Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Canadian Seniors Golf Association

The vernerable Scarboro Golf Clubhouse completed around 1912
     A few years ago, after a round of golf at Point Grey Golf Club, a former banker who knew I liked to golf and travel asked if I was interested in joining the Canadian Seniors Golf Association. It offered the opportunity to play in tournaments across Canada and around the world. The membership criteria, he told me, were to be over 55, have a handicap of 18 or less, and be good company. I told him I was one out of three!
     But my name was subsequently put forward for membership and after I was accepted, I mentioned it to my friend Holly Horwood, one of Canada's top amateur senior golfers.
     "Really?" she exclaimed. "It's an impressive organization and difficult to get in. Many people wait for years, before being admitted."
      My first event was a tournament in Montreal at the Royal Montreal and Beaconsfield golf clubs, two of the oldest and established courses in Canada. I included some photos in an earlier blog about Montreal
    This year, the organization celebrates its 100th anniversary and the tournament was accordingly in Toronto. We played at two of the city's most established courses, Rosedale and Scarboro. Rosedale is one of the country's most exclusive clubs (I was told the initiation fee is around $100,000 with a 7-year wait list). It recently celebrated its 125th anniversary.
     Scarboro was designed by the legendary golf course designer A.W. Tillinghurst and opened in 1912. In those days the train brought golfers out from downtown and today the GO-TRAIN regularly runs beside the course.
As we enjoyed dinner the sun started to set over the course. It was a magical scene.
For many years, the Canadian Open was held at the Scarboro Golf and Country Club
One of the many elegant lounges and rooms.
     Playing Scarboro had a special significance for me since after my parents emigrated to Canada in 1952, we first lived in a small apartment on Scarboro Bluffs . In those days, I wasn't playing golf. I probably didn't know what it was. Instead, I was trying to learn how to skate and play hockey with Macleans magazines tucked into my socks as shin pads.
The first tee at Rosedale has a very unique quality. Once you get onto the course you forget you are in the middle of the city.
     Here are a few photos from the three-day event. While they don't do justice to either facility, the tournament was a most enjoyable experience and I would like to thank all the people who gave me rides to and from the clubs (when I wasn't using Uber), and were such good company both on and off the golf course.
The lobby of the new $28 million + clubhouse at Rosedale. Large fans keep the members cool when putting. (just joking. They're something to do with the drainage system.
I was drinking the triple bogey draft.
A lot of bald heads and grey hair amongst the members. I felt at home.
     Next year, I'll be at Royal Ottawa and Hunt Club. While I won't be wearing a red blazer, I will try to remember to bring my special tie and name tag, and play a little better.
This would have been a most appropriate license plate for me at Scarboro.
While I most certainly didn't win any prizes, my partner and I managed not to disgrace ourselves on the first day.
    ps. On my way to the golf club I noticed this public housing apartment building that had been decorated with a full height painting on a staircase. I thought it was a very attractive measure and much more delightful than the awful new mural on the Onni building in downtown Vancouver.


Kris Jonasson said...

Wonderful blog Michael. Congratulations on the 68. Rosedal has always been one of my most favourite courses.

Unknown said...

Fun to read Michael. Such stunning locations for the Canadian Seniors Golf Association events! Next time make sure get access to a red jacket!