Marg McCornock - Ottawa
I first started playing golf in my forties but only sporadically at the beginning. I got more involved while teaching in Australia where the golf course was right beside the school and you could play all year long. As I neared the end of my teaching career I played more often, especially in the summer months when school was out and I was no longer spending my summers upgrading teaching qualifications. Upon retirement in January 2003 I became more active in our local ladies’ league as well as golfing regularly while at our winter home in Florida.
In the spring of 2007 I attended a ladies’ club captains’ meeting for the Ottawa area to represent my golf club. One of the speakers that day was Lorraine Kelly who was in charge of course rating for the area. And as is so often the case she was asking for volunteers. I was looking for some new volunteer activity to get involved with and being a math teacher the numbers aspect of course rating appealed to me. I had always been curious about how the rating and slope for a course were determined so after thinking about it for a week or two I called Lorraine to inquire about what time commitment would be expected and what training was involved. Not wanting to lose a potential volunteer Lorraine quickly answered my questions and told me that training would begin “on the job” on Monday morning at 8:30. Don’t be late!
Fortunately for me that first rating day I was partnered with a very experienced rater, Raymonde Carter, who had a teaching background and really knew how to train a new recruit. The whole complex process seemed to make sense to me right from the beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the rating team. About this same time the men and women golf associations in our area were amalgamating and Lorraine headed up the new mixed gender rating team. After a couple of years she stepped down as team leader and I assumed that role. This also meant that I became a member of the board of directors for the Ottawa Valley Golf Association which has been another interesting experience.
The Ottawa Valley region includes approximately 80 clubs on both sides of the Québec/Ontario border and our 14 member rating team works for both Golf Québec and Golf Association of Ontario. I enjoy the rating process even with all its paperwork but most satisfying for me is teaching new recruits. Once a teacher always a teacher I guess.
Being part of the Golf Québec volunteer team has given me the opportunity to meet many great people from a variety of backgrounds but with a love of golf as a common link between us. Meeting the other Golf Québec rating team leaders at the annual meetings in Montréal is always informative even though being unilingual English does have its drawbacks at times. I have had the privilege of attending 2 Golf Canada calibration sessions as a Golf Québec delegate. This winter I also attended USGA training in Tampa.
I look forward to continuing as rating team leader for a while yet but know that I have several strong team members who can take over when I relinquish that position. Finally I want to thank Nancy Spineti Delle Donne who has mentored me along through this whole experience. She knows more about course rating than I ever will and has been an excellent teacher for many of us.
Marg McCornock (centre)
with Pat Hayes and Marjorie Graham when the OVGA Ladies' Team won the 2013 Match Play