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Pristine conditions await senior golfers for provincial championship at Truro Golf Club

The Hub Town's namesake golf course should be in pristine condition for the Nova Scotia Golf Association's men's senior championship, which begins Wednesday.
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Truro's John Archibald tees off on the 10th hole during the opening round of the Nova Scotia Golf Association's MCT men's mid-amateur championship at The Links at Penn Hills on July 21. (RYAN TAPLIN / Local Xpress)

The fabulous summer weather that has been bestowed upon Truro has done wonders for the Hub Town's namesake golf course.

The greens have been firm and quick and the fairways lush this season at Truro Golf Club. It should be in pristine condition for the Nova Scotia Golf Association's men's senior championship, which begins Wednesday.

"Truro is in great shape," said John Archibald, a longtime member of the Stanley Thompson-designed track and one of the favourites for the 54-hole provincial senior event.

"Scores should be pretty good. I expect the winning score will be under par."

To level the playing field, the Nova Scotia senior usually plays at a shorter distance than other provincial championships. 

But Archibald prefers a longer Truro Golf Club.

"I don't enjoy it when the course is that short," the 60-year-old said. 

"You take the driver out of the hands of a lot of players when it's shortened up like that. They play the course so short typically in the past that it's not much fun. It's a lot of risk reward."

Archibald, who a decade ago was a contender at the Nova Scotia mid-amateur with a third-place finish in 2006 and runner-up to champion Jody Swim in 2007, is looking to get back into contention at the provincial senior.

Since placing second to Gerry MacMillan in his first Nova Scotia senior championship in 2012 at Hartlen Point, Archibald has finished sixth, tied for 19th, 40th and tied for 35th, respectively in his next four provincial 55-and-over championships. He has been struggling with back issues in recent years.

Playing at home may give him the advantage to get back near the top of the leaderboard.

"Being familiar with the course could be beneficial," said Archibald, who finished tied for 42nd at the Nova Scotia Golf Association's MCT men's mid-amateur last month at The Links at Penn Hills against some players who were 30 years younger than him. (He was the oldest player in the field). 

"It will certainly help around the greens. The setup won't be like what we normally play. But I have an idea where to play it safe and conservatively and when I can be aggressive.

"If you keep it in play and be tidy around the greens a good score can be had at Truro," he added. "But if it's windy, it'll take a lot more to reach the greens. It'll require some really good shots to hit the greens because they're really small with lots of bunkers. If the wind is down, the greens are pretty easy to get on. It'll be a chipping and putting contest."

That kind of course knowledge should put clubmates Nelson Thompson - the senior champion at this year's Truro Invitational - and Stephen Locke - last weekend's senior club championship by three strokes over Thompson - among the favourites next week.

Others include defending champion Tom Banks, previous winners Mike Hebb, Ernie Sheaves, Gerry MacMillan and Edward Dumeah, perennial contender Dean Woodman and Steve Ward, playing in his first Nova Scotia senior.

Unlike most other tournaments on the Nova Scotia Golf Association calendar, the provincial senior is much a social event than a competitive championship.

"The senior is much more social than a lot of these provincial tournaments," said Archibald. "It's a good group of guys and it's fun to play in. 

"The mid-am is a mixed group, with ages ranging from 25 to 65 and a lot of people I've never met before. The senior I'll know nearly everyone in the field. That makes it a little bit different that way. It'll be good."



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