Quite the foursome: Sam Goldbloom, George and Glenn J. Nashen and Mike Cohen
What a great day to become a golfer! A record 104 people teed off at the 36th annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic this morning at the Meadowbrook Golf Course. Not only was it my first time out for a game of golf but it was also my first time at Meadowbrook, which I have advocated to preserve for more than 25 years. And best of all, I was joined by my dad to coach me along.
The format of play was called “Scramble” which helps speed up the game as players decide which golfer hits the best shot off the tee and then all players from that foursome play their next shot from that point. Play continues from hole to hole in the same fashion for the rest of the outing.
George Nashen giving tips on swinging and posture
With tips and advice that even Tiger Woods would have benefited from, my 92-year-old father and veteran golfer, George Nashen, quickly upped my game from rank amateur to rookie superstar.
Unbelievably, I had the longest drive on four of nine holes compared to my friendly foursome including event co-chairs Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom along with my fatherly coach. I attribute my rookie success to decades of practice at mini-golf and playing Wii Sports with my kids. Or perhaps it was just beginners luck. In any case it was great fun.
Mike Cohen keeps his eye on the ball
What’s more, I was completely awestruck at the sheer beauty and grandeur of Meadowbrook. Finally, standing among century old trees, seeing the sprawling expanse of the fairways and amused by the three groundhogs that plowed their way across the course I was proud to have, at long last, validated my position in advocating the preservation of this priceless gift of nature in the heart of our city. It must stay green forever!
Meadowbrook is nothing short of an oasis that must remain green in perpetuity
The golf outing was followed by an awards banquet honouring long-time volunteer Ron Yarin at the Aquatic and Community Centre.
Sam Eltes, president of Silver Star Mercedes-Benz, sponsored a hole-in-one contest. If someone achieved this feat they would have driven away in a brand new Mercedes-Benz. While my hopes were high, I fell embarrassingly short of the prize and will practice on my Wii for next time.
Not even a veteran golfer like George Nashen was able to snatch the top prize Mercedez… this year.
Many thanks go to the title sponsor, Freemark Apparel Brands and its Bench brand. Mark Routtenberg, president of Freemark and former co-owner of the Montreal Expos, served as honourary chairperson for this year’s event. Routtenberg, who raised his family in Côte Saint-Luc, was the guest speaker at the luncheon and spoke about the Expos and the possibilities surrounding the return of baseball to Montreal.
“Montreal can definitely support Major League Baseball,” Routtenberg said at the banquet. “We have the taste for it.”
Honouree Ron Yarin was, and is, a huge baseball fan and those paying tribute referred to his life-long passion for the sport.
Ron Yarin was presented with a birthday cake sculpted as Ebbets Field in NY
Marty Labow, Yarin’s friend for 37 years called him (in Yiddish)” A Gute Neshoma,” literally, A Good Soul. Both are also members of Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol. “We’d patrol from six in the morning till nine, then golf until noon,” Labow said. “When we didn’t feel like patrolling at six, we’d golf early in the morning and patrol afterwards.”
vCOP and volunteer superstar Ron Yarin
Harold Cammy is a longtime friend. “I looked up the definition of a ‘Mensch’ last week and I saw two words: Ron Yarin.”
Mayor Anthony Housefather said of Yarin, “He encompasses what Cote Saint-Luc is all about. Volunteerism, compassion, kindness and civic duty.”
Speaking about the possibilities of Major League Baseball returning to Montreal, legendary sportscaster Dick Irvin asked Routtenberg, “Do we need a new stadium or can we get by with the old one?”
Routtenberg responded, “If they fix up the stadium and replace the roof it can work. It’s not the ideal site but in today’s economy we can save $400,000 this way.”
Rabbi Sidney Shoham attended to pay tribute to his old friend Yarin as well. “When the Beth Zion was just built in 1956 we played baseball in Westminster park, just in front of the shul,” the rabbi recounted. “Our team was named Westminster Homes.”
Beth Zion “Old-Timers” George Nashen and Rabbi Sydney Shoham
Other local personalities participating in the annual outing and luncheon included Police Commander Marc Cournoyer and his predecessor at Station 9, Sylvain Bissonnette. Even Montreal Police Mascot Flick was out on the links, with police escort by Sargent Bryan Cunningham. Jazz great and Cote Saint-Lucer Oliver Jones was there as was Mayor Anthony Housefather and the City Council.
Police mascot Flick with his trusty sidekick Sargent Bryan Cunningham conduct a golfers ID check on George and Glenn J. Nashen
I thank my good friend Mike Cohen for being persistent in inviting me out to golf course for the last ten years. His nudging finally paid off. Thanks to his co-chair, my friend and old neighbour on Cork Avenue, Sam Goldbloom as well. The two, along with Recreation stalwarts Harold Cammy, Alvin Fishman and the energetic staff and volunteers of the entire department put on a great event. I’m already looking forward to my next game, next year!
CSL Golf Classic co-chairs Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom relaxing after a brutal 9 holes!