Now, this is the 19th rated golf course in Canada according to ScoreGolf Magazine so it is well respected. However, it tends to get criticized often due to the fact it has hosted so many Canadian Opens and the pros kind of get sick of playing the same place all the time.
I think if it was part of a normal rotation (like it will be in the future), the pros would think more highly of the place.
I played out there this past Thursday in the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halton charity tournament, an event I’ve been privileged enough to attend for four of the last five years.
Now, I’ll admit the small putting surfaces aren’t everyone’s favourite but they certainly test your iron game. Jack Nicklaus, the course designer, utilizes pretty wide fairways so it’s definitely playable off the tee but it takes exacting approaches to score well at the Abbey.
We played a Texas Scramble (pick the best drive then everyone in your group plays their own ball the rest of the way), which gave me the opportunity to swing without worrying about scoring results, something I desperately needed.
And it worked out well for me – I drove the ball as well as I have all year and constantly left myself with 9-irons and wedges for my approach shots, definitely a recipe for success. My team ended up using 16 of my 18 tee shots (no limit per player this year) and 17 of my 18 scores, as I shot an even par round of 73 on my own ball in the shamble format.
We weren’t even remotely close to winning the event, finishing 6 shots back of the eventual winners but we had a great day on an excellent course. I played with my father and a couple of business partners. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!
I used that confidence booster to positive effect on Saturday, shooting a very solid 74 (+2) from the tips at St. Catharines, making four birdies in the process. Everything was on form – I drove it well, hit enough greens and putted really well (26 on the day). Heck, I even won a couple of bucks, although I only won a single skin even with four birds while Harry won three skins with a birdie and two pars. Unreal!
Golf is a cruel game and I found that out the hard way on Sunday, as it would take me eleven holes to finally hit a green in regulation.
That’s right…eleven holes!
I’d go birdie-less on Sunday and double our last hole, the par four ninth for an 82 (+10), continuing my amazingly inconsistent year on the links. My driver was mediocre, my iron play deplorable and my putting was sorry, as I missed a couple of two footers in succession on the front nine and couldn’t recover.
Thankfully, my mood brightened later that afternoon, as I attended Harris’ wedding at Legends on the Niagara.
It was a lovely ceremony and the bride and groom both looked great. They got really lucky with the weather too, as the sun came out just in time for their pictures and once they were over, the skies opened back up and it rained for the rest of the night.
Really fun night and I’m thrilled for Harris and his bride Sarah – the wife and I set the two lovebirds up and wish them all the best in their lives together.
Harris: you owe me a round at Magna or something. And a hundred bucks.
“DJ hit that beat one time!”
Or something like that. I’m not very hip. 😉
Lots of golf coming up. I have taken the day off tomorrow and will once again try to play St. Thomas Golf and Country Club for the first time. If you remember, we were thwarted in our efforts to play the top 100 course two years ago due to thunder, lightning and rain.
Just our luck that the forecast for tomorrow is showing a 90% chance of rain and thunderstorms. Wonderful. Oh yeah, St. Thomas is about two and a half hours away by car. Keep your fingers crossed for us, as I’ll be heading west with Cal, Ryan and Dr. Greg at the crack of dawn.
We have Canada Day on Wednesday, a national holiday and I’ll be playing that morning as well. Plus Saturday and Sunday golf at the club, with my first round Langley Cup match taking place on the Sunday.
Hopefully I will have a few more rounds in the 70s to talk about next week!