Dale Arnold is thrilled to see a reporter on the grounds of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club. “I was going to call a newspaper or something,” he says. “This is our 25th year of playing golf on New Year’s Day.”
Fellow golfer Al Paton says, “Dale and I haven’t missed a single year.”
Thirteen players enjoyed the mild temperature and sunny New Year’s Day to play 18 holes. The size of the group waxes and wanes according to weather, whim and schedules, but the die-hards come out swinging every year. “Last year it was -20° and there was snow,” recalls Paton.
Cam McNish says, “We see the guys fishing on the water and we laugh at them because they’re out in the cold.” He continues, chuckling, “And then we realize they’re probably out there laughing at us.”
“We keep our clothes on, unlike the folks who do the Polar Bear swims,” jokes Paton.
“It’s the best game of the year,” says Arnold with a broad grin.
The Donaldale Jan. 1st Classic is open to anyone. “We meet at 9:30, and tee off at 10 a.m.,” says Arnold. “Everybody’s welcome.”