Posted On: Monday, May 20, 2019
From left: Pike Lake pro Greg Shaw, PGA Tour player David Hearn and Omar Basic of Pike Lake.
Greg Shaw’s original plan last November was to drive to Florida, stay for a few nights then fly home. But his road trip turned into a 16-day adventure that saw him golfing with a PGA Tour pro, scoring his first ace and fishing for five days in the Florida Keys.
The head golf pro at Pike Lake Golf Centre was scheduled to drive his parent’s vehicle to Florida and be accompanied by a buddy - Omar Basic - in a second vehicle owned by his parent’s friends. Together, they were to deliver the vehicles and then fly home.
But his parent’s friends weren’t able to make it to Florida and some golfing and fishing opportunities developed so Greg and Omar decided to turn it into an extended vacation.
On the way down they stopped for three days at Olde Mill Resort in Laurel Fork, Virginia and Greg met up with two buddies from his days on the golf team at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia.
They joined the friends - Bo Goins, the pro at Olde Mille, and former Sylvan Lake, Alberta resident Graham Laird, the pro at Blue Ridge CC in Galax, Virginia - for 18 holes at Olde Mill and 36 at Cross Creek in Mount Airy, North Carolina.
Then it was off to Florida where they visited Greg’s parents for a couple of days in Zephyrhills, and his wife’s grandparents in Sun ’n Lakes in Sebring.
The next stop was Boynton Beach to play 18 holes with PGA Tour player David Hearn, who has been one of Greg’s friends ever since their junior days together at Pike Lake.
“I had sent a text message to him to see if he would be available because we were headed to the Keys for fishing,” Greg said. “He was very happy to accommodate us because we haven’t played a round together in over 20 years. He was exactly the same guy I grew up playing with at Pike Lake. He treated us to a complete day. Warm-up session at the range, full day on the course with Omar as well. We then had lunch at the club and then back to his house to visit with his family.”
The course was Pine Tree Golf Club in Boynton Beach, which Greg described as “unbelievable,” and Hearn shot a “smooth 68.” Greg shot 76.
But playing with a tour pro wasn’t the only golf excitement for Shaw as he scored his first ace earlier on the trip. His Callaway representative set up a round for him at Cypress Run Golf Club, a private course in Tarpon Springs, and he aced the 8th hole.
After getting lots of golf in, they headed to Islamorada in the Florida Keys for some fishing.
“A guy Omar works with has a place there so he was our tour guide. It’s a complete fishing community with great restaurants,” Shaw said.
“We went out on charters during the day and then did night fishing for sharks and tarpon off our dock at our rental condo. I was able to bring in a 4.5-foot nurse shark at midnight and Omar’s best catch was a 4-foot barracuda. Amazing experience.”