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Alan McBride a.k.a. mcbirdie
What is your name and oobgolf username?
Alan McBride and my oobgolf username is mcbirdie.

How old are you and what is your occupation?
I just turned 30 last month and am a Project Manager for a contracting company that specializes in exterior finishing on Vancouver Island, up in Canada. It's my job to find projects, bid on them, manage them to completion, and then find more work. It's a great job where every day is different from the last, and I'm lucky to work for a family-owned company that allows me to
have a good work/life balance.

When did you start playing golf and what's your handicap?
I started playing golf in the spring of 2007, but that was mostly just hacking it around at the driving range with my brother. I got into it more seriously in late 2008. Currently I hover around a 10 handicap, but I've been as low as a 7.

How often do you play?
Our season is a bit longer than most other places in Canada, and I try to get out at least once a week from March to October. One year I played well over 50 rounds, but I usually get in about 25-30. I'm lucky because my wife likes golf, but with children in our future, I'm sure we won't be able to get out quite as often.

Tell me about a great shot you've made.
One that will always stick out to me is the first eagle I'd ever made on a par-5. It was on the 7th hole at Glen Meadows, which is a dogleg left playing 488 from the white tees. I hit a pretty solid drive into the right rough, to leave me about 215 out with a good look at the pin. At that time I was about an 18-handicap, so I was just thinking to knock it up towards the green and hit a wedge on. I grabbed my 3-iron and told my playing partners (my dad and two of my good friends) to keep an eye out for my ball because there's no telling what it would do in the air. I picked it clean out of the rough, and it took off straight for the pin. A couple of bounces later, I'm looking at a four-footer for an eagle. My friends still bug me about that every time I ask them to watch my ball for me!

What is your best golf memory?
Any time that I get out on the course with my Dad. As mentioned above, my brother and I started hacking it around together in the spring of 2007. Unfortunately he died in October of that year, and while my Dad and I were cleaning out his house we found his golf clubs. He said, "What am I going to do with these? I don't play golf."

My answer was, "Dad, we're going to go golfing together. Let's go the the range tomorrow."

A man of my word, I dragged him to the range in the morning, and he was struggling to get solid contact. Out of nowhere, he hits a pure iron shot that goes dead straight and pretty far, and he says "Whoa, this is fun." Pretty soon he was addicted to the game, and it's been a great way for us to bond. Seven years of hard work
later, he's consistently shooting in the mid-to-high 80s, a part of his club's inter-club teams, and proud of his 15-handicap. We always have a lot of fun when we get out on the course and
usually have a pretty competitive match between the two of us.

What is your "home" course?
I was a member at Bear Mountain Golf Resort for a year, but I consider my home course Glen Meadows, where my dad is a member. The maintenance has gone downhill a bit over the years and there's talk of them turning it back into a farm, but to me it's one of the best layouts I've ever played.

What ball do you play?
If they're on sale I like the Nike SFT balls. Lately I haven't been as picky though; I tend to buy the bulk refurbished balls and just play whatever I grab out of my bag.

     Driver: Callaway RAZR X 9.5°, stock stiff flex shaft
  3-Wood: Callaway RAZR X, stock stiff flex shaft
 3-Hybrid: Callaway FT-iZ, stock stiff flex shaft
       Irons: Titleist AP2, stock stiff flex, steel
  Wedges: Titleist Vokey, 52°
                  Titleist Vokey, 56°
                  Titleist Vokey, 60°
     Putter: Cleveland Classic (I can't bring myself to buy a Scotty yet)

Favorite pro?
It's cliche to say Tiger Woods, but if he's in the field I'm more likely to watch the tourney. Other than that, I like the way Kuchar plays, and I pull for Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to succeed.

Favorite course you've played?
Myrtle Creek, just north of Grant's Pass, Oregon. My wife and I planned our honeymoon around golf on the West Coast, and we stayed in Grant's Pass, just because it was a logical stopover between Portland and San Francisco. A family friend had recommended we stay at Seven Feathers Casino; Myrtle Creek happened to be the stay & play option with Seven Feathers. We weren't really expecting much from having a look at the website, but it was in amazing condition and each hole had it's own unique character. Add to that the fact that the course has no homes lining the fairways and no freeway noise, we'll definitely be back again!

Dream course you've yet to play?
For most people it's one of three: St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, or Augusta. I'd really love to play Whistling Straits, which will hopefully be a trip that my wife and I take for my 40th birthday.

Best round ever — and on which course?
79 at McCleery. I've broken 80 a bunch of other times, and on much tougher courses, but nothing beats the first time. Also, being an 18 handicap at the time, I think it's the most impressive. Standing on the 17th tee I said to my friend "I need two birdies for a 79." We both laughed, and then laughed again after I sunk two 25-footers in a row.

What is one aspect of your golf game you would like to improve on in the next year?
My scoring on par-3s has been disappointing this year. So, I'd say tee shots with mid-irons and lag putting would both help in improving that.

Tell me a story.
This past weekend, my Dad and I played our regular game at Glen Meadows with his friend Steve. I started out double, birdie (tap-in), triple, then double — and I figure I'm headed for a 90+
round if I don't get my act together. I decide it's time to smarten up and start making some pars. My dad and I both dropped long birdie putts on the 9th, and I'm amazed that I managed to hold it together for a 42 on the front.

I ask my Dad what he shot, as I was paying so much attention to my own game, and he's smiling ear-to-ear as he says, "39." He then proceeds to hit his approach on 10 to within three feet and I start thinking that he's got a chance at breaking 80 for the first time. Now the competitive juices start flowing and I start focusing a bit more, I was on auto-pilot, making par after par, and then a nice two-putt birdie on the 510-yard par-5 16th. He was cruising along nicely as well, making great chips and clutch par putts to keep himself in the game.

Now we find ourselves standing on the 18th tee with him needing a double-bogey or better to break 80 for the first time, and me needing a par for a 79. He hits his driver down the middle, his approach was a bit short of the green, and the nerves got to him a bit on his chip as he left it on the lower level about 30 feet out. I hit a great shot to the top level with an 8-iron and left myself 12 feet for a birdie. He lagged it perfectly to a tap-in, I push mine slightly to the right, and he wins the match 78-79.

I think that's one round that I'll remember forever for a number of reasons.

Thank you, Alan!

Interested in being next weeks featured golfer? email us here

[ comments ]
GolfSmith7 says:
Congrats on being Golfer of the Week!
dottomm says:
Dude. Myrtle Creek!! I passed through the area last summer (july 4th) and played there. Might be one of the funnest courses I've played. And the black sand bunkers. Soft like feathers. I've promised myself I would go back. Heck, I've even looked at property near by.

Also, congratulations for being player of the week.
jfurr says:
Thanks for sharing, Alan.
DougE says:
Congrats to you Alan. Nice story.

On another note to OOB, Golfer of the Year is more like it. When was the last golfer of the week? Certainly wasn't a week ago.

Happy to see a GOW story either way. Keep'em coming.
bkuehn1952 says:
Nice story, especially because the old guy won! Congratulations on GOW.
mcbirdie says:
Thanks guys!
bsta93 says:
Thanks for sharing. That's good stuff.
CeeBee says:
Great story. Hail to the old guys.
falcon50driver says:
It's amazing how easy golf is when you shoot in the 70s, then next week you wonder why it suddenly got so difficult.
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