VANCOUVER - Mike Carroll has argued cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, which he jokes is even more nerve-racking than trying to sink a five-foot putt to win a $2 Nassau bet.
If Carroll’s first love is the law, then golf is surely a close second for the 69-year-old Queen’s counsel.
Metro Vancouver golf fans might remember Carroll as one of the key organizers of the Greater Vancouver Open/Air Canada Championship. It has been more than a decade since the final putt dropped on the area’s former PGA Tour stop and Carroll misses it as much as anyone.
But when the ACC ended its highly successful seven-year run at Northview in Surrey, Carroll stayed involved in the game.
The longtime Point Grey member has been a governor for Golf Canada, chaired several of its committees and most recently served as first vice-president of the organization, which was formerly the Royal Canadian Golf Association. On Feb. 9, at its annual general meeting in Vancouver, Carroll will begin a one-year term as the 110th president of Golf Canada.
It’s a volunteer position, one Carroll says he is proud to accept on behalf of the many Canadians who donate time to the game.
“It’s an honour to be given the position,” Carroll says. “There are so many people in golf who volunteer their time. Golf tournaments, especially on the professional side, are run primarily by volunteers, people who are not getting paid … I am extremely honoured to represent the thousands of people that volunteer in one way or another with the game of golf, which we do because of our love for the sport.”
During his term as president, Carroll hopes he can liaise with other golf organizations in hopes of growing the game. He has a particular interest in making golf more accessible to youngsters.
“We all know that golf, especially in the large cities, is an expensive sport,” Carroll says. “We have to somehow work together with the National Golf Course Owners’ Association, who own the golf courses, and even the private clubs to provide more access for young boys and girls to play golf on a regular course. We need to get our numbers up because that’s the biggest challenge we have in golf today in my view.”
Carroll is a former senior partner with Davis LLP and currently serves as counsel to the Vancouver-based firm.
EARLY EXIT: Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin didn’t finish a nightmarish final round at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Monday. Hadwin, who was 12-over for his round with three holes to play when play was suspended on Sunday, withdrew from the event.
In a text message Monday, Hadwin said he experienced a minor “pinch” in his wrist during his round on Sunday. He withdrew after play was suspended on Sunday and headed to Phoenix to have his wrist examined.
No “discernible issue” was found, Hadwin said. The wrist was taped up and he played late Monday in a qualifier for this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he carded a 7-over 79 and failed to qualify. Hadwin, who shot a 64 last Monday to qualify for the Torrey Pines event, did receive last-place unofficial money of $10,248.
BACK TO SCHOOL: Surrey’s Phil Jonas opened the final stage of the European Senior Tour qualifying school in Portugal with a two-over 73 Monday that left him tied for 34th spot in the 75-man field.
The top six players after Thursday’s final round will earn full cards on this year’s European Senior Tour, while the next eight will receive conditional cards. England’s Simon Brown shot a four-under 67 to lead after the first round.
Jonas, who teaches out of Hazelmere and McCleery, advanced to the Q-school finals last week by tying for fifth at the first stage of Q-school last week in Portugal.
CLOSE IN COLOMBIA: Coquitlam’s Jisoo Keel tied for second at the South America Amateur Championship this past weekend in Colombia.
Keel, a Grade 12 student at Gleneagle Secondary, finished six shots behind fellow Canadian Brooke Henderson of Smith Falls, Ont. In the men’s division, Kevin Kwon of Pitt Meadows was the top Canadian. He finished tied for 18th.
CHIP SHOTS: The Meadows at Pemberton golf course is being sold via auction. A minimum bid of $350,000 has been set for the sealed-bid auction, which expires March 15. The course, formerly called Pemberton Valley, has been owned since 2008 by Squamish resident Gord Bell … Chris Hood is the new general manager and director of golf at Tsawwassen Springs Golf Course. Hood most recently was general manager of Ledgeview in Abbotsford.
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