After riding the hardest to finally reach my goal of hitting a golf ball more than 300 meters, I wanted to end this series with a perhaps even more difficult task.
That task? Challenging my coach for the year, Stew Bannatyne of Modern golf, to an 18-hole match play showdown, details of which can be found in the video at the top of the page.
But the course we played – St. George’s Golf and Country Club, home of the Canadian Open 2022 – it was the best and most difficult course I’ve ever played.
Golf is indeed such a fickle game. Whenever you think about getting better and better, the game can always be made more difficult by playing from a longer tee box or a more challenging course.
It wasn’t the distance to St. George’s that was the problem (we played from the white tees at about 6,400 yards), it was the conditions. First, the greens were lightning fast, so correct putt speed was vital.
The rough was extremely dense and punishing. And the raw grass grew out of the hole, which made clean contact nearly impossible. Most of my shots from the rough were short and offline.
Two seemingly minor things made a huge difference in playing conditions. I was 7-over through two holes (they got my nerve) and I shot a 50 on the front. I continued to play better and my 46 on the back nine gave me a total of 96, which the Golf Canada app equated to 90 on the courses I usually play.
It was a fantastic afternoon and a pleasure to see a scratch player’s play up close for the first time. Thanks for all your help, Stew!
Speaking of the courses I usually play, I have an update on the four-year bet I mentioned my September post. I beat another one of the guys last month to win another case of beer.
I’ve beaten three of the five so far and have until June 2025 to take out the other two.
Even though this series has come to an end, I definitely have a passion for golf. I have played a simulator a couple of times a month (and will do so during the off season) and have even played golf in the late fall at Derrydale Golf Club in Mississauga, Ontario to continue working on my skills.
Thanks for reading and watching! See you at the course next year!
Mike Arsenault is a digital broadcast reporter and a Global News Weekend host.
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