Suffering for the ‘shot’ at Shaganappi

July 10, 2009
Green in progress at Shaganappi's first hole

Green in progress at Shaganappi's first hole

I have a new, profound, respect for investigative journalists. As part of my ongoing coverage of the renovations at Calgary’s Shaganappi Golf Course, I needed a shot of the progress being made on the first hole. But when I showed up with my camera, I found that someone had put a fence in the way. No problem. I’m a resourceful gal who doesn’t mind a little bushwhacking, so I dove into the shrubbery to find a better angle.

My backpack got caught and, less than three feet in, I was properly stuck. No problem. I ditched the backpack and pushed forward. My shins and hands got the worst of it. Dozens of prickly branches left dozens of tiny red welts (tiny being relative, of course). I thought of the poor reporters in Vietnam and gritted my teeth, thinking, “you’ve got it easy, girl, and you know it.” Then right in front of me… another fence!

Into the jungle

Into the jungle

Oh great, another fence!

Oh great, another fence!

No problem. I followed it until a gap opened up in line with the hole. There was a big, wobbly roll of extra chainlink blocking most of the opening, but I climbed up onto it and, perching precariously, took the shot you see above. National Geographic shot of the week, it ain’t. But it did allow me feel a certain kinship with the wild lensemen of yore, those brave souls who brought the trenches to life a hundred years ago, and all those since who’ve weedled their way into far tighter corners than I, for the sake of ‘the shot’.

Perched for the shot

Perched for the shot

I was ‘snapped’ back to reality when I went back to grab my backpack. As I tugged it free, a nasty little twig whipped straight up and hit me on the nose, right on the tender bottom bit. OUCH! It stung like mad! My eyes watered and I struggled, half blind, to get out of the darned jungle. Yes, a kinship indeed. I cursed the fences, and the builders who’d put them there. What on Earth did a plot of scraped up land need protection from anyway? And then it hit me… Oh, I guess from people like me~wink.


A personal apology to Dorothy…

June 22, 2009

Coming up to the last tee box of a Saturday morning nine, one of my freshly introduced foursome, dear Dorothy, told us how she had never once hit the short par three’s green in 15 years of playing Shaganappi.

“Today’s the day,” she said, and promptly topped the ball straight into the rough.

The other two women played it safe, as in nowhere near the green. I shot last, taking a chance on my moody 5 hybrid rather than my usual 6 iron. I’ve never hit it so clean, and the ball sailed singing all the way to the very center of the green.   

I’m sorry Dorothy. I really am. But my ego has to say a little thank you, because you set me up for a shot that – with golf’s wicket sense of humor – couldn’t possibly have gone anywhere else.

TOP FIVE – What NOT to do when golfing with a woman!

May 21, 2009

She will lose her mind (and not in that good way) if you pull any of these shady/condescending moves on the course. How do I know? Find out what happened when this experienced golfer was hit with ALL FIVE (in chronological order) during last Saturday’s round!

1# Don't try to stop my ball with your foot!

1# Don't try to stop my ball with your foot!

Don’t… try and stop my ball with your foot. This is, without a doubt, the most humiliating cruelty one golfer can inflict on another. Never mind sexist, this is downright inhuman! Go ahead and help your two year old fit her straw in her juicebox, be my guest. But pleeeease give my hand/eye coordination a little more credit. After all, I did manage, miraculously, to tie these laces all by myself. Even if my ball is supersonically blasting its way across the green, straight for a bunker, DO NOT PUT YOUR TOE IN ITS WAY. I will bite it off (you think I’m kidding, don’t you).


2# Don't coach me (in any way shape or form)!

Don’t say… “Don’t forget your club,” as I’m walking towards the wedge I left on the green while putting out. Trust me, even your two year old would get pissed at you for that one. If you do happen to have some useful advice for me, even swing tips, just ask permission first. You know, like when you’re on that first…(oops I mean third) date~wink.


3# Don't ask me, "are you having fun yet?"

Don’t ask… “Are you having fun yet?” after I’ve just made a mess of a hole. You know what? Don’t even say it after I’ve had a magical, afterlife-illuminating, hole. Just keep your mouth shut. I’m golfing. What business is it of anyone’s whether I’m having any fun at it! I’m here, aren’t I? What more can the bloody game want from me!


4# Don't try to make the game easier for/on me!

Don’t say… “You can move it out of there…” when I have a challenging lie. If I wanted to be mini-putting on Astroturf, then (and this will blow your mind) I would be mini-putting on Astroturf. Last time I checked, golf wasn’t supposed to be a walk in the park (oh wait, technically…). But really, maybe this is my mistake? Maybe it’s supposed to be easy? Just like getting rich is such a cinch, and having great hair every day is…sigh…

5# Don't laugh (out loud) if I flub a shot! Seriously.

5# Don't laugh (out loud) if I flub a shot! Seriously.

Don’t… laugh (long and loud and luxuriously) when I flub my shot.

And there’s where it all went so wrong…
I played it cool all the way through till #5 (aside from a snarky “are you having fun yet” retort on hole 14), but I’m ashamed to say I lost my mind when he started laughing…and laughing…and kept on laughing at my blown bunker shot on hole 15. He went right on laughing even as I was charging at him up the lip of the trap!

I dropped my club and made straight for the brute. I didn’t care that he was a full ½ foot taller and about 100 pounds heavier; I had thousands of years of sexist injustices backing me up! Oh, and one rather shocked husband. Yes, the poor man who had gallantly kept me calm through all the condescension by explaining “he doesn’t know any better,” turned to find his tiny blond wife going all Hulk Hogan on his playing partner. I was up in the middle aged man’s “grill” shouting, “do you have some kind of problem,” when dear hubby dragged me away.

I’d like to say I’m exaggerating here (and so would dear hubby), but, and you girls can relate to me on this, it’s hard for any woman to be taken seriously on the course, no matter her skill level. We have so much more to prove, and so much less raw muscle to prove it with. It’s no wonder we can get a little sensitive when there’s blatant condescension in your voice. Just be warned, chivalry is a noble, but dangerous, game to play on a golf course.

~Visuals by brilliant illustrator Christina Nichols~

The official (embarrassing) first sign of golf season

May 19, 2009
Witness the glorious rebirth of sock-tan!

Witness the glorious rebirth of sock-tan!

If Charles Dickens had been a golfer…

May 19, 2009


“It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times…
…it was golf.”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Courses



How to make a man’s jaw drop (and it’s not what you think)

August 27, 2008

So… I was walking home from work yesterday, minding my own business, when these two fellows came up and asked “can we get your opinion”? This is never a good thing, especially when one of them is wearing a suit and holding a clipboard, and the other one’s smile is just a little too wide. Keep in mind I was wearing a dirty baseball cap, rolled up hideous grey pants, a purple pyjama shirt, and a fluorescent orange makeshift backpack that I got as swag from a Geophysics convention (my job has some serious perks!). Glamazon, not so much. So I knew they had to be selling something and, be it a different faith or front row football tickets, I was just not interested.

“A new girl’s spa is opening up!” exclaimed the suited guy, waving a book of coupons at me (and ya, he really did say “girl’s”). Then the one behind him spoke up. All I heard was something about “free golf”. Oh, those two magic words were enough to stop me in my tracks. I could have been in the middle of an intersection or running with the Bulls in Spain, and I still would have stopped dead and put on my most charming smile.

“Free golf?” I asked excitedly, with raised eyebrows.

They both looked confused. “Nope, SPA,” said the suit.

“No thanks,” I said, “but now, if you were talking about free golf then that would be a totally different thing!”

The suit couldn’t quite get his tiny overly gelled head around the idea. The other fellow, a red haired scrawny twenty something, was just staring. His eyes went wide. His jaw slowly fell. It was shock; it was awe. It was fabulous! He kept repeating the word “golf” as if it was the first time he’d heard it come out of a girl (even if it was a girl with the ugliest pants ever brought into existence) – a fantastical fantasy come true. Could it be that “girl” and “golf” could be combined into one perfect-purple-pajama-shirted” package? I could see his brain trying to put it all together.

I tell you, it’s moments like that, that make those three puts on 18 and all those agonizing push slices worth it. I turned away feeling like I’d expanded the poor boy’s view of women, of maybe the whole world! But should the feminist agenda ever be put before a facial? I didn’t even check the deals! And if anyone needs to save on a massage, it would be us golfers! lol

“Pulling a Maggert” – Golf’s most dangerous shot

August 18, 2008
If you look close can see the pain

If you look close can actually see the pain

Who says golf is a boring game? I barely survived the second hole of my “leisurely” Sunday afternoon round yesterday. My ball was buried in deep rough off the right side of the fairway. I had about 60 yards to the green, but there was a large elm halfway between me and the pin. I knew I’d have to power the ball out of the grass with enough oomf to punch it through the leaves. No problem. I set up with my seven and let ‘er rip with maxed out swing speed and a full body turn. It hit the trunk dead square. There was a tremendous “Thwack” and suddenly the ball was heading straight for me – missile style – target locked. I chucked my club with a yell and did a ever-so-graceful backwards dive onto the grass – out of the line of fire. Time slowed, and one word, one name, flashed before my eyes as I arched through the air…MAGGERT.

What is “pulling a Maggert”?

Who pulled the first Maggert? Jeff Maggert, of course, on that infamous Sunday afternoon at the Masters five years ago. It remember watching it (on TV, tragically) as a fledgling golfer and thinking – “No, this can’t be happening, this game can’t be that cruel!” An oh, oh yes it can, as I have learned many times over since then. And as I picked my grass stained self up off the ground, I learned it all over again. My bullet ball had come to rest a good 25 yards behind where I’d first hit it… touché golf, touché.

(photo source: