It’s been 15 years since we were scrambling around during the first Canadian Open at Angus Glen in Markham, Ont., and 10 years since the second Canadian Open was held there.
When I was working there, we had not only two Canadian Opens, but a Telus Skins Game and a Canadian Women’s Open and we had great champions like Annika Sorenstam and Jim Furyk, to name a couple.
Yet, when I look back on those days, it’s the names behind the scenes that stand out in my mind – Wil Koopmans, Paul Bussiere, Dennis Firth, the late Bain Arnold, Ernie Amsler and Michelle Hobor, so many of them to name here.
I was in my 30s at the time and someone like Bain Arnold was in his early 20s, yet the consummate professional, but were we running as much on raw energy, with so many of the senior staff in their 20s and 30s at the time.
We had been recognized for our service at Angus Glen and that was a badge of honour, so there was a lot of pride behind us. We had about 400 staff and they would do anything. They would go to the wall for you and that’s what made it work. All the staff thought they were the best and wanted to make a difference, which is what they did.
It’s funny, but there were a lot of marriages between Angus Glen employees. When my son started school, there were a couple of former Angus Glen employees who were teachers and I still see a lot of people I worked with back then.
To this day, I run into people and they’ll talk about making thousands of hot dogs or thousands of sandwiches. The remember it fondly, even though their days at 5 a.m. and they wouldn’t get home until after midnight.
It’s one of those jobs you do out of passion and pride and the people I worked with back then epitomized that. It’s little wonder that those memories stick with me over a decade later.