First let me say…no… sadly I did not play golf on our construction site. This blog is the result of what happens to a PGA of Canada Head Professional when he hasn’t had his own golf course to play on for 3 years and his imagination gets away on him. Just a little bit away…ok…that’s a lie… a lot away on him. Let me give you a little look inside my head so you can see where the idea for this blog came from (it’s scary in here so be careful…).
Almost three years ago now, Mother Nature took our two beautiful gems – Mt. Kidd and Mt. Lorette, and made them look more like a setting for the Hunger Games than world class golf courses. This place didn’t look like a golf course, smell like a golf course, or feel like a golf course…until…our wonderful Restoration crew arrived!!! With the incredible progress that they have made in the early stages of this restoration, Mt. Kidd and Mt. Lorette are starting to look like golf courses again and with that, my somewhat active imagination has taken over (calling my imagination “somewhat active” would be like saying that Donald Trump is “somewhat controversial” in the American Presidential race). Even though we are still in dirt and just starting the irrigation construction, my mind sees the beautiful facility that this will be and I want to get playing golf!!! (can you blame me?). Sadly, like most things that happen in my mind, there is a significant gap between my reality and what is actually happening in the “real world”.
Luckily enough for me, this blog isn’t being written by some realist who is going to rain on my parade of playing golf out here right now. I know we can’t play out here until 2018 but heck…this is being written by me, so let me indulge!!! If I were to be able to play golf out here right now, there are a few “adjustments” that I would need to make in order to do so. Here are 5 quick considerations that my wandering mind would consider if I were to be able to start playing “Construction site golf”:
Rule #1 – Don’t even think about using your own clubs. We are in the middle of the Rocky Mountains…what do you think is under the soil? Lots of exposed and hiding rock out here, so be sure that you are not wrecking your own clubs. In my case, I am making the choice to “borrow” or more accurately take out one of my two sons sets of clubs. I don’t think they have ever been washed anyways, so no one will notice if there is a little mud on them, or maybe a small knick or chunk taken out of the sole?
Rule #2 – Important to wear golf attire that is appropriate for this setting. This doesn’t mean having to wear traditional golf apparel with a collared shirt, hemmed pants with a double pleat and Boston pocket, and Waterproof golf shoes with soft spikes. It isn’t about golf brands like Galvin Green, Sun Ice, or Footjoy, rather it is all about a brand called PPE. Never heard of it? In construction golf, it is imperative. PPE refers to Personal Protective Equipment and is mandatory to be on any construction site. So trade in the Knit sweater vest for a bright PPE vest and trade in your golf shoes for steel toe boots. Luckily enough for me, I have a pair of Galvin Green orange pants to match my PPE vest and really tie the whole outfit together. You like??
Rule #3 – Use a toilet paper roll instead of a tee – Ok, ok, ok…hear me out on this one. Perhaps a little out there…I will give you that. But with all of the exposed rock and dozer tracks out here, it isn’t that easy to find any real space that a “regular” tee would work. It’s kind of like making a peanut butter, ripple chip, almond, dill pickle, and raspberry jam sandwich…DON’T KNOCK IT TILL YOU TRY IT. The roll works like a dream!!!
Rule #4 – Trade in your golf cart for a Side by Side – Trust me on this…I love golf carts as much as the next guy but if you tried going around our golf courses right now on a golf cart, you would be in traction for a month. Cart paths replaced right now with large deep tracks carved in by massive Rock trucks make the Gator an absolute must for transportation.
Rule #5 – Prepare in advance for questions by Construction Team – The last thing that you need when going out to enjoy a leisurely round of golf on a construction site, is to be caught off guard by a question from one of the restoration team members. Any person even considering playing golf on a construction site should have an accurate and snappy answer to the following types of questions that you will likely be asked when you are out playing:
a) Are you a moron?
b) What the hell do you think you are doing?
c) Did you get dropped on your head as a kid?
d) Where can a guy pick up a sassy pair of orange pants like the ones you are wearing?
Believe you me, having a well thought out answer to any of these types of questions will not only enhance your experience while playing, but likely help you to gain the confidence and trust of the people working on the golf course so that you are able to play more than once (and not get arrested…).
Thank you for letting me indulge and fantasize a bit about playing golf in Kananaskis again. Our opening date in 2018 seems so close and in other ways, so far away. The bottom line is that this wonderful place, which has seemed so quiet and lifeless since the flood of 2013, now seems to be coming back to life thanks to the wonderful efforts of our restoration team. There is an energy and buzz starting to re-emerge that is tangible for all of us involved in this project. We are thinking about golf around these parts again… What a gift.
(No animals, Golf Professionals, Kids of Golf Professionals, Kids Clubs, or Restoration Team members were harmed in the making of this Blog. Photos were shot well after our Restoration Team Members had left for the day)