When Bree Sharratt gets together for a round of golf with Ray Henry, it’s not just a friendly father-daughter match. It gets competitive, especially when the dreaded “pigeon bag tag” is on the line.
For years, the two have had a tradition where the loser of their head-to-head matchup has to keep the pigeon tag on their golf bag until they win. The humiliation gets even worse, as the loser has to yell that they are the other person’s pigeon from the 18th hole.
“We’ve been playing for that since I was 13, but it’s still pretty fierce competition,” Bree says, laughing.
“I’d rather beat Bree than win the B.C. amateur championship,” Henry says, laughing. “It’s a big deal … it’s great fun, I love playing with her.”
Unfortunately for him, Henry has the burden of the pigeon tag at the moment. “When she has the bag tag, we play a lot, but when I’ve got it we don’t play as much.”
Friendly, but fierce competition is the reality for a family that just about lives and breathes golf. Four generations participate in the game in one way or another, from Bree’s five-year-old son, Finn Ruedebusch, all the way up to her 89-year-old grandmother Doreen Sharratt. All live on Bear Mountain and are members at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa.
“It’s something that we’ve always kind of done together,” Bree says. “Especially because everybody’s up here, it’s so nice to ring your parents or grandmother up and say ‘you know, I’m thinking of going and playing golf.’”
Bree, a six handicap, learned the game from Doreen, a winner of multiple club championships over the years, beginning with the basics of chipping and putting and progressing from there.
Several years ago, a light was shone on Bree and her grandmother’s friendly golf rivalry when they competed against each other in an interclub competition while Doreen was still a member at Arbutus Ridge. The elder Sharratt, 81 at the time, shot her age to best her granddaughter.
Now, Bree and her husband, Ryan Ruedebusch, have begun teaching their two children, Finn and nine-year-old Nyah Sharratt, the basics of the game as well.
“We’re pretty lucky up here at Bear Mountain because there’s the golf course, the pool and the tennis courts,” Bree says, “so my kids call it the trifecta when they go out to the driving range, play tennis and then go swimming.”
While the holidays are a time for family, it’s likely they will find some time for a few rounds as well, if weather permits. Ray notes that he and Ryan play in a men’s league every Saturday morning as long as the course is open. “We’ll play New Year’s Eve and we may play, if there’s a nice day or two, (early) in the new year,” Ray says.
And if he plans to make any New Year’s resolutions, you can bet that getting rid of that pesky pigeon bag tag will be somewhere on his list.