Last weekend, I was in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories for the 60th Anniversary of the Petersen-Auger Golf Tournament. The objective of this event was to raise money for the much needed SPCA Animal Shelter, which is in the midst of construction in Yellowknife.
Back in January, I was contacted by Caroline Browing-Kauffman, the tournament coordinator, who wrote, "Can you come and help us make this a great Event?" Even though the dates conflicted with the BCPGA Women's Championship, I only had to think about it for a short while to make my decision. "I'm going to Yellowknife," I said to myself (and then to everyone else).
On the Saturday of the tournament, I ran a clinic on my golf swing theory and method. On Sunday, after the event was over, I gave a brief speech. I must admit I had a couple of waves of performance anxiety. Speaking engagements are something I do, but just infrequently enough to keep me nervous!
From the time I arrived until the time I left I received fantastic treatment. Caroline,my gracious host, took me on many driving tours around the area. I was treated to a helicopter ride over the town by Trinity Helicopters. I learned about the incredible climate and the day light. When it wasn't daylight, it was just dusky light. My sleep suffered a little. I think it would take some time to adjust to this, for example, bright sunshine at 11:00 at night!
For two days, I was paired with some super nice Yellowknifers, Adam, Andy and Pat. They gave me some good advice to get me around the course. The golf course is incredible: It is a sand-scape, with very little grass. You hit your tee shot and watch for the dusty explosion of the ball landing. The locals say, "Watch for the poof". When you arrive at your ball, your ball is plugged in the sand: But wait, you're going to create a new lie on a 6"x12" piece of artificial turf which you carry on a hook on your golf cart. So, you pick up your ball, and place it on the turf. When you do hit the green, it is an artificial surface. I hate to brag, but I got the hang of these greens and was sinking some crazy-long putts. I guess I am not that special, because all of my playing partners were draining putts and chips. It made for some euphoric guffaws in our group and provided a ton of fun. We did win the event and received some nice golfy prizes. I also was given a gift bag full of lots of Yellowknife souveniers- my favourite item is the raven headcover with a golf ball in its mouth! (the ravens are known to steal balls around the course)
All the efforts of Caroline and the event organisers and volunteers paid off, because when it was all said and done, the SPCA had benefited to the tune of $11,000 or so from the proceeds. Their animal shelter will be finished by the end of the summer. Yay!
I feel extremely fortunate to have been invited up to the North. It is a unique and special place filled with incredibly nice people. If you haven't been yet, make a point to go! My next trip there will be in the fall to see the Aurora Borealis.