Called to the Hall

Yesterday I had the opportunity to play Wooden Sticks in Uxbridge, and was honoured to be invited to attend the Golf Association of Ontario’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony in the evening.

Wooden Sticks, one of the top 100 golf courses in Canada according to SCOREGolf magazine, opened in 2000 to much fanfare, as it features 12 holes that are inspired by famous golf designs from around the world.

Want to play the island green on no.17 at TPC Sawgrass? How about a couple holes from the no.1-ranked golf course in the world, Pine Valley? You can do that at Wooden Sticks. A fun layout.

That aside, if I could sum up the day in one word, it would be “inspiring.”

A couple of quick thoughts from the day are below:

  • My foursome for golf featured winners of a ton of worldwide sports hardware. And me. I was lucky to play with:
    • Sami Jo Small: Former goalie for Team Canada’s women’s hockey team. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, and now a very accomplished public speaker
    • Mary-Ann Hayward: A Canadian and Ontario Golf Hall of Famer, who still competes at a variety of Senior Amateur events around the world (finding the winner’s circle frequently. And yes, she dusted me).
    • Billy Bridges: Married to Sami Jo, Billy is an all-around athlete who has won multiple world championships and Paralympic medals for sledge hockey and wheelchair basketball
  • Playing golf with Billy was incredible. Just two weeks ago he was in South Korea winning the 2013 sledge hockey world championship (a 1-0 victory over the U.S.) and now here he was. He was born with spina bifida, and has no feeling in his right leg. However, his left-handed swing (where he finishes with one hand) is incredibly powerful. And, he loves golf.
  • The speeches from both Ian Leggatt and Rod Spittle – two members of the Hall of Fame class of 2013 – were emotionally charged tributes to the people that have meant the most to them both on the course, and off. Some tears were shed, and not just by the speakers

Congratulations to the 2013 Ontario Golf Hall of Fame class: Ian Leggatt, Rod Spittle, Gord Witteveen, Alexa Stirling Fraser, and the Lorne Rubenstein Media Award winner: Jack Marks.

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