While the Hay River Golf Club may still be a bit too wet to play on, that isn’t stopping some from planning what will be happening this season.
But there is one new initiative this year, though, that will give some players a chance to become the best of the worst, in a manner of speaking.
There is now a Hay River chapter of the Mediocre Golf Association (MGA). The MGA started in 2006 in California and now has chapters all across North America, even two in Australia. The Hay River chapter is the second one in the NWT following Yellowknife, which started up at the Yellowknife Golf Club in 2016.
Vince McKay, a director at the Hay River club, is the chapter president and he said the idea to bring a chapter to Hay River came from the capital.
“The crew from the Yellowknife chapter got me interested and I started looking into it,” he said. “It seems like a good fit for some of us professionals here.”
There are a total of eight tournaments every year and all of them are a play on words of actual golf tournaments on the PGA Tour. For example, there is The Bastards, which is the MGA version of The Masters. The U.S. Open is known by the MGA as the F.U. Open and the Pebble Beach Pro-Am is the Rebel Beach Am-Am.
While it may look as if the MGA doesn’t take itself seriously, tournaments are held under Golf Canada rules and players are subject to rules around handicaps. Any player with a handicap of 18 or lower is subject to penalty strokes on their gross score, the amount of strokes it takes a player to play a round.
Any player who shoots a gross score of 79 is automatically disqualified even before penalty strokes are awarded. That has only happened once in Yellowknife.
The first-ever tournament is scheduled for May 27 – the Rebel Beach Am-Am – and all eight tournaments are scheduled to be played between late May and late August.
McKay said hosting all eight in a short time frame shouldn’t be a problem.
“We have longer daylight,” he said. “I hope the first season is a success and word gets out.”
McKay is also hopeful that having the MGA will bring a bit of fun back to golfing for everyone.
As for whether there will be some battles between Hay River and Yellowknife, McKay said he’d like that to happen.
“We look forward to potentially hosting each other and competing against one another,” he said.