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Leafs Hit the Links

Leafs take to the links for their annual golf classic benefiting Team-Up Foundation.

by Clayton Hansler
September 6, 2011

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I'm a guy that shoots an 88 on the golf course… in 9 holes.

A week ago if you had told that I'd be spending my Tuesday afternoon out on the green, I wouldn't have believed you. I feel far more at home within the confines of an arena. Yet there I was, tooting around Rattlesnake Point at the Scotiabank Leafs & Legends Charity Golf Classic in a cart with LeafsTv's Paul Hendrick behind the wheel (who, might I add, is a spectacular driver).

As surprising and irregular as it was, being dressed up in a golf shirt and white shoes with little rubber nubs on the bottom, I was even more shocked at some of the minute details unearthed throughout the day's activities with regards to members of the blue and white brigade. Truly, it is amazing some of the the things you learn while out on the course - perhaps this is why hockey players golf so much.

The Longest Drive
I know I'm not golfer, but I would have believed the longest drive would end up being awarded to an upper-body powerhouse. Perhaps Luke Schenn would be a good recipient, or better yet, Colton Orr. But the award for most yardage earned off the tee belonged to none other than Phil Kessel (selected first by many of his teammates when asked to pick their team's top foursome). Three hundred and thirty yards that ball sailed before landing squarely on the fairway. Pretty darn impressive.

Trick-shot Deluxe

While the oft-serious captain maintains flawless composure and focus during post-game scrums, who could have guessed that he'd be so willing to open up his glossary of trick-shots for just such an audience. A backhanded swing with an upside-down club is how Phaneuf lead off on one of the holes, and he still could have made par.

Highschool Golf Pro
Sure, he looked like he fit in - but at a golf tournament, doesn't everybody? It wasn't until this former Culver Military Academy grad broke up the mini binoculars that all knew his game was serious. John-Michael Liles shot a birdie on that hole and the three other members of his "best ball" foursome couldn't be happier. It looks like the year of golf on the Culver team continues to pay off.

Most Feared Foursome
I alluded earlier to the fact that we asked several of the players today who they would pick to complete a foursome for a round of golf. Kessel came as no surprise after seeing him perform with a driver, but it was interesting that Cody Franson ranked high of the list as well. I am still yet to see the guy golf, but by the sounds of it the guy's a beauty. Joining as well would be captain Phaneuf, who's revered for his golf skills regardless of how he holds the club. The fourth is the Bert to Kessel's Ernie. Yepp, you guessed it, Tyler Bozak. The slippery centre may not be known for having the biggest rocket on the ice rink, but he sure knows how to drop the ball where he wants on the green.

Golf's Best Dressed
The day's of multi-coloured plaid pants and too-small sweater vests have passed, and the the era of golf course couture has come. A tip of the Titleist hat must be given to Matt Lashoff and Jonas Gustavsson, who both looked sharp heading down the green, but neither could hold a candle to Mike Zigomanis. White shoes, white plaid pants, off-white sweater and white hat - this guy was ready to go. First time seeing the guy outside of blue hockey pants and a white jersey.

It was a fun day out on the course, with proceeds going to benefit the MLSE Team-Up foundation. But despite the golf cleats and metal clubs, one thing was for certain; the Leafs are back in town.

Happy Hockey Season.

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