It's that time of year when those of us who have endured a long winter start to emerge from our shanties, often scruffy looking and mumbling to ourselves. Winter can be an emotionally jarring time for golfers, but that's also what makes spring the most exciting time of year...
It is with great pleasure that I introduce a rapidly growing stud in the golf writing and golf architecture space, Garrett Morrison. Garrett has been a teacher for ten years and started writing about golf as a hobby in his spare time. Some of his recent pieces on his blog, such as A 2019 Viewer’s Guide to Architecturally Intriguing Tournament Golf Venues, and his three-part series, Reading St. Andrews, in addition to his part-time contributions to The Fried Egg, have put him on the map of most golf and golf architecture enthusiasts. He recently announced that he is quitting his career as a teacher and making the leap to be a full-time writer and editor at The Fried Egg, which is good news for anyone who loves good golf content. Garrett is a superb writer and thoughtful cat, please enjoy.
I'm a sucker for punishment, so I'm marching on with my tradition of trying to prematurely predict each major champion for the entire year with Golf is Mental’s 6th annual Major Championship Predictions. Last year wasn't my best season for predictions, but that's golf. It's all about how we bounce back, right? I'm feeling rested after an enjoyable off-season, my lift cycles are dialed in, and I'm starting to get my competitive feels back. Here we go.
Episode 11 of A Casual 9 with Canadian golf course architect Jeff Mingay sparked some interesting conversation and left people wanting more. It was suggested we keep it rolling and play an Emergency 9, and Jeff kindly obliged. Please enjoy more insight from one of golf's insightful minds.
I'm not really a New Years resolution type of guy. The concept of waiting until January 1st to instill positive change in one's life is a weird one to me. Why can't we set our minds on doing something positive on March 17th? Or October 21st? Having said that, there is something mentally refreshing about the ol' Gregorian odometer turning over. The start of a new year creates the perception of a clean slate from which to renew our ambitions. As golfers, we need all the help we can get keeping our minds free of unnecessary clutter, and the start of a new year is a good excuse to clean house.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce our second Canadian golf course architect on our Q&A series, A Casual 9. Jeff Mingay has operated his own golf architecture firm, Mingay Golf Course Design, since 2009. Previous to that, Jeff worked under Rod Whitman for nearly a decade where he had a hand in the design and construction of three Canadian gems -- Cabot Links, Blackhawk Golf Club, and Sagebrush (although Sagebrush is currently closed with ownership issues, it has nothing to do with Jeff’s work!). His first solo project was a master plan for Victoria Golf Club in late 2008, with restoration work beginning in 2009 and continuing over the past 10 years and counting with Jeff as the consulting architect. Jeff continues to compile an impressive list of successful projects as a golf course architect and has a tremendous outlook on the game. Please enjoy.
We sat down on the patio adjacent to the first tee for a post-round beer and I excitedly scurried to choose a few photos to post on social media. When it came to describing what I thought about Victoria Golf Club after our maiden voyage, I just went with my gut -- if Pebble Beach and Pasatiempo had a baby and shipped it up to Canada, it would be Victoria Golf Club. Bold, perhaps, but after having some more time to chew on it, I generally stand by my statement.
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Every great golf destination, in addition to good golf, has a distinct sense of place which helps elevate the experience into a uniquely memorable one. Located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with five golf courses, sprawling orchards, wineries, brew pubs, beautiful lakes, beaches, and a longer golf season than much of Canada, Vernon has that sense of place.
Having grown up playing golf in a small town, I have a huge soft spot for small town courses. It has instilled a permanent sense of appreciation for access and affordability, both of which were crucial in giving me the opportunity to fall in love with the game of golf. Sundre Golf Club, located in the small town of Sundre, Alberta, provides not only access and affordability, but a great golf experience to boot.