Lee Bacchus Looks At Golf
So a Canadian wins the Tour Championship, eh?
Hailing from the Great White North myself, I am just one the legions of "cheeseheads" who cheered Mike Weir on to victory in the PGA's wrapup. For many of us, Weir's victory helped to dispel many myths about Canada - a forbidding climate that shuns tennis and golf potentials, a non-competitive, over-polite citizenry, as well as the stubborn belief that we all thrive on bacon, beer and maple syrup.
Hey, everyone here knows that we only indulge those on days of the week that end in "y." So this was a good thing - a southpaw Canucklehead soaring past a silky South African, a mercurial Spaniard and a mighty (if milquetoasty) American. It offered many unaware Yanks a glimpse into the much-ignored Canadian spirit.
Indeed, we, your neighbors to the North, don't all fit the usual "frozen north" stereotypes.
Take my typical golfing day. After completing my weekend chores - polishing the blocks on the igloo, taking the beaver out for his morning waddle, helping my kids with their American language homework - I load up the snowmobile and head down to the local course - The Royal British Columbia Golf, Curling and Ice Fishing Club for a round with the boys. Yessirree, it's nice to get a break from the lumberjacking business at least for a day.
To be honest, the game is played just a little different up here. Since we're a bilingual country, Royal Canadian Golf Association rules stipulate that anyone yelling "Fore" must quickly follow with an exclamation of its French counterpart, "Gare devant!" (literally: "Please don't sue me!").
Other rules vary from our American cousin's: White balls are illegal, since they are almost invisible against the six or seven-foot snowbanks in which they inevitably come to rest. Up in these parts we like to paint our balls a nice Day-Glo pink.
Yes, we're more like you than you think. Like on your courses, some people like to walk and some like motorized transport - although to be honest, if you play a lot like I do, dogsleds can get a little expensive.
Just like at your courses, dress codes are always in effect: toques must be real wool, only soft spikes on your gumboots, and hockey jerseys must bear the insignia of a Canadian team only but the best part about Canadian golf however are the green fees. We get some great twilight rates - given that here along the Arctic Circle it's twilight 24 hours a day.