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Living the dream: Golf is a family affair for the McLean sisters of Port Williams


PORT WILLIAMS -  A passion for golf runs in the McLean family.

Meghan and Heather McLean play other sports, but when the Port Williams sisters have to choose, golf wins out

“We both play basketball, and dabble in volleyball, but we love golf,” says Meghan, the older of the sisters, a 15-year-old Grade 10 Horton student.

Her younger sister Heather, 14, is in Grade 9 at Horton. They have an older brother Ian, who is in Grade 11 and is also a golfer.

All three siblings represented their school at the recent NSSAF regional and provincial championships. The girls’ team - Meghan, Heather and Grade 12 student Darcy Fuller - won both regionals and provincials.

The Horton boys’ team, on which Ian played along with Drake Batherson, Brandon Zwicker and Dean Vial, won regionals and was runner-up at provincials.

“It was exciting,” Meghan said. “The regionals were in Pubnico and the provincials in Cheticamp. We travelled the whole length of the province in the run of a week.”

 

Golf a way of life

Both Meghan and Heather have been golfing since they were eight years old. They golf mostly at Ken-Wo, but are also both members of Paragon in Kingston.

Golf has always been pretty much a way of life in their family. “Our mom and dad (Angus and Margaret) have always supported Ian, Heather and I in everything we’ve done, and especially golf,” Meghan says.

Golf was an important thing for them from an early age.

“Ian was always good at golf when he was younger. We both looked up to him,” she said, adding that their brother “had an awesome year golfing this past year.”

Even today, he takes an interest in both of their development as golfers.

“He and some of his friends help us out with things like distance,” Meghan said.

Watching her siblings prompted Heather to follow in their footsteps.

“I really did get into golf because Ian and Meghan golfed,” she said.

“I like that it’s both individual and competitive. It’s like you’re playing against someone but you’re not.”

Don’t worry, though, there’s no sibling rivalry here.

“We’ve always been close and gotten along really well. I guess we get a little competitive at times, but in a fun and happy way,” Heather said.

“We’re pretty supportive of each other. We joke around, but there’s no real rivalry.”

Meghan acknowledged her younger sister has beaten her on the course, but that’s OK.

“It’s always a great feeling when you finish a round and you’ve done well, and you look over and your sister is smiling, too,” she added.

At age eight and nine, Meghan said, they would play nine holes once a week. Sometimes they weren’t very good, she said, “but our parents would always put up with it and keep encouraging us.”

The elder McLeans, “have always been a great help and support. It’s really what’s kept me going,” she added.

“They’ve always been supportive, regardless of how well or badly we’ve done.”

Special year

This past year has been a special one for all three McLean siblings, especially Meghan and Heather.

Meghan won the provincial junior ladies’ championship at age 15, winning a three-hole playoff with Allison Chandler after shooting rounds of 76-80-75-80.

She was the Ken-Wo junior girls’ club champion, as well as the overall champion of the Ken-Wo ladies’ division. She won both Maple Leaf Junior Tour events she entered, and tied for sixth at the provincial Women’s Amateur championship.

Meghan went on to represent Nova Scotia at both the Canadian junior and women’s amateur championships and was part of the Nova Scotia junior provincial team that placed fifth in the team portion of the junior nationals.

Individually, she shot rounds of 84-80-79-76 to finish 37th overall and 15th in the juvenile division. At the Canadian women’s amateur, she shot rounds of 84 and 79.

Heather, meanwhile, was selected the NSGA 2014 Valley Zone Player of the Year. She won the girls’ division at the Subway Junior tournament at Ken-Wo, won the Ken-Wo Bantam Girls club championship and was low net winner at the ladies’ club championship.

Heather came second at bantam girls’ provincials and fifth at junior girls’ provincials. The latter finish earned her a spot as alternate on the Nova Scotia team that played at junior nationals, “an awesome and humbling experience” for the then-13-year-old.

Both girls enjoyed the experience of being at nationals.

“We were pretty close to some pretty fun things this past year, like getting to golf outside the Maritimes,” Meghan said.

“It’s nice to see how I stack up against golfers from the rest of the country. There aren’t a lot of girls golfing in the Maritimes. That’s why I like to go to nationals, because there are different people there.”

At junior nationals, in the practice round, she got to golf with the girl who won junior nationals last year.

“I could hit it as far, but her short game was better,” Meghan said.

“It showed me what I have to do better to improve, and how the best golfers are able to buckle down when the pressure is on.”

Heather also had a really great experience at nationals.

“I didn’t golf my best, but it was my first time. Hopefully there will be other chances,” she said.

 

Looking ahead

When the time comes, both girls would like to be able to go to school somewhere down south and play golf, hopefully on a scholarship.

Meghan said she enjoys “golfing in front of people,” while Heather enjoys the feeling of “making shots under pressure. That’s what it all comes down to.”

Both girls have enjoyed being able to learn to play golf near home, and especially the role their parents have played in their development.

“Our parents run the junior program at Ken-Wo,” Meghan said. “They do a wonderful job of making golf fun; not just for us, but for everybody who wants to play. That’s what’s so great about them, and why they’ve been so good for us.”

 

Meghan and Heather McLean play other sports, but when the Port Williams sisters have to choose, golf wins out

“We both play basketball, and dabble in volleyball, but we love golf,” says Meghan, the older of the sisters, a 15-year-old Grade 10 Horton student.

Her younger sister Heather, 14, is in Grade 9 at Horton. They have an older brother Ian, who is in Grade 11 and is also a golfer.

All three siblings represented their school at the recent NSSAF regional and provincial championships. The girls’ team - Meghan, Heather and Grade 12 student Darcy Fuller - won both regionals and provincials.

The Horton boys’ team, on which Ian played along with Drake Batherson, Brandon Zwicker and Dean Vial, won regionals and was runner-up at provincials.

“It was exciting,” Meghan said. “The regionals were in Pubnico and the provincials in Cheticamp. We travelled the whole length of the province in the run of a week.”

 

Golf a way of life

Both Meghan and Heather have been golfing since they were eight years old. They golf mostly at Ken-Wo, but are also both members of Paragon in Kingston.

Golf has always been pretty much a way of life in their family. “Our mom and dad (Angus and Margaret) have always supported Ian, Heather and I in everything we’ve done, and especially golf,” Meghan says.

Golf was an important thing for them from an early age.

“Ian was always good at golf when he was younger. We both looked up to him,” she said, adding that their brother “had an awesome year golfing this past year.”

Even today, he takes an interest in both of their development as golfers.

“He and some of his friends help us out with things like distance,” Meghan said.

Watching her siblings prompted Heather to follow in their footsteps.

“I really did get into golf because Ian and Meghan golfed,” she said.

“I like that it’s both individual and competitive. It’s like you’re playing against someone but you’re not.”

Don’t worry, though, there’s no sibling rivalry here.

“We’ve always been close and gotten along really well. I guess we get a little competitive at times, but in a fun and happy way,” Heather said.

“We’re pretty supportive of each other. We joke around, but there’s no real rivalry.”

Meghan acknowledged her younger sister has beaten her on the course, but that’s OK.

“It’s always a great feeling when you finish a round and you’ve done well, and you look over and your sister is smiling, too,” she added.

At age eight and nine, Meghan said, they would play nine holes once a week. Sometimes they weren’t very good, she said, “but our parents would always put up with it and keep encouraging us.”

The elder McLeans, “have always been a great help and support. It’s really what’s kept me going,” she added.

“They’ve always been supportive, regardless of how well or badly we’ve done.”

Special year

This past year has been a special one for all three McLean siblings, especially Meghan and Heather.

Meghan won the provincial junior ladies’ championship at age 15, winning a three-hole playoff with Allison Chandler after shooting rounds of 76-80-75-80.

She was the Ken-Wo junior girls’ club champion, as well as the overall champion of the Ken-Wo ladies’ division. She won both Maple Leaf Junior Tour events she entered, and tied for sixth at the provincial Women’s Amateur championship.

Meghan went on to represent Nova Scotia at both the Canadian junior and women’s amateur championships and was part of the Nova Scotia junior provincial team that placed fifth in the team portion of the junior nationals.

Individually, she shot rounds of 84-80-79-76 to finish 37th overall and 15th in the juvenile division. At the Canadian women’s amateur, she shot rounds of 84 and 79.

Heather, meanwhile, was selected the NSGA 2014 Valley Zone Player of the Year. She won the girls’ division at the Subway Junior tournament at Ken-Wo, won the Ken-Wo Bantam Girls club championship and was low net winner at the ladies’ club championship.

Heather came second at bantam girls’ provincials and fifth at junior girls’ provincials. The latter finish earned her a spot as alternate on the Nova Scotia team that played at junior nationals, “an awesome and humbling experience” for the then-13-year-old.

Both girls enjoyed the experience of being at nationals.

“We were pretty close to some pretty fun things this past year, like getting to golf outside the Maritimes,” Meghan said.

“It’s nice to see how I stack up against golfers from the rest of the country. There aren’t a lot of girls golfing in the Maritimes. That’s why I like to go to nationals, because there are different people there.”

At junior nationals, in the practice round, she got to golf with the girl who won junior nationals last year.

“I could hit it as far, but her short game was better,” Meghan said.

“It showed me what I have to do better to improve, and how the best golfers are able to buckle down when the pressure is on.”

Heather also had a really great experience at nationals.

“I didn’t golf my best, but it was my first time. Hopefully there will be other chances,” she said.

 

Looking ahead

When the time comes, both girls would like to be able to go to school somewhere down south and play golf, hopefully on a scholarship.

Meghan said she enjoys “golfing in front of people,” while Heather enjoys the feeling of “making shots under pressure. That’s what it all comes down to.”

Both girls have enjoyed being able to learn to play golf near home, and especially the role their parents have played in their development.

“Our parents run the junior program at Ken-Wo,” Meghan said. “They do a wonderful job of making golf fun; not just for us, but for everybody who wants to play. That’s what’s so great about them, and why they’ve been so good for us.”

 

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