Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The End of an Era

The par three 12th hole at St. Catharines G&CC (Photo Courtesy of Geddie Advertising)

I've spent close to three quarters of my life as a proud member of the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club but all good things must come to an end.

After months of thought and reflection and with decidedly mixed emotions, I decided to hand in my official resignation last week, effective October 31, 2018.

I originally joined St. Catharines in 1987 as a 14-year old junior member, took a few years off in the late '90s after I graduated from university and was trying to build my career then rejoined the club in 2000. The countless hours spent at the club, especially as a teenager, taught me about life, relationships and about how to be a good, respectful person more than any activity I can possibly imagine.

I've had so many great moments at the club: those 36 hole days as a kid, with a dip in the pool sandwiched in between, helped me really develop my game in short order and introduced me to friends that I still have to this day. I'd hit a major hot streak around 2008, just before my son was born, when I'd get my handicap down to scratch for the first time and incredibly, break par fourteen different times at STGCC over the years. I'd win a few events, namely two Newlands Cups (0-40 handicap match play event) and one A Flight Club Championship back in 2014.

My proudest moments as a member have always come from rolling up my sleeves, getting involved and making the club a better place. Whether it was sitting on marketing committees and helping devise ways of getting young professionals to join the club back when we had openings or my years proudly sitting on the grounds committee, something that was always near and dear to me as a big fan of golf architecture, I've always been a passionate advocate of the membership experience at STGCC.

In recent years, I've organized tee times and games for a large cross-section of the lower handicap players at the club, instituting the TaylorMade Premier League back in 2013 (a summer-long, gross competition with three flights) and the season-ending Turkey Two Ball Invitational, a forty player, two-man gross best ball competition that I started back in 2011.

The 2018 Turkey Two Ball, held two days ago on Canadian Thanksgiving, was my "swan song" event at the club and perhaps it's fitting that I drew Adam Short as my partner, a former Canadian Tour professional. Adam carried my sorry butt all day long and holed a dramatic 30 footer from just off the 18th green, allowing us to finish with a four under par 68 and lock up the coveted 2018 Turkey Two Ball title!

Going out in style...teaming up with Adam Short (right) to win the 2018 Turkey Two Ball Invitational

It was such a bittersweet day for me...hard to really put into words. We have a phenomenal group of people who play on weekends at St. Catharines and it's been a true pleasure playing the part of "The Commish". Thankfully, I didn't shed any tears but there were lots of hugs and handshakes after we were awarded the trophy. That's the one thing I'm going to miss the most - the camaraderie among this select group of members.

Then why leave?

Sometimes, priorities in life change and I think after 30 years, I was just looking for something new and different. I've decided to close one door and open another and I'm extremely excited about 2019 and the new adventure that awaits...more to come on that in my next post!

My sincere appreciation to the STGCC's management, their incredibly devoted staff and of course, to all of the friends I've made over the years. I will always look back fondly upon my time spent at STGCC and I look forward to visiting as a guest as often as time will allow.

Onward and upward.




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