Those who remember the Canadian North Midnight Classic of old will know of the festive atmosphere that surrounded the event.

That atmosphere pretty much returned for 2022 and it was obvious it was missed.

The 74th annual, and oldest, tournament at the Yellowknife Golf Club was back in all its glory on June 17 and 18. Like years of old, the event included a return to the shotgun format of play, a live band — Priscilla’s Revenge — in the clubhouse on the evening of the 11:59 p.m. flight and the big tent for awards presentations and dinner once the competition came to an end.

Kylie Frederick, the club’s head pro and director of golf operations, said there were a total of 185 golfers registered.

“Some people entered more than one event and it was just a great weekend,” she said. “We did what we could the last two years because of the (Covid-19) restrictions but those were lifted and we brought everything back to what it used to be.”

She also said being able to enjoy a full and proper Midnight Classic for the first time was really cool.

“We got back to the shotgun starts and the weather was great for the whole thing,” she said.

The golf kicked off on the the evening of June 17 with an 18-hole scramble tournament featuring 27 teams hitting the course. Scramble golf features everyone teeing off on each hole but the following shots are played from whoever is judged to have the best lie after the tee shot. The main event, of course, was the 11:59 p.m. flight with total of 20 groups playing either the front nine or back nine of the course. They also had the choice of playing either scramble rules or stroke-play rules.

There was an actual 18-hole tournament on the morning of the 18th with a men’s and women’s winner. Ron Lafond took the men’s title by shooting 71 — one-under-par — while Colleen Pura took the women’s crown with a score of 80.

Having a Midnight Classic resembling what it used to be was a happy sight for Shaun Morris, the golf club’s president.

He said the last two years were tough on everyone and it was nice to be able to enjoy one of the biggest weekends of the year.

“It’s so important for people to socialize and it was great that we were able to provide that again,” Morris said. “Everyone loved having the clubhouse rocking with Priscilla’s Revenge, the big tent back up, the dinner and awards — just a great weekend and a great time.”

And so now the focus turns to 2023 and the 75th annual edition of the tournament.

Frederick said the plans are already underway to make next year the biggest Midnight Classic ever.

“We already have a committee together to try and get some ideas,” she said. “We want to make sure people who have been here for a long time get the chance to help out and give some input on making it the best.”

“We’ll try to have some special guests,” added Morris. “We really want to do it up because it’s impressive that we’ve had it last this long, even through Covid.”

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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