By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
As a not-so-avid golfer, that’s a word you’ll hear quite often coming out of my mouth. Whether it’s a twilight round at Tuxedo Golf Course or a simple niner at the Canoe Club, people know to watch out when I’m on the tee.
The same cannot be said for the 1962 Manitoba Ladies Amateur Golf Team, the first and only team from Manitoba to win the Canadian Senior Women’s National Golf Team Championship.
This team was made up of four amazing golfers: Marg Homenuik, Heather Telfer, Merlene Netterfield, and Anne Tachan, each bringing their own championship pedigree from individual play to the team, including provincial championships and tournament wins!
The Tournament Won
Playing in their own backyard, the Manitoba foursome had a sense of destiny about them. They had all the tools, smarts, and mentality to know what it takes to win.
The only question that remained was, could they put it all together at the right time? Yes! They ended up blowing away the competition, beating British Columbia by 10 strokes.
The championship was conducted over 36 holes at the Southwood Golf and Country Club. On the first day, the ladies had a score of 331 over 18 holes (only the top three scores of the four are recorded).
On the second day, they were even better, shooting a 325 over 18 holes and finishing with an overall team score of 656.
Merlene Netterfield really stood out, shooting the low as an individual golfer during the entirety of the tournament. In case you’re not a golfer, low scores are better than high scores!
Sticks and Shoes
On display in our decades gallery are Merlene Netterfield’s game-worn shoes and clubs from the early 1960s. If you take a closer look, you can see the style of golf clubs have not changed too much, although the way they are made sure has!
Golfers today have all kinds of advancements in technology on their side that improve aerodynamics so the ball can travel faster and further. It was not until the 1980s that companies implemented ways to measure club performance.
In the 1960s, it was still more about the look and feel of the club. For example, the irons were not as forgiving as they are today. Now, the face of the irons have been thinned out and the weight changed, allowing for a higher launch angle and more distance.
Even bigger changes have been made to the driver. The club face and size of the club head were much smaller in the 60s and golfers had to be more accurate with their contact, making sure they hit it – literally – between the screws.
Now, drivers have much larger and forgiving club faces, so accuracy is not as important when striking the ball. They are also lighter, which generates more swing speed, making the ball travel further. Now whether that’s a good or a bad thing for your shot still depends on whether you hit the ball properly. This last part is key, and in my case, I still haven’t figured out the finesse game of golf and struggle on contact consistency. It often goes far… but seldom where I want it to go.
End The Drought
It has been 59 years since the Manitoba foursome won the 1962 championship. Since then, no Provincial men’s or women’s team has come close to duplicating their performance; although the University of Manitoba golf program is showing promise in the last decade.
This enhances how rare and significant that title really is. Sure, we can make excuses that there are shorter golf seasons in our province, but even then, it makes this feat that much more special. Hopefully, though, the province of Manitoba won’t be shouting “fore” too much longer.