RBC Canadian Open

Oakdale Golf & Country Club

The Loop

First things First

April 05, 2007

My philosophy has been highly influenced by the work and words of the great Alister MacKenzie, who wrote that “It is an important thing in golf to make holes look much more difficult than they really are. People get more pleasure out of [playing] a hole which looks almost impossible and yet is not so difficult as it appears."

--Mike Strantz

Watching the best players on earth on one of the earth’s most stunning and challenging courses, what do most patrons talk about? Their own games, naturally—and all of the challenging and beautiful courses they’d plan to play. In the concession tent along the second fairway, as a conversation about golf trips progresses, one member of a middle-aged male threesome says, “Tell you where I want to play. I want to play Pinehurst and then go back to Tobacco Road.” “That one stung you. You want another shot at it," said his graying buddy. "I'd like that one, which was on the toughest courses list (number 10 on our March list)," says the first fellow,  "And the other one by that same guy…[Mike Strantz]." He never did come up with the name. Clearly Strantz has left a scar that even Augusta can’t salve. Down the fairway, another threesome is making lists closer to home. “This one’s on my list,” says the first fellow, looking down on the beautiful second green setting. “I have a list,” says his hulking buddy. “And? Says the third fellow, as they walk along. “This is the only course on it.”