Keep Swinging All Winter!

If you were happy with your golf game this year, what can you do during the winter to retain that level of play into next season? And if you weren’t happy with your game, how can you get off to a faster start next year? Unless you spend the winter months in a warm climate, try bringing your game indoors this winter. Many top instructors will tell you that hitting balls indoors can accelerate swing changes, particularly when combined with the latest software in swing analysis. That’s where the new indoor golf academy at Legends on the Niagara can help. It’s complete with the latest technology to help with private and supervised practice and features a state-of-the-art golf simulator with 30 world-renowned courses to play like Pebble Beach and Pinehurst, ideal for league play.

Housed in the main clubhouse at Legends on the Niagara, the Legends Winter Academy is more than a place to hit balls during the winter. Private instruction is also available and each hitting bay features video and Flightscope technology which gives golfers feedback on everything from ball and club speed to launch angles and more. “Hitting balls indoors during the winter months is a great way to master swing changes and stay sharp during the off-season,” according to veteran PGA Instructor Norm Moote. “With Flightscope technology we can assess why the golfer is doing certain things and then prescribe the best way to affect change. Doing this indoors during the winter months is probably the most efficient way to prepare for a new season.” A basic Winter Academy membership is $100.00 per month or $300.00 plus tax which gives members one hour of daily practice time through to the end of March. Video and launch monitor technology is available in each hitting bay. Private lessons with Head Teaching Professional Norm Moote are $50.00 for 30 minutes or $85.00 per hour plus tax.

Another way to add more punch to your game in the offseason is with a golf specific fitness program. If you want a workout program to help you swing with more confidence and improve mobility, the Legends Academy has aligned with Nutrition and Fitness expert Nathane Jackson who offers a number of programs that are sure to improve performance. A golf specific training program with 2 private sessions per week is $640.00 per month. Group sessions are also available.

Finally, the off-season is the time to have your equipment checked by a qualified club fitter. Grant Tayler, a former tour player who has specialized in shaft technology for more than 30 years, is available for consultation at the Legends Winter Academy. While it’s tempting to have the latest equipment every year, there’s no magic cure to posting lower scores. Checking your lie angles, making sure that you have the right shafts, and a new set of grips to start the new season can make all the difference in the world.

For reservations and inquiries call Head Teaching Professional Norm Moote at 289-241-3525 or email nmoote@niagaraparks.com.

Take Our Kids to Work Day at Niagara Parks

On November 2, 2016, The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) hosted 23 Grade 9 students from across Niagara for Take Our Kids to Work Day!

Take our Kids to Work Day is organized by The Learning Partnership, an annual national program in which Grade 9 students are hosted by parents and relatives in workplaces across Canada.

Through experiential learning in a variety of departments and areas at NPC, Grade 9 students embarked on a tour of a variety of different career options and got a true look behind the scenes of NPC’s attractions and facilities.

Students started their day with the Heritage Team, where they learned about the interpretive and curatorial roles at our Heritage sites. They learned of all the different employment opportunities available in Heritage, starting in high school. Students were even treated to a live demonstration of a musket shooting at Table Rock Centre!

Then the students met with NPC’s award winning Culinary team about the Apprentice Cooks and Chef’s Showcase Dinner, which has supported the educational endeavors of numerous aspiring chefs over the last 11 years through the Niagara Parks Apprentice Cooks scholarship. They discussed different education paths students should take to get their foot in the door as a culinary artist and treated students to a really interesting cutting demonstration!

To add a little fun to the day, students visited one of NPC’s most popular attractions, Journey Behind the Falls. While enjoying the breathtaking view, NPC’s High Angle Team dropped in for a quick visit by rappelling down into the Niagara Gorge. It was a highlight of the day!

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NPC’s Engineering team welcomed students to the Maintenance Centre where they got a close look at the many trades employed by staff. From carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical and mechanics, NPC has it all.

Finally, students were led by the Horticulture team on a walking tour of Niagara Parks’ renowned Botanical Gardens and School of Horticulture and spoke to current students at the school about their experience.

“The Botanical Gardens was my favourite part of the day, hands down. Second was visiting the Forestry Department. I am very interested in botany.”  – Dawoud

NPC is very proud to be a part of Take Our Kids to Work Day. The program is a valuable tool to showcase what NPC has to offer while giving students a chance to appreciate the work their family member does.

Legends at Legends

American Meg Mallon, who has been selected to enter the World Golf Hall of Fame next year, has a distinctive Canadian connection having won the Canadian Women’s Open on two occasions including the 2004 event on the Doug Carrick designed Battlefield course at Legends on the Niagara. Mallon will join 2016 Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III, 1991 Masters Champion Ian Woosnam, and former world number one Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, all of whom will be formally inducted next September along with the late golf writer and BBC commentator Henry Longhurst.

Mallon, 53, who became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1987, won 18 LPGA Tour events, including four major championships. She won three times in 2004 including her second U.S. Women’s Open. Her win at Legends on the Niagara that year was her second Canadian Women’s Open title, a 4-shot victory over Beth Daniel with scores of 65, 70, 65, 70 for an 18-under-par total of 280.

Mallon’s first win on Canadian soil came at the 2000 du Maurier Classic at Royal Ottawa, once considered one of the four LPGA majors until the ban on tobacco sponsorship caused its near-cancellation. Mallon was one of a parade of LPGA stars who lobbied hard to find a new sponsor and in 2001 the Bank of Montréal made a five-year commitment to the tournament, renaming it the BMO Canadian Women’s Open. With a purse of $2.25 million USD, the championship is today known as the CP Canadian Women’s Open.

The 2004 Canadian Women’s Open was the first major competition played at Legends on the Niagara, which officially opened in June 2002. Tournament director Sean Van Kesteren of Golf Canada, organizers of the event which attracted 41,000 spectators, called the course selection a “no brainer”. According to Van Kesteren, “We knew Legends had all the qualities we were looking for with superb conditioning and great greens. Everything logistically was perfect for an LPGA Tour event”. Winner Meg Mallon agreed. “This was the best conditioned golf course we’ve played all year,” she said.

Over the years Legends on the Niagara has continued to host important national championships among them the 2014 Canadian Junior Boys Championship and two Canadian Women’s Tour events including the 2014 affair won by a 16-year-old Canadian Brooke Henderson. Now an LPGA regular ranked among the top-5 players in the world. Henderson is on track to a Hall of Fame career of her own.