MOST CHAMPIONS ALREADY KNEW FROM A YOUNG AGE THAT THEY WERE BORN UNDER A LUCKY STAR. CÉLINE DION, GUY LAFLEUR, AND EDDY MERCKX BELONG TO THIS RARE BREED. THOUGH MARIO FORGET CAN’T BRAG ABOUT BEING FAMOUS LIKE THESE SUPERSTARS, HE CAN NONETHELESS REJOICE, AS THEY DO, ABOUT HAVING A CAREER HE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT.
A golf professional who teaches at the prestigious Club Laval-sur-le-Lac golf club, he knew when he was young that he wanted to find a balance between work and play. “I only ever had one thought in my head, and that was to play,” he says. “I played hockey all the time in the winter; it’s all I thought about. One summer, I needed money to buy myself skates (to continue playing), so I started working as a caddy at the club de Golf Rosemère. That’s where I discovered a passion for golf that is as strong today as it was 40 years ago.”
“On the golf course, it was the instructors who piqued my curiosity,” he explains. “I admired their love of teaching, of technique, of strategy, and of the game. Today, at 52 years old, I can honestly say that there are very few things that make me more proud than the feeling I get when I help someone to improve. I’m lucky because my job allows me to experience this feeling almost every day.”
Proof of his passion: Forget says that if he were to become a millionaire, he would spend his days as a volunteer giving golf lessons.
A lot of people would give anything to play just one round of golf at Laval-sur-le-Lac and on some other courses where Forget has played, such as the Royal Québec, Los Cabos in Mexico, Pine Valley, Pebble Beach, and Augusta National, where the Masters Tournament is played each year. “I played three rounds there,” enthuses Forget. “It was a dream come true!”
Jacques Cousteau was often told that he had been lucky. He responded that while that was true, he had put himself in luck’s way. That is exactly what Mario Forget did when he was a child; he went looking for a job.
MONTRÉAL GOLF LEGENDS
In late June, the Club Laval-sur-le-Lac and Le Blainvillier golf clubs will host qualifications for the Montréal Championships, a tournament of PGA legends and Québec’s golf event of the year. The 2011 event will be held at Club de golf Le Fontainebleau in Blainville with a purse of $1.8 million. For three days, the top senior players will compete: Jay Haas, Fred Couples, Mark Calcavecchia, Larry Mize, and many others will be pulling out all the stops. (www.championstourmontreal.com).
A LESSER KNOWN, TOP-QUALITY SHOW
The Québec AGP circuit (Association des golfeurs professionnels du Québec) host many tournaments. The Classique Acura will kick off the season at the Club de golf Val des Lacs, a little jewel nestled in the municipality of Sainte-Sophie, close to Saint-Jérome. Serge Savard, former General Manager of the Montréal Canadians, will act as Honorary President of the Coupe Canada that runs from August 4 to 7 at the Club de golf de La Vallée du Richelieu in Sainte-Julie.
Photo: Neal Hardie