I’m an occasional reader and poster at Toronto Golf Nuts, and today someone posted a subject called “The Good and the Bad in 06.” That led me to thinking about my own personal good, bad and ugly involving golf over the course of the year. Here it is:
- Cobble Beach, a new Doug Carrick course in Owen Sound. This one will have people making the trek north when it opens in June of 2007. The 17th will quickly become one of the most talked about golf holes in Canada.
- Ambassador GC in Windsor. An interesting club that shows what can be done with a lousy piece of land.
- Shooting 74 just off the plane in Scotland at Western Gailes — in fact the entire trip with my friend and golf architect Ian Andrew.
- Returning to Kingsbarns and making birdie on the sixth hole — the third time in four games at the course that I’ve made birdie or better
- Playing 91 holes in a golf marathon and raising $1,500 for Big Brothers/Sisters at Angus Glen in July
- Making birdie on the 17th at St. George’s to finish off Score editor Jason Logan and pro Cameron Wiebe in a match alongside playing partner and Coppinwood head pro Euan Dougal
- Playing in the Canadian Open pro-am with Charles Warren and tying for first
- Watching London, Ont.’s Alan McLean shoot 68 at Eagles Nest to set a new course record. Speaking of Alan, he’s mentioned in Lorne Rubenstein’s new Score column found here.
- After a year of working on my book with Ron Joyce, I watched Always Fresh hit the best seller lists.
- Writing a feature story for Score Magazine on the issues surrounding the RCGA and seeing the story garner a lot of attention.
- Joining Scoregolf.com as their online columnist on golf architecture.
- Writing a cover story for T&L Golf.
- Eagles Nest — still the best public track in the Toronto area.
- Watching my friend Ian Andrew become an unquestionable success in the golf architecture business after leaving Carrick Design.
- Playing The Raven in Collingwood, without doubt one of the best courses to open in the country this year.
- Walking around the Carrick in Scotland with Doug Carrick.
- All the readers who dropped by G4G to read and offer their opinions.
- Maple Downs. Why don’t more people speak about this terrific and underrated golf course?
- Tom Lehman. At the course launch for The Raven at Lora Bay, Lehman spoke openly about his Ryder Cup plans. Then he got his hat handed to him a week later. But I still enjoyed his openness about his thoughts on the matter.
- Lionhead. I played the course in a media outing early this year. The facility is in great shape, but the golf course layout is painful.
- The state of the Ontario golf business. Courses for sale. Courses not attracting golfers. Struggles all around.
- Standing on the first tee at the Old Course in St. Andrews only to be told the course was suddenly closed on a beautiful sunny day.
- More average golf courses like Grand Niagara. How can owners expect to draw people to their facilities when they are this average?
- The awful weather in October which will make it tough for many courses to make budgets.
- Dealing with all of the fallout from writing a feature for Score on the RCGA (see #10 above).
- Mystic GC. Its owner insists everything is fine, but employees keep disappearing at an alarming rate and the course’s conditions, apparently due to underfunding, turned the stomachs of visiting golfers.
- My encounter with Greg Norman at a ClubLink golf outing in the summer. The Shark is often personable and a great salesman; this time he was just distant, short with me and unpleasant. Here’s hoping his golf course in Uxbridge turns out to be better than early reports indicate it is.
- Getting smacked in the head with a golf ball. Sure, maybe my genuine lack of interest in Grand Niagara has something to do with getting my head split open by a golf ball while playing the course in July. But I don’t think that’s the case…
- My hook. As one reader aptly points out, I spent much of the year fighting a nasty hook. It is gone now, thankfully, resulting in some good rounds after I came back from Scotland in September.