“He embraces every opportunity to put Canada on the map of golf .. He’s endlessly patriotic. If you ever want to push my husband’s buttons, try to tell him he’s not Canadian because he doesn’t live in Canada. He’s living proof you can take the Canadian out of Canada, but you can’t take Canada out of the Canadian.”
– Bricia Weir speaking of her husband, Mike, at his induction into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame
As relaxed and reflective as I’ve ever seen him, and surrounded by an intimdate gathering of friends and golf industry figures, Mike Weir received his induction into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame last night in a small affair at Huron Oaks Golf Club in his hometown of Brights Grove.
The most touching and funniest moments came when Weir’s wife, Bricia, spoke about her husband. Typically at HOF induction ceremonies one person from the industry provides a wide perspective, and that case was offered by Steve Bennett, the pro at Huron Oaks who hired Weir when he was a teenager to work at the club and then became the golfer’s mentor and teacher. Bennett was funny, offering a series of nicknames that had been placed upon Weir — Pasquale and Hairy among them — and lauding his friend for his determination and hard work.
Then came Bricia, who apparently hates public speaking, and who hadn’t slept well in nights while thoughts of the speech ran through her head. There was no need to worry, she was insightful, touching and funny, and her talk about Weir’s daughters putting nail polish on his toes (which he then forgot about until someone in a tournament locker room noticed…) was certainly one of the highlights.
“We all know what is written, what the books says,” she explained. “For sure Mike is tenacious, fiercely competitive and relentless in his pursuit to perfect and excel at what he does — which is golf. Crazy little game.”
Bricia also had a funny anecdote about caddying for Weir when he first went out on tour, something she did because the young couple had very limited funds. Apparently she wasnt the best looper¦
“I come from eastern Los Angeles and had never seen a golf course in my life. The first fairway down — and for those that know me I’m slight ADD — the first mistake I make — and I could see it in his eyes — was putting the bag down in the middle of the green. Mike turned around and I knew my career was over. ”
“He remembers where he came from, Bricia said. He remembers he’s Canada’s own.”
That brought Mike out. He talked about his life as a golfer, got teary eyed when discussing BYU coach Karl Tucker, who is battling a serious illness, and spoke about when he knew he wanted to be a pro: We went to our first Canadian Open and I remember seeing Jack Nicklaus up close. I remember seeing Johnny Miller and Andy Beane and Tom Kite. And Andy Beane and Tom Kite were giving a lesson on the driving range, and when they were done after the lesson they had this bag shag bag of balls and they dumped them out and all the kids scrambled to fill their pockets with those balls. We thought it was the greatest thing ever.
He also told the crowd about the advice Tucker provided him with: Sit with great putters. ËœMike, when you are a pro, dont sit with the guys that whine, sit with winners. You arent going to learn anything from the guys that complain all the time. They complain about the golf course not being good enough or that theyre not getting a good enough meal. I always made a point of sitting with the guys who were always positive and the guys that were winning tournaments, the guys that were champions and ask them questions.
He concluded by saying, It has been a great run.
Indeed it has.