Bundled up to the point of being unrecognizable, Rick Ewasko burst into the restaurant at Shooters Family Golf Center and made a bold proclamation.
“This left-handed club is pretty good out there!” he said yesterday afternoon. “I’m going to shoot left-handed when the summer comes.”
That remains to be seen, but using the wrong stick on a makeshift track on the last day of February is what the Shooters second-annual snow golf tournament is all about.
Hatched by owner Thomas Parry, the tourney is designed for friends and members to have a good time and raise some money for charity.
“We were looking for something to break up the winter blues,” he said. “Last year, it was perfect weather. I was like -2 C degrees and there was no wind. Couldn’t ask for better conditions.”
This time around, Mother Nature was not so forgiving for the winter duffers. Despite the blinding sun, a strong north wind made the -15 C temperature feel closer to -30 C.
But that didn’t stop the 88 entrants from grabbing an iron and a couple of tennis balls before heading out to the nine-hole, par-36 course.
“The longest hole is 85 yards, but it’s a par five,” Parry said. “There are no rules out there, either. People are using horns, I saw someone get tackled — it’s just all about fun.
“Last year, two people shot a 37. Out there … that’s an amazing number.”
There were some impressive shots yesterday.
Ewasko drained his tennis ball on the par-four, eight hole in just two shots. That was upstaged with the sounds of cheering off in the distance as someone blasted an ace through the bitter wind.
While that was going on, others were looking for their tennis balls, having buried them in the soft fairways.
“Luck,” joked Tom Gough when asked what the key to being a successful snow golfer is. “I don’t have any wiser words for you. The trick is to get under the ball, like you’re in a sand trap. It’s like one big giant sand trap out here.”
Parry said all proceeds of the Shooters winter golf tournament will go to CancerCare Manitoba. His sister Rebecca passed away from cancer last year.