A Song by Smokey Dymny©Smokey Dymny 2005
Oh, my dad and I we go out to play
Our favourite golf in the usual way
We drive to the club & we get us a cart
Takes us to the tee-off in a style that's smart, well...
We heard there's an island up the coast
Where they play a game that's not like most
It's a game for golfers who are more than tough
It's played on a course that's more than rough
Extreme golf - my dream golf
To play the game the island way
Y'need an ATV and a helmet to play
When you get to the course - sign a waiver form &
A Doc checks to see f'you're in tip-top form
Y'get a G.P.S. so you can find the green
And a brush-clearing axe with a blade that's keen
Extreme golf - my green golf
I don't need manicured lawns to play
Just show me a clear cut - I swing away!
Cause it's easy to lose your balls in the mess
There's a beacon in'em for your GPS
And you wear your helmet when you play our game
‘Cause no one sees - if you're in the way
Extreme golf - you'll scream golf
I used to play in low-cut shoes
Now it's camouflage and combat boots
Now, the feller-bunchers came a while before
And this is the way they leave the forest floor
Just a bunch of seedlings in the slash and run
We throw in flags & we're havin' fun
Extreme golf - supreme golf
I don't need fairways with watered lawns
Just a bunch of jumps for my dirt bike friends
There's no GIANT mowers to trim the grass
Or nasty pesticides to make it last
The watering comes from natural rain
Not a billion litre storage lake
Extreme golf - not obscene golf
I don't need to kill the tree frog pond
Or poison the stream where the salmon spawn
Now, this new game's just so much fun
Let's cut another island forest down
It's got gravel pits and a swampy marsh
Tumbles to the ocean over land that's harsh
Extreme golf - marine golf
Our golf won't ever leave you bored
If you want more holes we'll log some more.
Many thanks to Smokey Dymny for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection.
Smokey Dymny writes
"How'd this song come about? Well, I live part of each year, as much as I can actually, on an Island called Quadra in the Straight between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. These Islands were charted in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver and by a Peruvian Captain Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra who explored for the Spaniards. When they met very cordially C. Vancouver decided to name the larger Island "Quadra And Vancouver's Island. The Brits later did away with that. The large Island became Vancouver, the small one, Quadra. There are several more islands with spanish names in the straight. (If you don't want all this history, feel free to leave it out.)
Historically, this little island named Quadra was easier to settle in the early days because access was by steam packets, when the first settlers arrived. Quadra Is. had several well protected harbours. The current town of Campbell River did not exist then as the Vancouver Island side of the strait was subjected to the fierce south-easterly winter storms. Along with settlers came logging, mining, a small logging railroad and forest fires. Eventually the forest regrew. Jump forward to the 1990s. Forestry companies wanted the second growth Quadra trees which were now quite huge again, and, because they were largely the much-coveted Douglas Fir. (named after a robber baron who opened the coast up for the Hudson's Bay Company)
They owned some of the timber lands outright, they gained cutting rights to much of the remaining Crown Lands because of a crooked provincial Forester in Campbell River who signed what ever cutting licenses the logging companies placed in front of him.
In B.C. cutting is not supposed to exceed the growth rate of the forest. A provincial Forester is supposed to "cruise" the area, Ie. estimate the board feet of lumber in a forest and calculate how much growth occurs each year. The logging companies cut about 36% on Quadra when they should only cut 6%. To do this they average the cut on Quadra with that on Vancouver Island where the trees are of a lower quality. Recently, they even discovered a grove of thousand year old trees in the middle of "a cut block" which had been ignored by the original settlers because they were deemed too crooked. No amount of protests stopped them from cutting these ancient trees down.
Finally we get to the local tale. The local owner of a lumber & building supply store formed a syndicate with friends and the owner of a steep coastal property on our island in order to build a golf course. Cutting a steep slope near the shore will cause erosion. Building a golf course will necessitate a lot of watering as our summers are very dry (and getting drier). Folks estimate about 5,000 gallons per day. All of the neighbours of this property have wells which tap into the same aquifer. My property is just across the road from the future golf course. Some locals want a golf course, because their land values will rise. The rest of us contend they will fall to next to zero if a golf course runs our aquifer dry, which could cause ocean water to seep into it and make it brackish forever after. We also wonder who would play golf on land which drops 80 meters over a distance of one kilometer. Also, a 10 minute ferry ride away, is the town of Campbell River with at least three golf courses available and running.
The finale. I joked to friend that it would be much more ingenious of these golf course developers to advertise the creation of a new sport called "extreme golf". I proposed that we dress someone up in outdoor gear and a full face helmet, astride one of those cross-country three or four wheeled ATVs ( our neighbours own several) loaded with a set of golf clubs, and we'd pose them in the above-mentioned clear-cut where we lost the ancient trees (which is quite level land, by the way). We would send this picture to our little island weekly paper, as an encouragement to the developers NOT to create a new clear-cut. We were hoping they'd buy the old one instead. None of this ever happened.
I wrote the song instead. Played it at one of the the local bars, called "The Landing Pub" as part of a three and a half hour concert. Good beer, bad food, terrible service. Great wooden beams, walls and view of the ocean. The developers don't talk to me now. The golf course seems to be going ahead slowly because the regional district accepted the water table studies provided by the developers instead of doing their own. I tried to get some buddies to participate in tree spiking the property in question but had no takers. (This is not something one does alone.) I presume I might see golf balls flying over the road one day soo"
"Smokey's voice is a pork chop with a little bit of road dirt."- Art Farquharson
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union songs..........a selection by mark gregory