27
Jul
09

Mind if I Play Through


07-27-09_golfFor the troops there probably aren’t many opportunities for fun while being stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Thanks to some Canadians though, that has changed somewhat. Bill Pigden, a retired major who now works as the civilian manager at the Canadian Forces’ Personnel Support Agency at the Kandahar Air Force Base decided to honor the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Open, which was also held this weekend.

In order to do so, he trucked in 4 loads of sand, nearly 2000 feet of Astroturf carpeting and worked with a full team of helpers in order to create a miniaturized exact replica of the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario where the actual Canadian Open was being held. “We’ve reconstructed it down to the correct scale . . . with the exception of water and trees. Not a lot of those,” said Pigden.

Unlike their countrymen who were slogging through soggy courses, that wasn’t a problem in Afghanistan. “We just have 50-degree heat to deal with,” Pigden said. It took three days for Pigden and crew to lay out the course, but it was well worth it. They held a tournament, with an entry price of $20 and ended raising $1,500 for Soldier On, a charity that helps wounded soldiers get involved in paralympic sports.

“I think it’s just a wonderful replica, a great idea,” said Lt.-Col. Kevin Bryski, chief of staff with the Afghan Regional Security Integration Command South, and an avid golfer. “Working here in Afghanistan is quite a long toil. We have a lot of work to do here . . .Having opportunities like this to vent a little bit and get out and have some fun on the golf course with your comrades . . . it’s just a wonderful opportunity.”

Of course, Pigden won his own tournament, taking home a trophy and a baseball hat, besting the other 35 competitors. The tournament organizers also challenged fellow Canadian golfers, like Mike Weir, to match their charitable contribution.

[Chronicle Herald]


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