N.S. amateur golfers who competed for fun win national championship

Tim Charles, left, and Peter Morse, right, competed against 51 other pairings at the BDO National Golf League Championship in Hamilton, Ont., on Saturday (Tim Charles - image credit)
Tim Charles, left, and Peter Morse, right, competed against 51 other pairings at the BDO National Golf League Championship in Hamilton, Ont., on Saturday (Tim Charles - image credit)

Nova Scotians Tim Charles and Peter Morse went to the inaugural BDO National Golf League Championship in Hamilton to have fun, meet other players and try a challenging new course.

The pair ended up walking away with the trophy after a playoff win.

According to Golf Canada, the competition is designed to promote recreational golf. It saw 10,000 participants take part in 13 regional districts.

A total of 52 teams made it to the finals at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

Charles from North Kentville, N.S., said he never had aspirations to play any kind of competitive golf. The 62-year-old taught at Horton High School in Wolfville before retiring and is now a substitute teacher there. Morse is a vice-principal at the same school.

The two men have worked together since 2017 and played golf together in the same league.

Charles joined the Ken-Wo Golf Club in New Minas after he retired in 2020 and got involved in the men's league.

He said golfers don't necessarily get better as they get older and making it through the local, provincial and national competitions "kind of fell out of the sky."

Charles said when his club got involved in the national event he signed up, in part, because it was a fundraising event.

To his surprise, he qualified for the provincial event in Nova Scotia.

After learning he could bring one of his men's league friends with him to compete, Charles sent a text out to the league chat group asking if anyone was interested.

Morse replied within 30 seconds saying he would love to go.

Special significance

For Morse, 38, from New Minas, the chance to play in a competition was especially significant since he was badly injured in a car accident in 2015 and had to learn how to walk again.

"Anytime I get a chance to play it means something and I jump at the opportunity," Morse said.

"The nice part with golf is with these types of tournaments, your handicap comes into play so you have an opportunity to be successful in golf because you get extra shots compared to the person who normally shoots better."

The duo won the provincial leg after a playoff hole against two other Ken-Wo players.

Having the opportunity to play in a national championship on the same course where the RBC Canadian Open is taking place this week could have been a daunting prospect, but Charles saw it otherwise.

"It was an all-expenses-paid trip to Hamilton for the weekend. So we were very pleased," he said.

"We thought, well this is great. We'll just go and have a good time."

A flight disruption meant that the pair were delayed arriving and found that they were unable to sleep.

Despite this, Charles said they enjoyed the chance to interact with golfers from across Canada.

"The whole thing was very exciting for me. The sort of experience I felt I would probably never have again," he said. "You never know. but it just seemed like something really special."

Charles and Morse are now gearing up to represent Canada at the R&A 9 Hole Challenge, which will be held at the legendary Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland.

It will be the first time Canada takes part in the challenge.

Morse said playing at the Scottish course was a bucket list item for him.

"it's something I would have probably decided to do later in life, but I get to do it for free and this summer, so it's a pretty cool experience."