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> Monday, March 7th, 2011 > Sports > Shaw's golf passion shines
Shaw's golf passion shines
Special to the Interrobang
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Jeffrey Reed
Published: Monday, March 7th, 2011
Think you're having a tough time this winter without golf? Put yourself in Kim Shaw's shoes. The Fanshawe Falcons assistant golf coach didn't get in a single round of golf last summer, thanks to a knee injury sustained during training for her second-degree black belt in karate.
But that didn't stop Shaw from guiding a growing men's and women's golf program at Fanshawe, where her husband, Andy Shaw, is head coach. Andy is London's professional manager at both River Road and Fanshawe golf clubs. Kim, who helped launch London's first all-girls junior beginner lessons at River Road, is the pro shop manager at the Willows Golf and Country Club in Nilestown.
With the city teeing up the idea of selling off River Road, I can't help but think of how Kim continued her pioneering ways at the municipal course. With Andy on board, Kim broke ground by establishing those beginner lessons, which eventually migrated to Thames Valley golf club.
With a slight meniscus tear mended, thanks to rest and acupuncture, Kim is again ready to go for her second-degree black belt – and to return to the links. In fact, Kim grew up on the golf course. Her father is Mike Olizarevitch, who in 2009 retired as head professional at Fanshawe – a post he held since 1970. Olizarevitch was a Fanshawe member during its charter year in 1958, and joined the grounds crew in 1963.
Kim helped out in the Fanshawe pro shop, and was an ace on the course. Introduced to the game at age 10, Kim won numerous junior girls tournaments, including the Les Thomas Memorial Tournament which kicks off the Junior Tyson Tour. Today, Andy is the Tour's convenor.
"I can remember some hot summer days, slugging it out on the golf course, I have a real fondness for the Fanshawe Traditional," Kim said of the club's original 18- hole layout. "We would go in for a milkshake at the turn. Dad gave lessons – there may have been five (girls) learning the grip and the stance."
Kim, who was the first girl to play on the boys' golf team at Clarke Road secondary school, said even now it's a struggle to get girls golfing at the community college level in London. This past season, the team of Ashley Cochrane, Alex McAvoy and Sarah Pickersgill gave a yeoman's effort but struggled against more seasoned Ontario Colleges Athletic Assocaition competition. But Kim, a bulldog of a competitor – "I get that from my dad" – is determined to see the Falcons program grow.
"It's a great time for girls to get into golf – a great time," said Kim. "Some of the junior beginners we taught at River Road are now playing on the Tyson Tour, so we're seeing some development. It's tough to recruit at Fanshawe, but we do have a lot to offer."
Much of that offering stems from Kim and Andy and their passion for golf. It's a passion which they have instilled in their daughters, Mackenzie, 14, and Jamie, 12. "Jamie enjoys golf a little more," said Kim. "She's more easy-going than Mackenzie, who is very hard on herself. I'm the same way – very competitive. I'm a lot like my father – ask anybody!"
Ready to earn her seconddegree black belt and to return to the golf course come spring, Shaw's competitiveness is evident in the tone of her voice. That bodes well for the Falcons women's program.
After all, giving up is not part of Kim Shaw's vocabulary.
Jeffrey Reed is a professor in the corporate communication and public relations post-graduate program at Fanshawe College, and an award-winning journalist.