You might think that taking the title for a 25th time at the Sturgeon Valley Golf & Country Club's (SVGCC) annual championships would be old hat, but Ladies winner Sandra Fisher still gets nervous in the moment.
"I was 81 on the first day and the second player was 84, so I thought 'you have to pull up your socks', said Fisher of her historic win, the most of any competitor in the club's 60-year history. "But I didn't calm down the second day either. My hand was shaking when I was putting, and I said to myself 'what are you doing? Just play".
And that's just what she did. In the Ladies division, Fisher followed her day one score of 81 with a solid 77, retaining her title of club champion. Jordie Richardson finished 13 strokes back with a two-day total of 171. On the previous weekend, the senior Ladies winner was Marg Lacroix with a score of 178 and the Ladies Super Senior was won by Ellen Hodgins with a score of 183.
SVGCC general manager Mark Beckwith said while no one should assume Fisher will take the title during any championship weekend, "she's definitely the favourite. Sandra is consistent--a championship-quality player," he said.
Edmonton born, Fisher grew up playing golf--literally--raised in the clubhouse/home that sat on the 18th hole of the SVGCC grounds where her dad was an assistant pro. (The home has since become a teahouse in Namao). When she was just a pre-teen, Fisher and her siblings would routinely run onto the course to play golf after school.
"I didn't take many lessons--mostly just hit the ball. Dad showed us the basics of the game though," she said. "We all still play, and I even met my husband on the golf course. My three boys play too, but I'm the only one who plays regularly--three or four mornings a week, from May to October," she said.
The 3-1/2 hour, 18-hole games with friends serves the 58 year-old well, though a hip replacement a few years ago means she now uses a cart to get around the course, and wears a special boot inside her runner "so I don't trip over my toes."
But the nearly half-century long SVGCC member said playing never gets old. "Mostly it's just fun, playing with friends or my husband: sometimes they win, sometimes they lose," she laughed."But, I still have a goal to shoot 69. I was 70 this year, so I'll go on pushing myself in competition to play better than the game before. I'll keep at it until I can't golf anymore."