Local golfers Floris and Doug Martineau won silver medals in their golf categories at the Canada 55+ Games in Brampton, Ontario two weeks ago. They will also compete in the B.C. 55+ Games in Coquitlam in September.
Approximately 60 B.C. seniors competed at the event, where Doug said they played in foursomes with golfers in other age categories, but were rated individually. He also said there were some challenges, including the weather.
“The weather wasn’t great,” he explained. “It rained every night and was really hot during the day.”
This was the couple’s fourth time at the Canada Games, but this will be Floris’s 22nd year in the B.C. Games and Doug’s 12th.
Floris said she never heard of golf while growing up.
“I started golfing in 1968 when my youngest daughter started Kindergarten,” she said. “They’d just opened the golf course where it is now.
“We had a carpool for school and I drove once a month; I would drop the kids off, go play nine holes of golf and go back and pick up the kids.
“I never did have a lesson: I just do what I do.”
Doug started golfing on the old course, located where Boitanio Park is today. He said that his friend Jim Huckvale talked him into going once, informing Floris that she was going to be a golf widow. “I bought my first set of clubs in 1962,” Doug said.
“In the park it was natural grounds: the greens were oiled sand to give different textures. They had a pipe rake on site, and you placed your ball and dragged the rake through the sand in the path where you wanted it to go,” he continued. “Sand greens were common in those days.”
Doug, who was Men’s Club Captain when the course was moved to the location where it is today, said that the new course only had nine holes in the beginning, and that they weren’t where they are today.
Athletes in the B.C. 55+ Games can be reimbursed for some of their expenses through fundraising in their zones.
“We put on a dinner at the Seniors Activity Centre,” Floris explained. “You don’t get reimbursed for the Canada Games, but we used Air Miles we saved for 30 years to help with the trip.”
The Martineaus will golf at a 36-hole course in Pitt Meadows for the B.C. Games. “Last year it poured rain all day, and the round of golf took all day, too,” Floris noted. “It was so wet the carts couldn’t go off the path, or they might tip over.
“The lady I played with was 91 years old; and we vowed we’d finish the round no matter how long it took,” she continued. “She had breathing problems and kept having to stop to catch her breath, but when I won the silver medal she said, ‘I’ll get you next year.’
“I bet she will.”
Floris said it felt good to represent B.C. in the Canada Games. “I also really like golfing for the fresh air and good exercise,” she stated.
Doug explained that they’ve been married for 62 years and that nearly every weekend they golfed together.
“We travelled and did a lot of tournaments, including many Mr. and Mrs. tournaments,” he said.
“I think if a married couple plays golf, it makes retirement a lot better.”