Long-time friends will play six rounds over four days this weekend
By Pat Payton
They’re a group of men who gather once a summer to renew acquaintances, tell old tales, and golf for four consecutive days.
St. Marys resident Bruce Andrews is a member of that group (up to 24 Ontario men) who have an annual weekend of golf every September in Lapeer, Mich. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and no border crossings, plans have changed this year.
Andrews said he got “pushed to the front of the line” to organize this year’s event. “I couldn’t think of a better place than St. Marys, so from Sept. 18 to 20 approximately 14 to 16 golfers will play our beloved local course five times and dine at the Social 31 restaurant on three evenings.”
The 2020 golf getaway begins with a round at Tarandowah golf club (near Aylmer) on Sept. 17.
Andrews is putting together ‘swag bags’ for all participants this weekend. As well as a copy of the Independent, other items will include: a large mint smoothie from the Chocolate Factory, a gift certificate to Hearn’s Ice Cream, a ‘Welcome To The Town’ package from the town hall, pens from SIG insurance, a local realtor’s business card in case any of the guys want to become members at the local course, a bag of sand for the guy who is in the traps most often, a ball scoop to the golfer who hits the most balls into the water hazards, and four golf instructional books for those with the highest scores (given by the library for a small donation).
On the final day Sunday, each golfer will receive a carnation in a water pik, donated by The Flower Shop. “It’s for the guys’ wives as a way of saying, ‘thanks for letting me get out and play with the guys this weekend,'” Andrews says.
As well, Stone Willow Inn has been very generous in extending their Gold Corporate rate to the out-of-town guests for their entire three-night stay.
Andrews gives a brief history of how this group of men started this yearly golf escapade. The majority are from the Toronto-Hamilton area.
“They were originally associated with the Burlington Braves football team,” he said. “But it’s morphed over 30 years into a loose affiliation of guys who like to golf. They’ve been going to Lapeer, just outside of Port Huron, to golf for quite a number of years. It’s always been six rounds over four days.
“Because the border is closed this year, we thought we would try and do something within Ontario. Here in St. Marys, we’ve got hotels, restaurants and we’ve got a great golf course.”
It sounds like a recipe for a great weekend!