MOUNT WILLIAM — Brian Affleck is still basking in the glow of a course record he achieved recently while winning the Stanhope Open professional golf tournament.
Affleck, the golf pro at the Eagles Chance driving range and par-3 facility, carded a 10-under-par 62 on the first day to eclipse the course record at Stanhope, P.E.I. on August 4 and followed on August 5 with a four-under-par 68 to win the championship.
“It was awesome,” said Affleck, who has won the Stanhope Open three of the last five years. “I’ve been playing there since I was 17. It’s not a links course but you can see the water from every hole. Most of the greens are clover leaf shape, so that’s a challenge.”
Affleck’s next competition is the Atlantic Zone championship that was to start Tuesday and end on Wednesday at the Mactaquac course near Fredericton, N.B.
“I’ve never played before, but from what I’ve heard it’s a nice course with big fairways and big greens,” he said.
Affleck has not played as much as he would like due to his commitment to the Brian Affleck Golf Academy that he has operated at Eagles Chance for the past six years. He has played 20 rounds of golf, including seven rounds of competitive golf and has played with the golfers in his junior program once a week.
He played in the Bangor Open before winning at Stanhope and was encouraged with his game despite not winning there.
“I played 16 good holes and two bad ones each day that took me out of contention, but I knew my game was close,” he said. “Generally, it has been a good season for me and it’s come around in the past couple of weeks.”
A downside to Affleck’s golf season has been the critter petting farm he opened last summer and has decided to close permanently. Weather has had a bearing on his decision to sell all the livestock.
Six groups booked in June cancelled due to rain and seven groups committed for July cancelled in July due to the hot weather.
“We needed cash flow as soon as possible,” he said. “We’ll focus on the golf side of the business through the fall. We had the critters last August. It’s a good business but Mother Nature means we have to focus on the farm or golf.”
He said the Golf Academy has kept his business operating because there has been less business at the driving range and par-3 course.
“Without the Golf Academy, I’d be closed three years ago,” he said, noting the 400 people he has instructed overall this season.
Affleck recalled playing in a pro golf event in early July in Quebec City when temperatures reached 35 Celsius and the Humidex reached 46 C.
“We’re supposed to wear long pants,” he said, regarding Canadian PGA events. “We wore shorts the last two days.”
Brian Affleck shows winning form with his golf swing. (Goodwin photo)