Welcome To The Canadian Open… In Afghanistan

The “real” Canadian Open, home of the wildest hole-in-one you’ve ever seen, is being delayed by stormy weather. That information comes to us from correspondent Win McMurry (below left), and uh, FTW, indeed.

Win McMurry Afghanistan golf

(”Damn it, in the sand again. Okay, hand me my automatic assault rifle wedge.”)

No such bad luck in Afghanistan, though, where the current dry streak has hit… hang on, checking the ol’ calculator… ah yes, infinity weeks. There, Canadian soldiers have faithfully reconstructed a scale model of the course and are playing their own version of the Open. Don’t worry, it’s for charity.


Most golfers waited until the relentless sun of southern Afghanistan began to set before venturing onto the greens at the NATO base in Kandahar to tackle a mini-replica of the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont., where the soggy real Canadian Open was being staged.

Aside from the weapons slung across shoulders and the military uniforms, the weather also set the Kandahar tournament apart.

“We just have 50-degree heat to deal with,” said Bill Pigden of Winnipeg, a retired major who is now a civilian manager at the Canadian Forces’ Personnel Support Agency at the base, where morale is one of his duties.

Scoff not, readers. “50 degree heat” sounds like he’s being sarcastic, up until you realize that the Canadians use the Devil’s Centigrade; what they call 50, we call 122 degrees in God’s Fahrenheit. Play golf in that, Geoff Ogilvy.*

As with all open tournaments, there is an entrance fee; here, drop-in play was $5, while tournament participation was $20. As we mentioned before, though, the entire enterprise was for a good cause:

Proceeds from the tournament … raised $1,500 for Soldier On, which helps wounded soldiers get involved in Paralympic sport as a means of recovery and rehabilitation.

[…] Col. Roch Lacroix, deputy commander of the Canadian Forces’ in Afghanistan, presented the tournament trophy, and issued a challenge to Canadian golfer Mike Weir and others who spent the weekend at the actual Canadian Open: To match the donation to Soldier On.

C’mon, guys. It’s $1,500. That’s barely a stroke’s worth of prize money.

*We don’t know why we just got all aggressive with Geoff Ogilvy of all golfers, but it just felt, y’know, right.