Saturday was a cool day for yours truly – I made the almost two hour drive in pouring rain to Otterville to play in a Golf Club Atlas outing with architects Ian Andrew and Dick Kirkpatrick, along with journalists Robert Thompson, Guy Nicholson and Jeff Brooke and engineer Dave Kemp.
The venue was Kirkpatrick’s own design, Otter Creek, which opened last summer.
We got very lucky with the weather, as it cleared up just before our tee time and the sun would even break through by hole number two.
I had a great time talking architecture with these experts. I played the front nine with Robert and Dave and we’d switch things up a bit on the back, giving me the chance to play with Ian and Dick. It couldn’t have worked out better!
I loved hearing the story of how the 14th hole came to be at Otter Creek from Dick then listened as he and Ian discussed the green site at 15 and the deception built into that surface, as putts broke opposite to what your eyes would initially tell you.
The fun moment for me came on the 378 yard par four 16th, a hole that plays downhill almost all the way from the tee, with a flat section around 150 yards before heading downhill again to the green. I wanted to play a 4-iron to the flat area but Dick encouraged me to hit Driver.
“You can get it right down the hill!”, he exclaimed.
So I listened to the expert and nailed it perfectly down the hill, leaving only a 35 yard pitch.
You should have seen the smile on his face when I made bogey from there. Haha! The little hole got me!
At the end of the round, we had a lengthy discussion about the controversial 9th and 18th holes and how they came to be. Dick had some environmental issues to deal with on the 18th and the owner also vetoed a couple of design choices, much to Dick’s chagrin.
Needless to say, it was a very interesting day and one that was topped off by going to Ian’s house for barbeque and beers on his back patio.
I hope to get out with all those great people again sometime next year. Just a great day!
The only things that weren’t great this weekend were my scores: 82 at Otter Creek and 81 at St. Catharines on Sunday. I only hit four greens in regulation on Sunday, as my iron play continues to suffer tremendously. I think I’m having posture-related issues right now, with too many moving parts. I’ve got to quiet things down with the swing.
Tomorrow, I get the rare chance to play some weekday golf, as my father and I head to Glen Abbey for the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halton charity tournament. We’ve been lucky enough to participate in this event for the last four years after winning it in ’07 and it’s always cool teeing it up at the Abbey, which will be hosting the Canadian Open once again in July.
It’s very low-key, with the shamble format keeping the pace quick on a tough golf course. It will give me the chance to let loose with the swing a bit without any pressure to score and I’ve used this tournament in the past as a way of working on my game.
Should be a fun day for a great cause!
And of course, the big news is Harry’s pending nuptials, which are taking place on Sunday afternoon at Legends on the Niagara to his lovely fiance Sarah. Harris is even playing golf on Sunday morning! Well, we’ll see about that 😉
The wifey and I are very much looking forward to the ceremony. Should be a great weekend and I hope the weather is good for their big day.