Trilliums in Northern Ontario
Northern Ontario


Arts and Recreation in Northern Ontario
Golf and Golfing

Maybe God can’t hit one iron – but I can: one player’s recounting of the absurd game of golf in Northern Ontario
by John Waltersson

It’s not exactly a horse race because it’s golf. There are very few horses in golf unless you happen to have a pair harnessed to an old golf cart. Your greenskeeper would not be amused, and you would be spending more time repairing hoof marks than ball marks.

Still – “They’re off!” Golfers, that is, as the 2004 Northern Ontario golf season is off and running.

My first round was at Cedar Green (or Brown, if you prefer – we are talking April, after all) on Saturday, April 17, and it was a good round as opening rounds go. Two birdies, several (arggh) bogeys, and two (give me a razor I’m going to cut my throat) “others.” The job of the last place player on the PGA tour is not in jeopardy. Despite that, the day was fabulous even if it started out on a very depressing note.

A group of us had planned to visit Bonnaire, in Coldwater, always an early opening course, and one that virtually calls to northern golfers. In days past – before global warming, when Easter for golfers meant a lottery on how many more weeks were left before the snow finally disappeared – in those days teeing it up at Bonnaire was almost a social event for your home club. I can remember counting half a dozen foursomes from my home club on various tees on any spring weekend at Bonnaire.

On Saturday, then, the Coldwater club was our planned destination until just before 7:30 AM. The phone rang. One of our group, apparently an insomniac, had been up late or early or all night (we’re still not really sure) watching the Weather Channel. Thunderstorms were forecast for the Coldwater area, and our human barometer had decided that the trip was a no go.

Storms did hit southern Ontario late in the day, with lightning and winds of the tree felling variety, all of which likely would have ruined our trip, so I felt slightly badly about all the abuse we heaped on the man. He had been right, after all, but we weren’t about to concede that until we were certain the weather in Sudbury was excellent – so excellent that our foursome regrouped for the afternoon and put in 18 in Garson. Our season was underway, and it didn’t involve hours on the highway moaning about gas prices.

We weren’t alone. Cedar Green’s parking lot was jammed, and any local driving range that was open (Timberwolf’s was in full swing) was hosting a crowd. It never fails – every new season brings hope to every golfer, old and new, hope that this year is THE year. Dream on.

I mean it – dream on. Golf is a dreamer’s game. I’d been dreaming about birdies all winter and then, suddenly it seemed, weeks before expected, there I was swinging at a real ball on a real course. I even snagged two of those birdies, both legitimate I hasten to add. Nothing bounced in off a rock or a tree or a fellow player. Neither was a conceded putt.

All things considered, 2004 is going to be the best season ever. I know – I’ve seen it in my dreams.



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