“If you enter, you will win.”
They didn’t know it going in but many participants ended up with an easy pass at the Seniors’ Zone 3 golfing playdowns, last Friday at the Hope Golf Course. With 40 participants for the 24 divisions, many age and handicap divisions went uncontested — giving the players who showed up a guaranteed berth in the BC Senior Games. The annual event takes place in mid-August and is hosted by Castlegar, Trail and Nelson.
Five of six Hope-based players qualified, the sole woman being Dodie Schiefermeier, who was one of a few who actually had to compete for her spot. In the age 74 to 79 B-event, she took top spot with a low gross of 104 on 18 holes.
Roy Chou and Glenn Sullivan were the other locals who had to work to make the cut. Chou made it and Sullivan is second alternate in the 70-74 A-event, which had 8 challengers.
Chou had the best gross score in his age 65-69 A-event — actually the third best of all golfers — but he wasn’t pleased with his effort.
“I last went to the Senior Games in the year 2000,” said Chou on Monday, adding that he’s been gradually getting back into the game. “I used to be an all-weather golfer but now I’m more particular,” he added.
There were lots of particular golfers during the rains of Monday, when course manager Kerry Krahn said only two golfers braved the weather.
“I didn’t play well,” figured Chou, “but others played worse than I did. That’s how difficult it was that day.
“You don’t want to know my score!”
According to other sources… it was one better than Jimmy Toy’s 92 — and he wasn’t happy with his score either.
“It was an easy time qualifying this year,” said Toy, laughing. “There were only two of us in my category!
“It wasn’t much fun for me, being qualified before I even started. You want to have some competition and be focused.”
Toy actually captured the low-gross and the low-net in his two-man, age 75-79 A-event (for 0-20 handicaps). He explained that the low-net is granted to the other player, so two can go to the provincial final.
“I usually golf in the 80s,” said Toy. “I golfed a 92 — but nobody golfed well. Usually, you’ll have someone in the high 60s [after handicap calculations] on the low-net at least. The best was a 76 in the whole competition.”
The best actual score in the playdowns was by Jimmy Nadan of Surrey, with an 86.
“The weather was really nice that day,” added Toy, “the best day of the year. But the course was soggy and wet from all the rain. We seniors don’t hit all that far anyway and the wet grass made it so the ball wouldn’t run. It just stopped. The pins-places were tricky too, so you’d take two or three putts — but we all had the same conditions to play in.”
After a long career with the Public Works department of the District of Hope, Al Trick has joined the ranks of the retired and has taken up golfing on a regular basis. This was his first attempt at qualifying for the Senior Games.
“I was the only one in the age 55-59 group — but you had to show up to qualify,” said Trick. “I could have shot a 200 and still made it! Ron Stockton only had two in his group, so they both made it, as well.
“I think I shot a 98, which would be a net 77 with my 21 handicap. Par is 72.
“I had been a hacker for years, going out a few times a season,” said Trick. “Last year, I went out once a week on Men’s Nights, then this year I paid for green fees — and I’m definitely making them pay off. I’m usually over there at 1:00 on most weekdays, if it’s not raining too hard.”
Trick said the 7th hole water hazard is at its normal size, though the Fraser River is rising close to the drainage culvert on the river side of the land bridge. He’s been keeping an eye on freshet levels and has some concerns, at the very least for his golf game.
“I’ve been looking at the river graphs on the internet and the Fraser is already higher than the peak level of last year,” said Trick.