Club and developed an appreciation for the game and the natural beauty within landscapes at a young age. Riley first started working on the course maintenance side of the golf business, then later worked for golf course construction contractors and architects where he developed many years of field experience building and shaping courses, then furthered his learning with a degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design. Riley has been fortunate to be mentored along the way by some of the great golf architects of our time – Tom Doak, Bill Coore, and Rod Whitman. Riley started his own golf architecture firm, Integrative Golf Design, back in 2013 and has not looked back. Please enjoy.
Stay patient. So simple. Why is it so difficult sometimes? I've struggled staying patient on the course at times. In my previous blog entry I wrote about how patience was taken over by frustration in our first round of the Calgary Golf Association's Riley's Best Ball event, which knocked us to the consolation side. Since then we've mustered up a couple wins and found ourselves in the consolation quarter-final match last night on the Hawk course at Priddis Greens G&CC. It has taken me a while to implement relentless patience this season, but I have started to find some recently.
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.