Reaching one’s own level of (in)competence

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Musings from the Yarmouth Links

By Alain Meuse


A sure sign that August is upon us is having to weave between the droppings of Canada geese, which, it seems, have taken up permanent residency on Clara Caie’s meadowlands known as the Yarmouth Links.

  By mid-September there should be a few hundred of them sprawled across the 16, 17 and 18 fairways.

  The first “shipment” of 10 Canadas arrived on July 31.  I witnessed their entrance, which was verified by the green “goo” that collected on the wheels of my golf cart and cleats on my shoes.

  These geese are used to human contact.  You can chase them about until they take off, but they merely boomerang back to any green spot on the course.

  Ten are manageable; a few hundred of them become a messy problem.


  They say baseball is a game of inches.  If that is the case, golf is a game of centimetres.

  At first glance the Yarmouth Links looks like easy pickings.  But the wind is always a factor. Coupled with thick rough and small greens, the average duffer might not find the course as amiable as first perceived.

  There is one constant in this game and it’s thus: Once you reach your level of competency, you rarely veer drastically from that norm.  A quick glance at the winners of various tournaments put on by the club in the past decade will verify that; the same guys and gals keep winning.

  In my case it’s reaching a level of incompetence...

  Ever wonder who shot the best scores at the Links?  I did and Garth Nickerson came to the rescue. He’s kept a log of most happenings at the Links since it was expanded to 18 holes.

  Faren Surette, son of the late James Surette of Surette’s Island, set the ball rolling when he shot a 63 on the expanded course. On the old nine-hole course, Rob Collins carted a 62.  He then moved his allegiance to Clare, where he set a number of records at that excellent venue.  A monument honouring his feats is located near the entrance to the clubhouse.

  But in 2001 Derek Boudreau shot a round of nine under par for 61. Five years later Matt Fish shot 63 on a course whose greens had been aerated i.e. holier than the Pope.

  Last year Faren Surette shot another 63 and this year Morgan Penney came in with a 64.

  Best ball tournaments can be interesting because with the proper mix high scores can be attained.

  If you get Derek Boudreau, Phil Mooney, Matt Fish and Aaron Nickerson together, you’re bound to score well. And they did at last year’s Victor Rodney shindig.  After the conclusion of the two-day event they were 38 strokes under par, the record for this event.

  Another sign that summer is waning is the appearance of the Rick Boudreau Memorial.  Rick – or Boo, as he was called – was the head groundskeeper at the links for many years and indeed left us too young.  Nothing polished about this guy, he was a bit rough but a kinder soul you never saw.  And he was one hell of a golfer and most willing to give advice. Boo was especially proud of his son Derek and his grandson, both excellent practitioners of the art.

  The Boudreau Memorial was held at the Links the last weekend in July. After the first day Morgan Penney was two ahead of the pack.  Derek was one of the guys at two back.

  One Sunday he blew past Morgan, who had a bit of a collapse, and won the event with a two-day total score of 137.

  Other winners were: Overall low net: Mathieu Muise.  Low senior: Wally Sisco. 1st division gross: Aaron Nickerson. 1st division net: Ryan Goudey…There was another hole-in-one registered at the Links. This was shot a few weeks ago by Paul Comeau. He’s Dr. Alyre Comeau’s son.... There will be a junior club event Aug. 7-8. A mixed tournament will take place Aug. 12 beginning at 2 p.m. Another junior event will take place Aug. 13 starting at 9 a.m and a memorial for all golfers who have gone on to that great fairway in the sky will be held Aug. 19, with a tee time of 8 a.m.







Geographic location: Canada, Clare

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