Every Wednesday morning, members of the Senior Men’s and Women’s Leagues head out to the course bright and early. The roughly 60 members break off into foursomes to play one of 5+ different games that their league coordinators, Joe McKenna and Joan Burgess, have planned for their 18-hole game.
Later, both leagues can be found socializing in the clubhouse over drinks and a wonderful pre-planned lunch. Right in the middle of the fun, Joe and Joan will likely be found divvying up prize money for the winners of the week.
On Wednesday the 7th, while Joe was stacking his toonies atop his teams chart, he and Joan spared some time to discuss the league and what it takes to run it.
“It’ll take 4 to 6 hours before everything’s said and done,” said Joe, when asked about his weekly efforts to organize the league play.
The amount of time that both coordinators put in on a weekly basis hints at how dedicated they are. Both Joan and Joe really care about how their leagues run, and it shows.
On average, Joe’s senior men’s league sees 44 golfers each Wednesday, and Joan’s senior ladies league consistently averages 16 participants. The members come back again and again, week after week.
Pictured here are 5 of the men's players. From left to right: Bobby Gillespie, Paul Wright, Randy Curran, Brezshia Ashcroft (staff), Terry Morgan, Berry Beatty. Photography credit: David Napier.
Some members even stop by the table to let their coordinator know if they have to miss a week, or when they’ll be back again. Clearly, the league’s members are confident that Joe and Joan will keep track of them to ensure that things will work out perfectly every Wednesday.
With Joan on her third year of organizing the league, and Joe on his fifth, the pair have things down to a science.
“Nobody showed us how to do this,” said Joe, “we just came up with the easiest way.”
The “easiest way” appears to be the best way imaginable: carefully organized charts and notebooks that track everything from members’ attendance to the games schedule.
“I make up the teams and decide what we’re going to be doing […] I keep track of who plays with who […] I put mine in alphabetical order” said Joan, showing her lists.
Each week, they look back at weeks past to ensure that members are always playing in a different foursome. Joe commented, “Everybody plays with somebody different every week […] They play with different guys and they get different opportunities.”
On August 21st, Sherry Sandlak and Karen Winters played with Joan Burgess', who are pictured here.
Everyone has the weekly opportunity to win prizes and money as a team and individually. The various games allow players with different strengths to thrive and to help their teams in different ways, meaning that everyone truly has a chance to take home the dough.
On top of these games, which include styles like Texas golf and 6,6&6, the coordinators plan individual prize/money opportunities for things like longest putt, longest second shot, or closest to the pin on a given hole.
Every week, every participant tosses in $4, 2 of which contribute to these weekly prizes, and 2 which are saved for the end of the year Wrap Up party happening in September.
The men who have played in the league for a total of 10 weeks, and the ladies who have played for 12, will all get to enjoy an amazing (& free!) roast beef dinner at the wrap up party which follows the league’s final 18-hole game for the year.
After the wrap up dinner, loads of prizes are given out, and everyone leaves with at least a few great things that have been donated by players within the league, Joe and Joan, and Sauble Golf.
The Wrap Up party, besides being a great final hurrah, is also the perfect chance to recognize the time and effort that goes into making this wonderful league thrive. Thanks to Joe McKenna and Joan Burgess, and the committed members who turn up as often as they can, every year it continues to thrive.