Hello everyone and welcome to this edition of Mark’s Musings. My last blog, which was a while ago, I was heading to Ottawa April 30th, May 1st and 2nd and to Parliament Hill to talk to MP’s and Senators’ discussing the benefits of golf to the economy the employment impact and the health impact to individuals. Golf, since 1977, is excluded from being tax deductible. Unlike hockey or baseball if you took a guest to one of those sporting events you can write it off as an expense…golf you can not.

So if you pick four clients up and drive to the golf course and play golf then have lunch then drive to a hockey rink and watch hockey then go out for supper the only part that you can write off is from getting in the car to drive to the hockey rink and the supper after. WHY? There are more people employed in the golf industry than all other sports combined.

The second week of May (7th and 8th) I was in Toronto at head office to meet with the National staff as well as the Quebec Zone to discuss the relationship between Quebec and the PGA of Canada. I love going to the office as it is filled with our rich history and the Association.

April 14th to the 19th I was in New York for the US PGA Championships held at Beth Page Black. Well you want to talk a golf course…this golf course was unbelievable. I stayed in the host hotel of the PGA, so it was not uncommon the be around a few of the players. Pretty cool…they seem like normal people when they are not on the golf course…ha.

My next stop was in Hamilton for the Canadian Open at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club from June 3rd to the 7th. The following week, June 10th to the 14th, I attended the US Open held in Pebble Beach, California. WOW!! A dream came true that week. Incredible scenery of the Monterey Peninsula…anytime you see green grass, blue water, and blue skies it seems like there are no troubles in the world.

After a week back home in Elbow I was off to the PGA of Canada Championships June 24th to the 28th at Whistle Bear in Cambridge Ontario. This is our Associations top event where 64 of the top players in the PGA of Canada go head to head. The format is stroke play for 36 holes then the top 16 players go in to match play. At the end of the week there is one person standing. The winner gets a spot in the Canadian Open next year. Pretty exciting for the PGA of Canada and our top player in the country.

Next up was the PGA of Canada’s Women’s Championship July 2nd to the 4th at the Toronto Ladies Club in Toronto. There was some unbelievable golf being played in the final round. The leader on the last day had a two-stroke lead. Someone in the 2nd to last group shot a course record to lead by 2 but in the last group a player broke that course record to win by one…two course records in less than ½ hour…incredible. The winner not only receive a cheque for $10,000.00 dollars but was given an entry in to this years CP Women’s Open to be held the week of August 19th to 25th at the Magna Golf Course near Toronto.

Carol and I headed to Ireland for the British Open being held at Royal Portrush Golf Club a true links style course in Northern Ireland. We flew to Dublin then rented a car. After spending a week at the event, we took the PGA of Canada’s CEO back to Dublin and we made our way to Kilarney, Dunmore Cave, the Cliffs of Moyer, the Ring of Kerry as well as a few stops in some local pubs to ensure the Guinness was genuine throughout Ireland. Haha.

After returning from Europe we had just enough time to unpack do laundry and pack up again to head back to Toronto and attend my Father’s funeral. We learned of his passing the day before leaving for Ireland. He was 87 years young and had been in some pain in the past couple of years. He was a military man retiring after 37 years. The service was a military one which had an Honour Guard and a General spoke at the funeral saying, “I looked up to Captain Patterson, a well-respected individual.” My brothers from California and Montreal attended which I hadn’t seen in over 6 years, and of course there were many tears but mostly of remembering “Pops” and his story telling, sense of humour, compassion and love for his family.

My next adventure is the PGA of Canada’s Seniors Championships in Ottawa from August 6th to the 9th and is being played at the Carlton Golf and Yacht Club. After that is the CP Women’s Championships at the Magna Golf Course North of Toronto the week of the 19th to the 25th.

Until next time….

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