If you caught any of the PGA tour so far, you might have heard that unmistakable Irish brogue.
It belongs to CBS golf analyst David Feherty, a true national treasure, who spices up what is often a staid television experience with candor. The Northern Ireland native is the Charles Barkley of golf television: unafraid to speak his mind, more than willing to drop salty language in conversation and remarkably open about his past. That fearless attitude — on both CBS broadcasts and his “Feherty” show on the Golf Channel — has netted him a passionate following.
“I’ve said things over the years that might have gotten someone else fired had they said them, but it doesn’t come from a mean-spirited place,” Feherty says. “If I’m giving someone a hard time, it’s to give them the opportunity to show me who they are by their reaction. You don’t have to be offended; you don’t have to call Al Sharpton. You can actually take it. Don’t be bitter, just be better.”
Feherty will bring that attitude to 4 different locations in Ontario this summer.
Feherty has never held back from speaking his mind, but the show allows him to be somehow even more frank. As Feherty puts it, “political correctness is just a euphemism for bull—-” and his show will be a reflection of that.
He doesn’t have to worry about a fine from the FCC though he admits his employers are “tremendously concerned” about what he might say during the shows. CBS distanced itself from “controversial” comments he made in a 2009 column for D Magazine, encouraging him to use “better judgement” in the future.
In 2015, Feherty is still going as strong as ever. These days he’s intent on showing audiences around the country he’s more than just the guy they see for a few moments during Masters broadcasts.
“It’s a more accurate picture of who I am,” Feherty says. “People have a perception from television whether it’d be with CBS walking by the leaders making a comment now and then, or interviewing the leader. (This) gives me the chance to be considerably more politically incorrect and touch subjects I’m not even allowed to even go near when I’m on a sports broadcast.”
He will undoubtedly talk about golf during his one-man show. Everyone seems to want his opinion of Tiger Woods and other golfers. But you don’t have to be a fan of golf to be entertained by him. During his show, he also delves into his battle with alcohol and drug addiction. His struggles with bi-polar disorder and the dark places it took him.
He believes there is still a stigma attached to mental illnesses like bipolar and he is in a position in the public eye to fix that. His hope is that his openness about his struggles might help others realize they aren’t alone in dealing with illnesses.
“If it helps one person in the audience — and it usually does more than one — that makes me feel better,” he says. “That’s the reason why I do it.”
David will perform on four stops in Ontario this summer:
Monday, July 20th – National Arts Centre, Ottawa
Tuesday, July 21st – Centre in the Square, Kitchener
Wednesday, July 22nd – Idylwylde Golf & CC, Sudbury
Thursday, July 23rd – Living Arts Centre, Mississauga
2014 Investors Group Junior Girls’ Championship Highlights
Highlights from the 2014 Investors Group Junior Girls’ Championship. Held July 15-18 at the Maple City Country Club in Chatham, Ontario. The tournament was won by 18-year-old Courtney Tolton from Mitchell, Ontario.
PGA of Canada Professionals Dave Smallwood and Mike Skimson are pleased and excited to announce a new junior tour played strictly on GolfNorth Properties. Registration for the Ian Leggatt GolfNorth Junior Tour is now open. The purpose of this tour is to provide players the opportunity to experience competitive golf in professionally run one-day events. All participants will have Tour Membership and will be awarded Order of Merit points based on their finishes. The tour will consist of a qualifying event and five one-day events in four different divisions including:
Girls (U15 and U19)
Boys (U15 and U19)
Tour Qualifying Date—Sunday June 15th—Foxwood Golf Club Cost—$125 + HST
Event # 1—Tuesday July 1st—Mystic Golf Club Cost $75 + HST
Event # 2—Tuesday July 15th—Dundee Country Club Cost $75 + HST
Event # 3—Tuesday July 29th—Conestoga Country Club Cost $75 + HST
Event # 4—Tuesday August 5th—Paris Grand Golf Club Cost $75 + HST
Event # 5—Tuesday August 26th—Grey Silo Golf Club Cost $75 + HST
To register please visit www.golfnorthjuniortour.ca
For up to date information please follow us on twitter @leggoGNJunior
Markland Wood Golf Club revitalized as members celebrate club’s 50th anniversary
TORONTO, ON – Members at Markland Wood Golf Club are coming to appreciate the calm after the storm as they prepare to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary throughout 2014.
The storm first blasted many Toronto area clubs and homes last summer with torrential rains and flooding. Markland Wood’s 18 low-lying fairways and bunkers were flooded in July by an overflowing Etobicoke Creek. The course remained closed for nearly two weeks for clean-up before fully opening a month later with rebuilt bunkers.
Green 13, in March of 2014 after severe ice damage.
If that wasn’t enough, Mother Nature’s fury struck Toronto in December with a devastating ice storm, followed by the Polar Vortex’s flash freeze in early January that hit clubs across Ontario, Quebec and the North Eastern United States. Many courses in the Greater Toronto Area with poa annua (annual bluegrass) greens, including Markland Wood, were especially hard hit by a four to eight inch blanket of ice over much of the course that severely damaged thousands of greens.
“You could say that Mother Nature has not been very kind to us, but the membership has really pulled together and turned these natural disasters into a positive outcome,” says Superintendent Owen Russell who has been dealing with the aftermath on a daily basis. Both private and public clubs across the GTA, and Ontario for that matter, continue to deal with the aftermath of the harshest winter in at least 25 years.
Since last summer’s storm, the club has spent close to $2 million to repair damage including; rebuilding all 65 bunkers with assistance from architect Cam Tyers, sodding 11 acres of fairway, installing a new irrigation system, cleaning up trees damaged by the ice storm and sodding 14 greens with 72,000 square-feet, or 8,550 rolls of Aggressor bentgrass. The remaining five greens will be re-surfaced at the end of season to ensure consistency for putting areas.
“I think the resiliency of the membership is quite remarkable and inspiring because they have been able to accept the circumstances and move forward very quickly,” he adds. Now there is sod shortage in Ontario and clubs are looking outside of the province and the country to try and make repairs. “When we fully open the course in June with the new greens our members are essentially going to have a new golf course to play on and that’s something they should be very proud of,” Russell says.
“While it was initially hard to see the silver lining through the devastation incurred, that dejection quickly turned to the realization of the opportunity to revitalize the golf course,” says Markland Wood GC President, Scott Peart. “We won’t be playing on the new greens for a few weeks, but I can already feel the anticipation building within the membership. It’s going to be an exciting 50th anniversary celebration with several member events in the works, a few great charity tournaments and the club is hosting the 15th annual Toronto Star Women’s Amateur from June 23 to 26th.”
The club is also publishing a book “50 Years of Fellowship” to commemorate the 50th anniversary. If you have a chance to read it you’ll learn that the Markland Wood area goes back as far as 1810, when John Silverthorn and his family settled here along the Etobicoke River. They established a saw and gristmill that operated until 1870 when the flow of water diminished to the extent that there was insufficient power to drive the mill. The Silverthorn family then turned to farming, before selling it to developer Marc Cavotti in 1958. His associates lightheartedly referred to the property as “Marc’s Land”, which was the preamble to the area’s final moniker of Markland Wood.
After the initial plans for the Markland Wood community were prepared, it was discovered that the land adjoining the Etobicoke River was situated on a floodplain established by Hurricane Hazel, and not suitable for residential development. Being the avid golfers that they were, Cavotti and his associates decided this land would be an ideal place to put a golf course. The project was then turned over to architect Eric Hanson, who transformed the unique crescent shaped parcel of land into an 18-hole golf course. The Club officially opened with Bob Hope as special guest of Head Professional Al Balding, a member of both the Canadian and the Ontario Golf Halls of Fame.
The course plays from 4,763 yards to 6,285 yards, par-70 from five sets of tee blocks, but it is the narrow fairways, fast greens, strategically placed bunkers, mature trees and the ever present, Etobicoke Creek, that define its character and challenges players of every level.
Despite the steep repair bill, Peart says the club of 700 members remains in an excellent financial position having now completed a significant portion of capital work on the course without any assessments to the members. It’s a place where denim can be worn year-round in the lounge of a modern full-service clubhouse where families are encouraged to become friends with other families. The club’s slogan for this year is “Celebrating 50 years of Fellowship.”
“The Markland Wood residential community has the motto “a circle of friends”. This holds true for Markland Wood Golf Club as well,” Peart says. “It is a tightly knit group of golfers who are proud of their golf course and support their fellow members. As we turn the corner and prepare for the journey for the next 50 years I believe the club is well positioned for growth and prosperity.”
The Club a North Halton will host the GAO 2014 Investors Group Ontario Amateur Championship July 8-11.
UXBRIDGE, ON— The Golf Association of Ontario (GAO) is proud to announce its 2014 tournament schedule that will again feature some of the best golf courses in Ontario.
Kicking off the schedule is the Men’s Better-Ball Championship on May 15 at Oakdale Golf & Country Club. “I think we have strong clubs lined up for 2014, especially for our major event,” said Director of Rules and Competitions Dave Colling.
The GAO is also pleased to return to Northern Ontario at the Timberwolf Golf Club, just outside of Sudbury, for the Investors Group Junior Boys’ Championship, July 15-18. The Junior Boys’ event will feature final qualifying this year, similar to what has been used with the Men’s Amateur.
This year, both the Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships will take place at the same time, July 8-11, in the same area. The Brampton Golf Club will welcome the ladies, while The Club at North Halton, in Georgetown, will host the men. A pair of changes to the Women’s Amateur Championship in 2014 are that it will be a 72-hole event, a first for the tournament, and there will be a reduction in the eligible handicap from 12 to 8.4. “This is to ensure the highest level of competition,” said Colling. “It will reduce the field down to 90.”
The GAO is also returning to Eastern Ontario with the Bantam (U15) Boys’ and Girls’ Championships at the Canadian Golf and Country Club in Kanata. There will be off-site qualifying for this event at three different courses.
The 2014 Juvenile (U17) Boys’ and Girls’ Championships will be run as part of the Ontario Summer Games Aug. 8-10 at Roseland Golf and Country Club in Windsor. This year’s field has been expanded to include 90 players, 60 boys and 30 girls.
Finally, the George S. Lyon Team Challenge, Sept. 2 at The Club at Bond Head, reverts to an open format in 2014 after a senior tournament in 2013. The event will continue to alternate between the two formats in future years.
Registration and qualifying info is set to go live on gao.ca at noon on Jan 27.