As a teenager, I went out on a few golf outings with friends because they were interested in the game. My interest at that time was at best fleeting. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I became serious about golf. I was 25 years old and in charge of installing all the electronics at a new golf course, Sawmill Golf and Country Club. The owner of the course, George Julie offered me a membership for the balance of 1976 and 1977 for one low price. After a while, I became addicted to golf and since then, I’ve been a member at Sawmill and good friends with its owners George and Gail Julie.
George Julie has been a hickory collector for many years and he got me interested in hickory golf about 5 years ago. Since I was already tinkering with golf club re-gripping and repairs, George pushed me into learning how to re-grip and repair hickory shafted golf clubs. Now that I am retired, I can devote more time to golf. Whether I’m playing golf, repairing or modifying golf clubs (moderns or hickories), or enjoying the camaraderie with friends at the course, I appreciate the game as much as ever.
My involvement with golf has certainly focused on my connection to Sawmill. But, I’ve also enjoyed playing many other golf courses and organizing various golf events, tournaments and men’s committees. I’ve also happily been the Senior Ryder Cup captain at Sawmill for 13 years.
I’m not much of a collector, but I enjoy keeping mementos from courses that are special to me.
Also, George Julie had a demo set of the early Hogan Magnums. Ben Hogan himself hated the cavity back clubs so his company only made them for a few years in the mid ’80s. I still own that set and still play with them occasionally.
I don’t have many hickories collected as of yet, but I am working on it.
I only have one set that I play with, and it is a mismatched set of original hickories.
I really enjoy working with original antique clubs whether for myself or for other players or collectors.
I have several favourite courses but of course, Sawmill Golf has to be at the top.
I also enjoy the rugged tree-filled courses of northern Ontario and a course in Sault Ste. Marie is another of my favourites—Crimson Ridge.
Another course that impressed me immensely was Westmount in Kitchener-Waterloo. Nearby, I enjoy Peninsula Lakes, where I shot the lowest round I have ever had in competition, a 73 to tie for low round in a “Champion of Champion’s” qualifier.
I joined the Golf Historical Society about 5 or 6 years ago and I’m grateful for the friendships that I’ve made and nurtured over that time.
With the encouragement of Lorne Emery, I’ve recently become a Hickory Ambassador for GHSC.