Skip to content

Sign me up for the New Horizons golf experience

So many people talk about how they can't wait to retire, and then once they do, they can't find enough activities to keep them busy.
The Battlefords New Horizons were out in bunches Monday, May 17, as more than 50 golfers took to the course and the News-Optimist sports reporter was able to do some valuable research that day with the group.

So many people talk about how they can't wait to retire, and then once they do, they can't find enough activities to keep them busy.

After experiencing the life of a local retired guy, I really think I could get used to the challenge, even though I have only four hours of retirement experience and I'm a good 40 years away from actually making it official.

Monday morning started with a shower, some breakfast and gathering up of my golf clubs to head out to join the New Horizons for a round of golf at the North Battleford Golf and Country Club instead of heading into work. Let's just say I was deep into a research project.

When I arrived I signed in and had to explain I was there as a new New Horizons member and not there to report on the action from the weekend, which is a usual routine for Monday mornings during the summer.

With the New Horizons having the largest group of golfers this season, my team was the second last to tee off and finally hit the links just after 9 a.m.

After watching dozens of golfers tee off before, we were relieved there weren't many others around to watch.

Fortunately, I nailed my first drive on the fairway and we were out of the gate running.

The two previous rounds were clearly paying off, I thought.

Not only were my new golf shoes, collared shirt and golf glove making me look like I knew what I was doing, my first shot seemed to prove it.

Not so fast. It took a couple more holes to feel like I was contributing to the team again, but that is the bonus of playing Texas Scramble style golf. There is no need to worry about the shot that went straight sideways and almost took out your own left leg. The three other guys surely won't do the same thing.

My three companions, Bruce Chadwick, Bob Beach and Joe Gabruch, shared a few jokes, hit a handful of decent golf shots and made for a great morning as we parred the first four holes and were right on pace with the rest of the teams.

Since it was a busy morning on the course we were backed up occasionally waiting for the groups ahead to continue down the fairway.

Beach reminded me there was no rush and no need to fire a ball near a group ahead - something that is often said between golfers during a round at a busy course. Beach added that if you hit a ball close to a group ahead and yell "fore", that they won't hear you anyway.

I thought about it and came to the conclusion he was referring to the fact that we didn't have deep voices and would be screaming into the wind. He looked at me and said, "Who knows if those guys have their hearing aids turned on when they are golfing?" It warranted a laugh from me and the other golfers around and really showed the true humour the group of golfers had for themselves and others.

Once we got warmed up and headed to the fifth hole, the wind came up, and with it went our ability to par a hole.

Three of the next four holes produced bogeys and may or may not have inspired some Ukrainian words I am sure weren't pleasant - not that I could understand - and also some mumbling, as we forced our clubs back into our bags.

On the ninth hole, after I had my camera out to take a few pictures of my teammates' tee shots like the paparazzi, I stepped out and drilled my drive. It went 200 yards out and 250 yards right - good-bye.

It was time to retire that ball anyway. I had used the same one for 17.5 holes straight, which is unheard of. Just ask those who golfed with me in previous summers.

I pulled up my socks for the final three shots and helped our team pick up our first birdie of the day.

Unfortunately, as I sank the last putt, I also realized that my morning as a retired citizen of the Battlefords and a member of the New Horizons came to an end and it was back to work.

I certainly wouldn't have a problem getting up at 7:15 a.m. to go golfing, eat a sandwich and do another nine holes. Unfortunately I think my boss may not be so in favour of that new lifestyle I'm guessing not many bosses are.

Hey, we can always dream can't we? I do have a lottery ticket that I haven't checked yet. Maybe I could retire next week.

If anyone has an early retirement plan for someone who has worked two years and is 23 with two nickels saved up, please fill me in on this information.

If not I will stick with my job, which is pretty awesome. I mean who else gets to go golfing and call it sports research and networking.

Thanks, New Horizons, for letting me join your group. I'll be back in 40 years, when I can commit more time.