2018 Golf Tour – A Competitive Working Vacation

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Tony Li

The 8th Hole at Terra Lago Golf Course - North

As spring break quickly came to an end, six members of the St. George’s Golf Team enjoyed a working vacation as they travelled to Palm Desert for the 2018 Golf Tour. It was a five-day trip, from April 3rd to April 7th, to prepare and compete in the Champions Invitational Golf Tournament at Terra Lago Golf Course. The tour featured an escape from Vancouver’s rainy forecasts as well an experience competing against other top-level golfers.

Tony Li
The 3rd Hole at the Terra Lago Golf Course – South

The golf tour is now an annual event for the Saints golf program. The selection process to participate in the tour is open to all members of the golf team, though prior competitive golf experience is a requirement for consideration by coaches. The selected six-man team travels to a different location each year to play in a tournament or to train – it is truly a unique opportunity for avid golfers to invest time and effort into perfecting their craft and build chemistry with their teammates while relaxing at the same time.

We were greeted with 30-degree heat, sunny skies, and palm trees swaying in the wind. Team members found the firm greens and high winds of the Terra Lago Golf Course to be a challenging and unfamiliar test of desert golf. “To play like a pro, one needs to prepare like a pro”, says Mr. Proznick, the head coach of the golf program. The difficulty of the course along with the goal of a good finish inspired the boys to take on preparation with firm intent. On April 4th and April 5th, the boys tried to replicate tournament conditions during practice. They simulated the competitive atmosphere by scheduling practice rounds at the same time as competitive play would begin in the actual tournament, which unfortunately happened to be 7:30 am.

All the preparation led to the tournament day on April 6th. 44 teams and over 200 players looked for great play capture the trophy. Day one of the competition was 36 holes (two rounds) of golf with shotgun starts at 7:30 am and 1:30 pm. As the competitors faced over 30mph winds on the already-difficult golf course, it was imperative for a player to be precise with their yardages and to be comfortable playing in the wind. St. George’s finished the day with a team score of 359 for round one and 355 for round two (714 total), which placed them at 35th place. The result is far from what the team members have hoped for, but there is only room for improvement.

Day two of the competition was much calmer, and St. George’s took advantage of the easier conditions. Saints climbed up the leaderboard with their team score of 313, which was among the best of the day. The boys eventually finished at 32nd place out of 44 teams. The result was not our best, but Mr. Proznick was especially “proud of the way we stayed resilient in the tough weather.”

Despite the setback this year, the Saints golf program and the golf tour will come back to the Champions Invitational Golf Tournament in 2020, and all the team members will be driven to improve their play and finish.