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Fave Fridays III: 54 Holes, Swing Coaches and instructional gear

Five Friday Faves (volume III)

Osprey Valley – Every fall I play an annual match at Osprey Valley. It doesn’t matter how much I get thumped (though in this instance, I’d mention my partner and I were up after the end of 27 holes, though somehow still lost $10), I find Osprey to be a great treat. The course conditions are always great, the practice facility is perfect, and you can walk all three of these Doug Carrick designs. There may still not be a “resort” component to “Osprey Valley Resorts,” but there’s a lot of great golf that’s more than worth the hour drive north of Toronto.

Bruce McCarrol – I’ve taken lessons from Bruce McCarrol for the past four years while he’s taught out of Bond Head north of Toronto. He’s a smart teacher who takes what you bring and works with it. I’m a better player for having spent a few hours each year with him, and I’m a better golf writer for being able to tap into his wisdom from time to time.
Rolex World’s Top 100 Golf Courses – this is a pretty thorough guide to almost all of the best courses in Canada. A second edition is forthcoming that will include a couple more courses from Canada – and there’s already 36 in it. It is a ridiculously detailed book with notes on where to stay, what to see and where to eat when trying to play many of these gems. Sure a great number of them are private — but we can dream, can’t we? In Canada you’ll find everything from Cobble Beach near Owen Sound, to Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta.
 Tour Striker – I first saw one of these training aids in the bag of fellow golf writer Rick Young. It is designed to have you hit down on your irons as opposed to scooping them as many amateurs do. I’ve taken it to the range – the 7-iron model is the one I’ve used – and find it really works at generating lag and making sure you hit down and through the ball. At $99 this is a solid investment that is easy to use when you are practicing.

MuscleCare – I got pitched this product early in the year. Yep, I thought, another pain product. Despite my scepticism, I brought this with me to use on an ailing hamstring while playing in Ireland in the spring. It worked – and I’ve continued to use it on my 40-year old body time to time. Turns out it was invented by a Canadian chiropractor. Check it out here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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