Born: Port Colborne, Ontario Canada
Resides: Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada
Birthday: January 18
Weight: 220 lbs
I think about this great game of golf. It has been said that it's a lifelong journey and for some a quest for perfection. I really don't know if the latter applies to me but the former I agree with. The game much like life itself is full of its ups and downs... its trials and tribulations.
I became mildly intrigued by the sport back in the summer of 1995. Earlier that year, I was involved in a serious head-on car accident. I suffered what was called a "severe spinal trauma" and I had lost the use of my lower limbs for three weeks. When I was ready to return to work I was working in Hamilton, Ontario. At the time, the Canadian Senior Open was going on at King's Forest. I was waiting to catch a bus home when out of a downtown hotel comes Arnold Palmer. He greeted me with a huge genuine smile and asked me how I was. Mr. Palmer and I talked for several minutes and it was like we knew each other from way back. I never quite made it home that morning as I opted to go to a sporting goods store instead and buy my first set of clubs. The game wouldn't stay with me then. To this day, I would love to meet Mr. Palmer just to say "thank-you".
A few short years later I became fairly ill with heart disease, diabetes and several complications as a result of those illnesses. It was 1999... the year that my son was born. I realized that my days were slowly winding down as far as playing sports like baseball and hockey. I thought that it might be time that I took up this wonderful game. In my first year of trying the sport I found that I enjoyed the game and that I was okay. In fact, I played to a single digit handicap. In my second year I played to a scratch index. I would hover around that index the next several years while teaching myself the swing and then experimenting with swings like the "Stack and Tilt". Unfortunately, I would fall real ill and not see a course for two years.
In August of 2010, the Canadian Tour was holding its Tour Championship near my home in St. Catharines, Ontario. At this event I decided that I would volunteer to caddy. I thought that it would be fun to be inside the ropes. I had a great week caddying for two gents. One from Georgia who didn't make the cut and one from Mexico. This is where I started to feel the juices flow and my hunger to play again was fuelled. My pro and I had the clubhouse lead Sunday when I left by ambulance.
That winter, I made a resolution on New Years. I would resume golf again. Sure enough it happened in February. I would start practicing and the striking wasn't bad at all. A day later I would meet a gentleman who became my coach, friend and father-figure. We would work tirelessly over the next several months totally changing my swing. It was a complete overhaul. I would play as a professional for the first time May 25th ,2011 on the Great Lakes Tour just outside of London, Ontario. I would grind it out in four starts where I was taken away by ambulance from my third at an event at the Tarandowah Golfers Club in Ingersoll, Ontario. It was a tough year playing through changes and I never did represent myself the way that I hoped but it all is a process and journey. It is now a year later, swing c hanges complete and I can't help but feel that 2012 will be a fantastic year.
I am a married father of two. My wife Crystal is my caddie and I am extremely lucky to have such a supportive caring and loving wife. I have two wonderful children. Tiffany (18) and Alex (13). I enjoy the outdoors, fly fishing, hockey, baseball, football, guitar, photography, aviation and history.
Without the chance meeting of my coach John Dixon there is no way I would be at this stage. I look at John as my coach, my friend, my mentor and family.
I would like to take this time to thank Mark Shumlick, Wayne Sockovie and the crew at Grassy Brook Golf Course for your support and hard work keeping the course in tip top shape. I know it has been tough this year and your hard work is appreciated by the golfers and yours truly. Also of note, I would like to thank Director of Sales and Marketing Chris McCartney at the Niagara Falls Sportsplex. It's the home of my winter practice and without the facility there this Northern guy would struggle to find ways to work on his game.
I would also like to thank Tracy Lehnecker at Golf Shop Central and Kick X Golf . They have become a very important part of my team. They have been terrific to me and I am so appreciative of the help and support that they've given to me. Kick X is the brand of ball, glove and bag that I play and use. Lastly, I would like to thank Mark Adams. Mark is the Founder and CEO of MA-Nine Golf. I am very fortunate to be a Brand Ambassador for MA-Nine Golf and I am very grateful for this terrific opportunity. For more information on this terrific up and coming company please check the link on the links page.