On a cloudy and overcast evening on Sept. 1, the men of the village came to the Nakusp Golf Club for its weekly men’s night.
However, there was something different about this night. This was the fifth annual Doug Courage Iron Man MemorialTournament.
Courage died in a car accident on the outskirts of the village five years ago. The golf club’s board of directors decided to havethe tournament in his memory.
“It seemed like the thing to do,” said Dan Watt, a member of the golf club. “He was a dedicated member, he was here everyweek, and the harder it got, the better he liked it.”
This is one of the hardest games golfers in the area will play. The pins are placed in the most difficult spots on the green,which makes putting a near impossible task.
“It’s hard golf,” said Watt. “You have to be really strong in order to play nine holes of this without quitting.”
While each hole of the course was difficult, there was none more so than hole number seven. Shouts and curses could beheard as a golfer came so close to sink their ball, only to have it roll back down the hill. Cheers and hoots were heard as theyfinally made it.
Along with remembering Courage, the golf club have found a way to honour him and his family.
A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) has been set up in the name of his granddaughter, Madalyn Courage. Proceedsfrom the tournament will go into the RESP. This year’s game raised a total of $635.
In the lounge of the clubhouse is a photo of Doug and Madalyn, which has been signed by members of the golf club, and islikely the last photo of him ever taken. He died a few weeks after she was born.
The accident that claimed his life happened near the golf club, which was hosting a men’s night at the time.
“We were on the tee box, and we saw the lights, but we had no idea that was him,” said Watt. “We were thinking it was just anaccident, but then you find out later that it was your buddy, it’s horrible. For it to happen on a Thursday, that was weird. I’llnever forget that.”
Throughout the evening, club members shared their memories of Courage.
“He took his golf very seriously,” said John “Butch” Warantz. “He had a lot of physical issues that ended up happening. He gotbroken up in the bush one time and had broken his shoulder, but he persevered and came through.”
Warrantz recalled how Courage could make the most unique shots, sometimes slicing the ball down the fairway, other timeshitting it so far to the right the ball actually wound up on the highway.
His fondness for stand out attire was also remembered. From brightly coloured shirts, socks up to the knees, and hats alwaysworn just off to the side, whenever he was on the golf course, people knew it was him from a couple of holes away.
Along with his swing, and his interesting fashion choices on the green, many remember Courage for his kindness, and hiswillingness to help those in need.
“The neat thing about Doug was any time you needed something, it didn’t really matter, Doug would be there,” said KerryO’Connor . “He helped me out in unbelievable ways. He was one of those guys that was always there.”