Golf pros face off against public by trying to hit island green in Halifax Harbour

Published on July 2, 2014
Truro's Eric Banks tees off on the Halifax waterfront as part of a promotion for GOLFest on Tuesday.
Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper

HALIFAX - Terry Chickness took a couple swings of a golf club on the Halifax waterfront before lining up behind the ball and eying the floating green in front of him.

He swung, and the ball sailed over the water – dropping in with a splash, just short of the green.

“It was harder than we thought,” Chickness said on Tuesday after both he and his son went up against professional golfers from the Tour and had three tries to land a golf ball on H20’s Golf Island Green.

“I put two over it and one short of it, but it was still fun trying for it.”

Fans were able to chip three balls for $50, with proceeds going to the QEII, and see how they fared against the likes of Joe Panzeri, a member of the Tour who will be competing at Ashburn Golf Club later this week for GOLFest’s Nova Scotia Open.

Panzeri, originally from Idaho, landed a couple on the island about 40 yards into the harbour but said it was “a tough little shot” because you had to land it within five yards of the pin and hope the ball didn’t bounce off.

He said a goal for the tournament is to finish in the top 25 so he could get “shuffled in” to their list because he has conditional status right now.

“One good week can change that, come out here and play solid,” Panzeri said.

“It’s a good place to learn how to be a professional and just get better and better.”

Eric Banks of Truro, who competes with the University of Florida’s golf team, chipped a few onto the green Tuesday and said he was “pretty pumped up” when he learned he would be one of the exemptions to play the Nova Scotia Open.

“It’s kind of a home game for me and I’m looking forward to it,” Banks said.