I was lucky enough to attend the Pro-Am Day at the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club on July 25 as a member of the media. The weather was perfect – unlike the forecast for the remainder of the week – and it was a wonderful experience.
A couple of notes from the eve of the 103rd playing of the Canadian Open –
- The course is in great shape. Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk both commented on how much they enjoyed the ‘classic’ design. However, many pros mentioned that the rough is not playing nearly as punishing as last year’s Canadian open at Shaughnessy.
- That said, the course is in impeccable condition. But, with rain in the forecast – exactly what this drought-effected region needs – the scores could be very low
- Golf Canada puts on a world-class event every year. It seems like it’s an impossible task given the scheduling date, but they make it work. Here’s hoping that they can get a better draw in two years once the current contract is up
- The golf journalism landscape in Canada is small, and is only getting smaller. The plus side of that is that there is a real sense of community amongst everyone
- If you’re a golf equipment geek, then an equipment van will absolutely become your oasis. I had the chance to go to the Taylormade truck today and the sheer magnitude of STUFF in there was mind-blowing
- A media pass will get you anywhere you want
- One of the final things learned in journalism school was that you weren’t supposed to take the free food offered at an event. I definitely did not listen to that at all… there was food everywhere!
- Oreo Cookie ice cream sandwiches are both delicious and dangerous
- At 5-foot-9, Mike Weir is probably one of the least intimidating professional athletes in Canada. Great guy.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re a 15-handicap or a tour pro, the most important aspect of one’s golf game is the basics. This was made evident by the drills I saw being done on the range.
- The spectrum between Tour star and guy who is grinding to make a living is VERY wide. Brad Fritsch, a pro from Ottawa, mentioned today that the hybrid that he has in his bag was actually bought off eBay. I thought these guys got everything for free!
- Between Hunter Mahan talking about Batman on the driving range, to Paul Casey throwing water on his buddy, tour pros are just like you and I. It was fun to see these interactions up close
A great day overall, and (for the second week in a row) it sure beat a day in the office.