BY DEBBY LAKE
I have to admit, I am not a golfer. I tried to be a golfer. It didn’t work out for me. I didn’t really “get it”!
There was a part of golf that I liked. I liked it a lot. In fact, I liked it more than actually playing a round of golf! I really enjoyed going to the driving range that was on MacDonald Drive and driving a bucket of golf balls into the pond! That was beyond fun! That’s the only thing I liked about golf. I can’t remember why it shut down, but it did and that ended my golf experience!
I’m thinking that it may have been where I started my golf experience that may have caused me to not like it because I’m beginning to think that maybe, I could begin to like it and maybe become a golfer. And what has made me think I might change my mind about golf after two+ decades? Wounded Warriors is what has made me think that I could maybe, possibly like golf! Wounded Warriors and The Wilds at Salmonier!
I happened to find myself in a conversation with John Heffernan about 5 years ago. John is the “boots on the ground” in Newfoundland and Labrador for Wounded Warriors Canada. I had met with him to find out about Wounded Warriors for another group I was involved in that was looking for a place to donate money and we were wondering if Wounded Warriors fit the bill. I can’t remember if it fit the bill for that other group, but it fit the bill for me. During our conversation, John mentioned that he was in the middle of planning a golf tournament and I made him an offer. I offered to volunteer to go to the golf tournament and take pictures for him and he took me up on the offer. I am extremely grateful he did. It makes me feel like I’m helping and this year was the 4th annual tournament and my 4th year taking pictures.
All of these tournaments have been held at the Wilds at Salmonier. And it is really the Wilds that make me think I could become a golfer. I stay in the hotel the night before the tournament and get up at the crack of dawn, grab a golf cart and drive the course taking pictures. There is some truly spectacular scenery out there. I always get to see woodland creatures when I am out that early. It’s usually little bunny rabbits. This year, I got to watch a big moose lumber along and into the woods.
I just really like the whole Wilds experience. The staff is just wonderful! I’m there less than 24 hours once a year and the staff remember me. We’re like old friends now. I feel comfortable there and I realized this year that that is the difference between where I started to try to be a golfer and where I think I may want to try again. I didn’t feel comfortable at the other place.
I feel like I could actually pick up a golf club and try to be a golfer at the Wilds. If you are thinking you might want to be a golfer, I would suggest you try to become a golfer at The Wilds. Who knows, maybe on August 31, 2018 at the 5th Annual Wounded Warriors Golf Tournament I may just try and wear two hats; photographer AND golfer!