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?


Bits n bobs

6 05 2010

It occurred to me this morning that for a blog that is supposed to be about my embryonic career as a caddie, caddying stories have been a bit thin on the ground recently. There is, of course, a good reason for that: I haven’t actually done any caddying since my visit to California back in early March. Things nearly changed this week when Brian Benedictson got a late entry into a Vancouver Golf Tour event on Monday at Royalwood golf course, Chilliwack. It seemed a good idea for me to get some practice in on the bag (to be honest, I wanted to be sure I could lift the bloody thing up – it looks like it weighs a ton), so it was decided that I would catch the 6:30 ferry to Horseshoe Bay and then hoof  it to the course. Then we learned that BB had been drawn in the first group to tee off and that by the time I reached Royalwood he was likely to be half way down the second fairway. Not worth it, we decided. As things transpired, I caught a break – Chilliwack was hit by a hailstorm on Monday morning and the tournament was cancelled. All part of the rich tapestry of life for Brian, though – think of the expenses he incurred getting there and then didn’t even get the chance to play. Just goes to show that the life of a pro athlete in the Minors is not always as glamorous as it might seem to be. My Canadian debut is therefore delayed until the first week in June when Brian plays in the Times Colonist Open at Uplands, Victoria. His first practice round starts less than 36 hours after I return from my pilgrimage to Ireland and Scotland. Anybody got any sure fire cures for jetlag?

In other news, you will no doubt be pleased to learn that Mr. Dobbs and I have managed to resolve our differences without having to hire lawyers. Matters have been resolved as they should be – on the golf course. Peter and I played an amicable round at Comox last Friday (neutral ground, you see). Things were a little tense on the first tee when the tricky issue of handicaps came up, but it was eventually decided that Peter would receive 10 shots. My negotiating skills were looking pretty pitiful when I went three down after three holes, but I managed to stage a comeback and we were all square after nine. As usual, however, Peter had the last word: I mentioned that he looked a little green around the gills and he revealed that he’d only come out of hospital a few days earlier following minor surgery. We decided that the match would be declared halved and that honour was satisfied on both sides. No doubt the Dobbs/Brooker rivalry is a saga that is destined to continue for some time, but I have to confess that Peter’s behaviour on this occasion was exemplary (probably because he felt too ill to misbehave).

In the past week I’ve also had the pleasure of playing in my first MISGA event (at Fairwinds) and an Interclub at Crown Isle. My play on each occasion was decidedly sketchy, but the company was great and the events really well run. As an ex teacher, it also gladdened my heart that they were also great value for money (no comments necessary, Len Doyle). There are definitely one or two plusses to being retired, and being able to play midweek tournaments – slap up meal included –  is certainly one of them.

Only fourteen sleeps until Glenny, Robin, the Chief and I set off on our odyssey to the home of golf. The info package arrived in the mail yesterday, so I’ve been perusing that pretty carefully. Flight tickets are ready for pick up and new golfing attire has been purchased (courtesy of Scottish wife, it has to be admitted). The only thing I’m missing right now is a decent golf swing, but realistically that may have to wait. As I may have mentioned before, Bandito Juan has pointed out more than once that if they ever introduce style points in golf my handicap is going to go from a 10 to a 28. Much as it hurts to admit it, on recent evidence he may have a valid point…

All da best.

Dave B.