Teeing up for big win

Trochu Golf Club is thinking big. Real big. Twelve-metre-high golf tee big.

Giant tee on display outside a downtown Calgary ATB: Trochu is one of three finalists to bring it home.

Giant tee on display outside a downtown Calgary ATB: Trochu is one of three finalists to bring it home.

Trochu Golf Club is thinking big.

Real big.

Twelve-metre-high golf tee big.

The golf course has just found out it is one of three finalists with a shot at winning a monster 680-kg golf tee through ATB Financial’s Teenormous Contest. Other finalists will be announced later this month.

“We’re just thrilled,” said clubhouse manager Audrey Nelson. “We’re right along the highway. It would be very visible.”

About 20 to 30 Alberta communities submitted video submissions to pitch their case for winning the giant tee, which was created by Calgary’s Heavy Industries a couple of years ago as a promotion for the ATB Financial Classic golf tournament.

Nelson said the video submission they sent in featured the club’s oldest golfer, a 93-year-old, its youngest, a 12-year-old, and a local member of the Red Deer College golf team. “T is for Trochu” was spelled out with 1,618 golf balls on the practice green of the course on Hwy 21 about 90 km southeast of Red Deer.

Winning the tee would be a nice bonus for the club, which suffered a lot of damage during an Aug. 1 windstorm. Many trees were snapped in half and the roof of a golf cart shelter was destroyed.

The tee is currently on display at the Sirocco Golf Club, south of Calgary but also stood for a time in front of the bank’s Stephen Avenue branch.

“We’ve had some fun with it,” said Shawn Ohler, ATB director of external and media relations. But there’s only so much you can do with a four-storey tee, he added. “You need a pretty big golf bag for a tee that size.”

In a province already home to Vegreville’s Easter egg, Glendon’s perogy, Drumheller’s dinosaur and Andrew’s mallard duck — not to mention Bow Island’s world’s largest putter — the giant tee would fit right in.

“Alberta is known for big kitschy icons. It’s a common thing in Alberta rural communities.

“We thought, and I think that we were right, that lots of communities would be eager to have something like this.”

ATB hasn’t gone as far as to call the folks at the Guinness World Records, but considering the latest entry for biggest golf tee is an 8.13-metre competitor built by Michigan college students for the Esacanaba Country Club, the lucky winner can be confident in landing a world beater.

A website, www.wearealberta.ca, will be set up so people can vote online towards the end of the month. Sometime in September, ATB will choose a winner based on online results and its own judging.

The tee, worth in the tens of thousands including installation, will be transported to the victorious community and set up by ATB.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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