Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Golfing With Canadians

My buddy, Captain Dan, got back from Iraq last week and one of the things I think he most needed some normalcy immersion therapy. Well, for us that's either drinking excessively under the stars while we listen to Yes and Genesis, or playing golf. Sunday was golf day.

Our home course is the Santa Rita Golf Club, the site for many of the scenes in Kevin Costner's movie, Tin Cup. Sunday we were paired with John and Paul, a couple of Snowbird Canucks from Ontario. Great guys, regular guys, guys who will never be mistaken for octagenarian Liverpudlian rockers. Paul is a retired florist. He's about 65 and a former part-time scout for the London Knights. Only in Canada, or maybe France, could a guy be a florist and a hockey scout. Paul is a 60-ish retired railroad engineer with a physique like Greg Luzinski, circa now.

After he retired, John decided to take up golf. He took a shatload of lessons, and is now self-certified swing expert. John either killed the ball a mile high and a mile long, or he twisted a 20 foot topspinner into the cactus near the ladies tee. Luckily, John buys his golf balls in bulk from EBay. John's got all the right hybrid clubs and driver that looks like it was made by cutting a quarter swath out of a bowling ball. Paul's got similar swing issues, but without the girth to back up his rips. In case you were wondering, I shot in the triple digits...so did Captain Dan and the Canucks-the perfect foursome.

Both great guys. Sat around and had beers after our round and the boys wouldn't let us buy a round. If you only knew these two Canadians, you'd swear that like them, every Canadian has had beers with Don Cherry and watched Gretzky score 20 goals in one game as a 12 year-old.

Paul and I talked about the Canadian junior hockey system vs. the US college hockey. No wonder the majority of NHLers would rather see their kids at Boston U. rather than with the Halifax Mooseheads. That being said, I am always envious when I'm reminded of how intricately hockey is woven into the fabric of Canadian culture. Just watch HNC on any given Saturday night and you'll notice the difference.

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