When the PGA Tour pros quietly take in the Chiddock Golf Club in Hamilton

Nobody at Chedoke Golf Club noticed that the PGA Tour pro quietly climbed into the tee on Saturday afternoon and blasted a great iron 270 yards down the middle of the first lane.

Or you saw the second pro do the same thing when it was his turn and…

wait, Chiddock? As in the local Municipal a path?

This is it.

Hmm, how did two of the world’s best golfers find their way over here Just a few days before playing at the RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s in Toronto, instead of any of the fancier, slicker, more luxurious options around?

fair question.

The answer to the velvet fairways begins in the most fertile courses in the world that they play every week in the tour. While walking from the Tee box to the green, there is time for a chat. The packs and their pros talk about strategy, club selection, and other things. Paul Bargon’s wagon, Alex Riddle? He often talks about something else, too. someplace To be exact.

“I’ll tell him about Sheddock,” Riddell says.

The 32-year-old looper is a Hamilton man who grew up on this course. He spent his childhood playing hundreds and hundreds of tours here. Then he worked for the university ground staff. It is where he developed his passion for the game. As a result, many of his stories and tales include this place.

“He says he loves it,” Bargon says.

It was natural then, for him to suggest a tour of the old stadium when Bargon and Lee Hodges were in the area for a few days before the National Championships.

“I was like, ‘Okay, that’s going to be fun,'” Bargon says.

So, here they are. Playing with a few Riddell family and friends for the Hammer Cup, a silver-colored cup-like planter that the case bought for $12 from Value Village and then accented with some arts and crafts to achieve Hamilton’s heyday.

With no warm-up and only about five workouts to spot the greens, Barjon and Lee got things going on the Beddoe track. It’s beautiful either way. No wonder there. The best players in the world make it look so easy.

Then it was Riddle’s turn to strike.

“He lived his whole life in this moment,” he told me sarcastically.

Slight exaggeration. But Riddle was already nervous. Not everyone can be invited to the home course you promoted forever and then stand up for it, he thought to himself. He will never live it.

Once his leadership found some lanes safely, he exhaled.

“I was going to throw up,” he said, turning away from the tee box.

Lee Hodges pumped the fist after his shot sank into the first hole at Chedoke.

he did not do.

From there, it was just another day in the cycle. Except, it wasn’t.

As you’ll probably expect, it’s not uncommon for PGA Tour professionals to play the Municipal Tournaments. Lee grew up in Alabama and says he may not have played one since his hobby days. Barjon learned to play on one on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia and rolled more like a pro, but not by the ton.

And Shidoki?

Rod Goddess was the club’s pro from 1965 to 1989. As best he can remember, the last time a player with his PGA Tour card played here was in 1957 when Ed Oliver – better known as Porky or Pork Chops, depending on the day – Hit some balls with Bob Hop. yes, The Bob Hope.

Sixty-five years later, Pargon and Lee didn’t mind that they were next and that their day wasn’t spent in a fancy country club. On the contrary.

Lee Hodges, left, uses a tachymeter while Alex Riddell, center, and Paul Barjon wait to launch.

The West Hamilton course is in good shape and does not contain any of the negative clichés associated with municipal courses: uncrushed grass, unreplaced parts, and greens that might more accurately be called brown.

More than that, though, Bargon says it’s a good idea to have an occasional reminder of where they started. After all, there are an estimated 70 million golfers in the world and they are two of the elite 175 or so. It comes with perks.

“You kind of take it for granted,” he says of the impossibly perfect courses they enjoy in each event. “It’s kind of good to push and say, ‘Hey, you know, I’m very lucky to play these places every week. “

By the time his last shot fell to 18, Riddle had cleared himself impressively with a 74. Bargon came in two under par 68.

Guardian? He picked up 62 cards, equaling the record set for many years by local legend Kevin Kelly, while promising to return next year to defend the Hammer Cup.

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