84th Annual Golf Classic
Following a robust and productive discussion at the Fathers meeting, the event kicked off with the ceremonial tee shots from the oldest and youngest participants. For the first time, Gino Luciani had the honours for the Fathers, joining young Ethan Burkholder in knocking their drives straight and long.
As a special treat, players arriving at the 9th tee deck were greeted by Dennis Maruk, a 15-year NHL veteran who had back-to-back 50 and 60 goal seasons with the Washington Capitals in ’80/81 and ’81/82. A small donation bought three shot attempts at a hockey net 25 yards away, using a hockey stick and golf ball. “Goal” scorers were given a raffle ticket for prize draws during the banquet. It was a great reminder to focus on fun, especially since the pin placements and super fast greens were a constant reminder that the Golf Gods can be cruel.
Following the round, the banquet kicked off with Maruk sharing stories, answering questions and giving his candid thoughts on topics such as the best players, the toughest arenas, the state of the game (and players) today.
In a somber and reflective moment, Richard Luciani led the group in a moment of silence to reflect on the recent tragedy that affected the Lorry Parker family and caused them, and longtime friends and FATS brethren Siemms family, to miss the event on short notice. Other recent family losses were mentioned during the introductions, with a reminder to honour loved ones and cherish family traditions.
For the first time in many years, there were no New Families to shower with the traditional whoops and cheers. Instead, that enthusiasm and appreciation was directed at the longtime participating Hisey family, who announced during the family introductions that Sam Hisey would be putting away the clubs, bringing their 22 year tradition to a close.
For the second year in a row, the Snyder family made the trip across the border to play in the event, hailing from Philadelphia, PA. By random draw, they went home with 4 signed copies of Adam Hadwin, a rising star Canadian golfer on the PGA Tour. They hinted that if, as anticipated, the 2020 event is held in/around Niagara Falls, they may have another US-based team making the trek across the Niagara River.
The event concluded with the handing off to the Bulter and Golfi families, who stepped up on short notice and committed to co-hosting the 2020 event.