“Just over 100 yards out from the first tee sat the famous lobstick tree. Arguably one of the most famous trees in western Canada,the lobstick was the symbol of the tradition and history of the Waskesiu Golf Course, so much so that our world famous match play event is named in its honour.
The annual Lobstick tournaments at Waskesiu are some of the largest match play events in North America, attracting more than 800 golfers from across the continent. It is a summer tradition in Saskatchewan for more than 80 years that was named after the famous Lobstick tree located in the middle of the fairway, off the first tee. The Cree word lobstick, refers to an evergreen tree that had its branches cut off to the midway point to act as a trail marker.” http://www.waskesiugolf.com
There are four different tournaments: Juniors, Men’s, Womens and Senior Men’s which are open to players of all skill level and offer participants the thrill of friendly competition. We have met some contenders with our visits to this beautiful forest course.
In June we met Raymond and Paul. It was a practice round before the senior men’s tournament for them and it was lots of fun. Paul pulled his golf bag from the modified carrier he has fixed to the back of his motorcycle..two passions perfectly blended for the joy of it. Both of these guys love golf and play often and every year they book the trip to reconnect with childhood friends and golf the Lobstick. They have stories of struggles and loss but golf brings them all back together again, once a year.
Later in July, we met Laughlin a 13 year old playing golf with his Uncle Barry.He plays five days a week with his Grandpa and Uncle Barry, practicing to compete in his first time Junior Lobstick. They are teaching him the love of the game – and this boy has game! He is hungry to play well, more distance is better. His golf hero is Rory McIlroy a young man from Ireland that hits the ball a very long way. It was about the seventh hole and Lyle asked him if he wanted the secret to add 20 yards to his drive. “Yes, I do Yes please tell me the secret!” So Lyle adjusted Laughlin’s beautiful new M1 driver and adjusted his grip. It took practice to straighten it out but the distance was there…shot after shot he hit them long. It was wonderful to see how this family has bonded with golf and shared life lessons that make grandpa and Uncle Barry very proud of this young man.
A few days later Lyle and I were called to the tee box and introduced to another junior and his beautiful grandmother. Reilly is a 16 year old, quiet and thoughtful in his game. His grandmother, Marion at 89 years old is still golfing and now coaching her beloved grandson for the Junior Lobstick. She has owned a cabin at Waskesiu for many years and is well known and respected by many at the golf course. Although her game has changed in this later part of her life, she still has distance and hits a straight consistant ball. I had to comment on her great flexibility and she shared her commitment to stretching every morning and night.
It is so exciting to watch these young men start in this game and want to compete. More important for us is the message that we can continue to play excellent golf as we age,we can live life our own way and by keeping connections at the golf course, we can play and have fun for many years to come.
Learning more about the history and meaning of the lobstick tournaments has inspired me to compete in the Conexus Women’s tournament in 2018. I celebrate many friends and aquaintances that are competing right now and hope you make a week of memories that keep you coming back!