Lightning never strikes twi.. Oh.

24 08 2014
On the left, Mr. Len Doyle. On the right, Mr Wayne Wood. In the middle, the man who knows this is the only way he's going to get to pose with the Canadian Pairs trophy.

On the left, Mr Len Doyle. On the right, Mr Wayne Wood. In the middle, the man who knows this is the only way he’s going to get to pose with the Canadian Pairs trophy.

Long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, Len Doyle won a golf tournament.¬† The Canadian Pairs qualifier at Glacier Greens. This was in the days when young Leonard¬† was less of a hacker than he is now and also happened to have a talented partner by the name of Jim Livingstone. Len never tires of telling the story of how he and Jim went to Ontario and had a great time. The details of the actual golf they played there remain shrouded in mystery – I can only assume they didn’t do too well – but the fact that they won the qualifier means that before every competition Len enters at Glacier Greens he’s keen to describe himself and his partner as ‘pre-tournament favourites’.

Somewhat more recently – in 2011, in fact – Wayne Wood (along with partner Dave Sheppard) – also won the Canadian Pairs qualifier. By that time, the finals had moved a little closer to home – Crown Isle, in fact. I happened to be officiating at that tournament and I remember two things about it: firstly, that Dave Sheppard was still recovering from a serious illness and could hardly swing a club, and secondly, that it poured with rain the entire weekend. At one point, they stopped play for three hours and Wayne and Dave went home to dry off before coming back to finish their round and get soaked all over again.

So yesterday we held the 2014 edition of the Canadian Pairs qualifier at Glacier Greens and you would be right in guessing that Len and Wayne brought home the bacon. With a barely credible (certainly if you’ve ever seen either of them in action) best ball net score of 57 points, they beat Nick Mykitiuk and Rudge Wilson by a couple of shots, with the Phil Ball/Wayne Mabee and Liz Stirrett/Dave Wacowich partnerships a further shot behind. These guys were all in the ‘close but no cigar’ category’, although they did all win sleeves of Titleists or Callaways for their efforts. Beaten into 5th place (the ‘no cigar, no golf balls, thanks for coming out’ category) were Rob Borland and Warren Brandson, who left the course thinking they might have placed higher but were undone by a slight scorecard malfunction by their playing partner whose name it would be a little unkind to mention. Right, Karl?

If you’re wondering how I fared in my own competition, well wonder no more. As is now traditional, I picked a new partner this year (‘Spread the Blame’ is my motto) and Billy V and myself finished comfortably off the pace. I only have to mention the words ‘Canadian Pairs’ and ‘partner’ in the same sentence and people start looking at their feet and searching for the nearest exit. I mean, come on guys! If Lennie and Wayne can win this thing twice, surely my turn will come?

Many thanks to Bill Kelly and his staff in the pro shop for doing all the background stuff that enables a tournament to run smoothly and to the Men’s Club for providing the runners up prizes. And, last but not least, to the 44 ladies and gentlemen who vied for the trophy this year. If we get enough entries in 2015 we’ll give it another go and I’ll be looking for a partner. Any volunteers?

All da best.

Dave B.

P.S. Meanwhile, Len and Wayne are looking forward to 36 holes of golf at Crown Isle at the end of September (along with a banquet and a bucket of prizes) and should they – God forbid – win there they’ll be off to Pebble Beach in December. That has to be worth the $15 entry fee, doesn’t it?


Always read the small print…

5 08 2013

Last weekend we held our annual qualifier at Glacier Greens for the Canadian Pairs tournament. 28 pairs were involved, all hoping to make it to the final, which is contested at Crown Isle Golf and Country Club every September. I’ve been running the qualifier for the past three years and although, like every event, the organisation is not without its stresses and strains, it generally runs pretty smoothly. For the princely sum of $15 per player teams have the opportunity to win their way to the two day event at Crown Isle at which some 40 or so pairs from all over western Canada will compete for the right to play in a tournament at Pebble Beach in mid December. For those who don’t win the qualifier, there are consolation prizes in the form of KP’s, generously donated by the Men’s Club, prizes for 2nd and 3rd place teams (provided by our pro, Bill Kelly) and as many draw prizes as we have money for once the entry fee has been paid. There is also, of course, the opportunity to accuse the winners of being sandbaggers, as we have traditionally granted full handicap allowance to all players to give hackers such as myself a genuine chance of success.¬† Curiously, despite having three different partners in the last three years, my pair has yet to mount any kind of a challenge. In fact, friends seem to have gone out of their way to avoid me in the weeks leading up to the qualifier when they know I’m looking for a partner. Funny that.

The 2012 winners, Dave Wacowich and Liz Stirrett, hardly come into the sandbagger category. Dave’s a solid 6 handicap, Liz a 14, and anyone accusing them of skulduggery would be foolish in the extreme. They won with 49 Stableford points last year and when they equalled that total this year it looked as though they were in with a chance of being back to back winners. Ten minutes later, however, a team reported in with 50 points and ten minutes after that another pair had amassed 52. The very next scorecard, however, had such a high total that I had to get my sidekick Lennie to double check the scoring and then call over the foursome involved to ensure they weren’t playing some kind of practical joke. 57 points! I’ve no idea what the Guinness Book of Records has to say on the topic of Stableford scores, but this one had to be up there. We went through the scores hole by hole and there was absolutely no doubt. ” I know what you’re thinking, Dave”, said Ted, one of the winning pair, “but I had a good day and Tim was just on fire!”. Sure enough, Tim had contributed the vast majority of the team’s points. It wasn’t his best round ever, he told me, but it was pretty darn close.

We quickly went through the remaining scorecards but, having checked with their playing partners and knowing both gentlemen on the winning team to be of impeccable character, it wasn’t long before we were announcing the results to the assembled throng on the Glacier Greens patio. I quickly handed out the KP and runner up prizes before turning to the winning pair and saying “Well, guys, you’ve won by a street and all the best when you represent the club at Crown Isle on September 28th and 29th. Many congratulations!” Tim beamed with delight – he’s not exactly a permanent fixture in the winners’ circle at Glacier Greens – but Ted’s reaction was a little different. He turned an interesting shade of red and stammered “When?” “You know when, Ted”, I said, “the dates have been on every poster and every email we’ve sent out”. “Er. The missus and I are on a cruise, starting September 26th. There’s no way…”. His voice tailed off as some of his fellow competitors chanted ‘DQ! DQ!’

Well, of course Tim was not disqualified. He and Ted had won our competition fair and square. The following day I explained the situation to Deb at Inside Golf (the Canadian Pairs organisers) and she was less than impressed when I suggested that Tim might play by himself at Crown Isle.”But it’s a Pairs event, Dave”, she protested, “he can’t play by himself”. “Well, actually, Deb, he can. Rule 31-2 states that an individual may represent a pair for all or part of a stipulated round and both partners need not be present”. Sometimes it’s handy being a rules geek. “Er, I’ll get back to you, Dave”, she said. The next day Deb phoned to say that they had found a section in the Pairs rule book to say that a player can be replaced by a substitute who had also played in the qualifying competition. I phoned Tim with the good news and suggested he pick a friend to partner him. “I’ll get back to you, Dave”, he said.

A few days later Tim phoned to tell me what he had decided to do – and his decision showed what a class act he is. Rather than pick a friend, he had felt that everybody in the field should have a chance so he put everyone’s name into a hat. He drew a winner and a spare, just in case the first pick was scheduled to go on a cruise or something. As luck would have it, the name Tim drew was Liz, one of last year’s winning pair, who declined the offer, partly on the grounds that she’d already had her chance at fame and fortune (well, Crown Isle anyway). Next pick was Wayne Hay who, in Tim’s words, ‘graciously accepted’ the opportunity and will partner Tim as Glacier Greens’ representatives at Crown Isle at the end of next month. And Ted? Well, mate, at least you won a sleeve of balls. Have a great cruise, and next time – read the small print, eh?

Hay and HautzingerMr Wayne Hay and Mr Tim Hautzinger, Glacier Greens’ representatives at the Canadian Pairs Finals, Crown Isle, 2013

All da best!

Dave B.