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Playin’ Golf With 150 of Your Closest Friends

05/31/2017, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

 

Let’s talk about golf for a minute. 

I wasn’t totally sure what to expect when I pulled up to the Two Lion’s Pub last week to embark on my first North Shore Winter Club Golf Tournament experience. I knew it would be fun - how could it not? But I’d be lying if I said I knew exactly what to expect.

You see, I haven’t been on the ice at the club since September, which is a little bit surreal to mention now. I moved to Vancouver to follow my dreams. I started working at the club for Todd Harkins and the time I spent at the club coaching everything from hockey 3 through atom, peewee, and major midget, is an enormous part of the coach I am today.

Anyways, I talk about myself too much.

Strolling into Steve Jennings’ pub at 10am just felt right for some reason. I was immediately greeted by friendly faces. Steve himself. Chris Gray. Danny Payne. Marilyn Marchment (more on this super hero in a minute). My good friend and former co-worker Sean Murray. Matt O’Neill. Allison Crane. Bryant Magee. John Cox. Hockey moms and dads with a quick handshake and a drink offer.

One of the coolest parts of the entire day was seeing Rory Mackillop pulled up to a table in the pub. One of the first times I had Rory ref one of my games, Andrew Kemper absolutely let him have it. And now he's golfing with all the grownups! Attaboy Rory!

Truth be told, I could have set up shop at the Two Lion’s and caught up with friends and colleagues all day, but I suppose that would have been dangerous. 

Not that the day was completely free of danger.

In case you haven’t attended a tournament yet, let me describe the bus ride up to Squamish for you: awesome. Sure, I played music over the microphone using my phone and it sounded terrible, but mostly everyone was in a fun mood by that point and anxious to hit the links. 

Oh yeah, there’s golf involved too! Although the Furry Creek Golf Course ought to use the term “golfing” with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but that’s beside the point. Also, hey Furry Creek, on behalf of the North Shore Winter Club golf ball fund, you’re welcome. 

Oh, and special props to Chad Wetsch and Harbour Air for the neat mini-airplane chip game to start the day!

In between hook shots and mulligan after mulligan after mulligan, it was super cool wheeling past even more pals on the course. Jason Calla and his crew bought me and mine a drink somewhere in the middle of it all. More than a few laughs were shared at the expense of another golf ball in the woods. 

You see, I knew I was going to write a golf tournament wrap-up this week, but I’ll be honest - I thought it was going to be boring. Before the day arrived I didn’t know what angle I was going to take. 

Once Andrew Kemper and Cam Paddock started conducting the ceremonies, however; that’s when I knew. Specifically when they started talking about Nick Rutledge. I don’t know Nick too well personally, but feeling the support and encouragement for Nick's cancer ass-kicking personality was simply inspiring. 

As you might also know, a special fund was set up by this year’s golf tournament to contribute to the college education of four special dudes who are near and dear to my heart: Shamus, Calym, Chuck, and Mannix Cochlin. Sitting beside their mom, my good friend Tania, and hearing the incredible presentation given by David Loutit, a close friend of her late husband, Matthew…

Well, that’s about all one needs to say about the power of a group of people who care for each other and want to take care of each other. 

What an incredible day. I’ll never forget it. 

So you know, it’s a good thing the golf tournament doesn’t really need to have a lot to do with golf.

——

Quick note: enormous thanks to the organizing committee, but the hugest applause of all goes to Marilyn Marchment. She spent approximately eleventy trillion hours putting it all together so people like us could get together and celebrate … each other! Thanks Marilyn!

 

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