The media wolves were howling and ready to pounce on filmmaker Andrew Nisker when his documentary “Dad and the Dandelions” aired last Thursday on CBC. I thought it was lightweight myself, at least compared to the shrieking, preaching, emotional arguments put forward by environmentalists in the past, which also had no scientific proof to back up their claims. This was merely a guy looking for a reason for his dad’s untimely death from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and while he could have balanced it off by giving the other side of the argument more time, it became clear by the end that he had no more answers than when he began … Actually, the reaction from the golf industry was quite dignified. Jeff Calderwood, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada, was quite calm when I reached him just after the documentary ended Thursday for this interview and the National Allied Golf Associations and Canadian Golf Superintendents were quite professional in a response via e-mail, offering this advice.
“It is important that the golf industry remain respectful and professional when addressing any concerns raised over pesticide issues. Being aggressive or too defensive generally doesn’t accomplish the intended goal of separating the myths from the true facts of the issue. So we recommend that you don’t attack the sources of any misinformation or alternative opinions.”
Rather than attacking Nisker personally, the e-mail issued more of a generic question and answer session about pesticides that you can read here … Speaking of Q&A, Nisker asked several times if golfers could handle playing in a more natural, pesticide-free environment, but spent very little time actually trying to answer that question through actual golfers. He could have also pointed out that many golf course owners would go right along with a pesticide-free golf course, if members/customers were okay with it, due to decreased costs and the resulting positive effect on the bottom line … What I find ironic is that while golf courses often get painted as toxic, citizens in places such as Oakville, Ont., put up passionate fights to keep a golf course such as Glen Abbey, without the pesticide question even being mentioned … The main concern is government intervention or the possibility of losing golfers as a result of such a documentary and while it’s still only a few days after it aired, the main discussion about it is from either environmentalists or the golf industry, so at this point, any damage to the game appears to be minimal … Golfers in Florida didn’t seem too concerned when a good-sized gator crossed a fairway recently. He wasn’t too concerned with the nearby humans since he already had his meal, or two or three with a catch almost as big as him …
Canadian Open sensation Jared du Toit of Kimberley, B.C., lost in a playoff at one tournament and won another for Arizona State in February, a performance that earned him Pac-12 Golfer of the Month honours. Not only did he earn top fives in two of his three tournaments, but he posted scores of 70 or better in eight of his nine rounds … Graham DeLaet, Adam Hadwin, David Hearn and Nick Taylor are the Canadians in the field for this week’s Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla. … The LPGA Tour is off this week, before resuming its schedule net week at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in Phoenix … Despite her T4 finish at the HSBC Women’s Champions event in Singapore on Sunday, Brooke Henderson fell from 10th to 12th in the women’s world rankings … The Symetra Tour, however, kicks off its 2017 schedule at Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in Winter Haven, Fla., where Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., is defending champion. Joining Richdale in the field will be Augusta James of Bath, Ont., Megan Osland of Kelowna, Brogan McKinnon of Mississauga, Ont., Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ont., Sara-Maude Juneau of Fossambault, Que., Anne-Catherine Tanguay of Quebec City, Elizabeth Tong of Thornhill, Ont., and LPGA Tour veteran Lorie Kane of Charlottetown, P.E.I. … Richdale is actually the second consecutive player from B.C. to win Florida’s Natural Charity Classic. In 2015, it was Sue Kim from Langley, B.C. … Knowing “Dad and the Dandelions” was to be aired on Thursday, last week’s GNN Poll asked readers if they feel they’re at an increased health risk either working day to day at a golf course or playing the game regularly due to pesticides/chemicals used in the game? A big majority, or 81 per cent said no, with only 19 per cent of respondents saying yes … This week’s poll takes a look at the tumultuous political environment in the United States and asks if it would cause you to not travel there for a golf or business trip. As of this writing, 65 per cent of respondents said no and 35 per cent said yes. You can cast your vote on the GNN home page.