2021 – Season of a Champion
If there was an award for Golfer of the Year at Grande Meadows Golf Course the winner for 2021 would be Matthew Hackett. Over the past few years Hackett has steadily improved his game to the point where he is in a class by himself at the local club. He has steadily honed his game to where he is regularly shooting scores in the low 70’s and on the odd occasion has come in with a sub 70 round. Through it all Hackett has maintained his laid back attitude where nothing seems to get him down.
During the 2021 golf season at Grande Meadows Matthew won his 3rd straight and 5th overall Annual Invitational Golf tournament shooting scores of 72 and 75 for a 147 total score. He stands second to Jason Hill of Bally Haly who won 6 straight Invitationals from 1999 – 2004.
Hackett followed that up winning his 2nd straight Burin Peninsula Open Men’s Title with a round of 75. He captured his 5th Men’s Club Championship in September by carding a 2 day total of 147 from daily scores of 73 & 74.
In the Annual Provincial Championships at Terra Nova Golf Course in July Hackett carded scores of 76 & 78 the first 2 days of the 3 day tournament to sit in a tie for second place among the best golfers Newfoundland has to offer. He struggled a little to shoot 85 on day 3 to fall back into 13th place which is very respectable. Hackett is a little disappointed in his day 3 score saying, “I was definitely pretty disappointed with my score on day 3, especially after keeping it together for the first 2 days and even my front 9 on day 3. But that’s golf! I’m looking forward to giving it another go next year!”.
Hackett, a teacher at Marystown Central High School, was a very good young athlete and competed at a high level in both soccer & hockey. He was first introduced to golf by playing once in a while with a few of his buddies at Grande Meadows. During his early years at Memorial University he along with those friends took a membership at Pippy Park Golf Course in St. John’s where his love for the game grew. Once he moved back to the Burin Peninsula to teach first in Terrenceville and then in Marystown he took a membership at Grande Meadows. From there he has never looked back. His game has improved tremendously and he has lowered his handicap to 1. Hackett says, “I love being a member of Grande Meadows. We are very fortunate to have such a beautiful course to be playing on.”
Personally I had the honour of having Matthew as a student in my class during high school and I have had the privilege of playing golf with him many times over the past few years. However, it was during the recent Annual Club Championship that I got to witness first hand in a while just how good a golfer Hackett is. I was paired with him for both days of the tournament and even though he made 6 birdies over the 2 rounds, it was a par and a bogey that stood out to me. While playing Hole #5 on Sunday, Hackett’s tee shot went into the hazard on the Par 5 hole about 220 yards off the tee. Having to take a drop he hit his next shot near the 100 yard marker from where he deposited his 4th shot 10 feet from the hole. A lovely putt resulted in a par. On the back 9 while playing the same hole Hackett’s tee shot found the hazard about 20 yards short of where his ball ended up on the front 9. His 3rd shot from there went into the hazard about 120 yards from the hole which resulted in a second drop on the same hole. His 5th shot from 120 yards landed about 8 feet from the hole, followed by another nice putt for a bogey 6. I just said “Wow!” The pros would pay good money to make those shots during a Sunday golf round. He is just so good at making great shots to the green and great putts that he will be tough to beat in the next few years.
Matthew lives in Burin with his wife Kayla and his children Brielle & Taylor. He can be found at the course somedays with Brielle introducing her to the game of golf. She isn’t as enthusiastic as her dad at 5 years of age but she do show a love for sports like and is involved in hockey and soccer. One day she could be the Grande Meadows Ladies Champion – wouldn’t that be neat.
Despite being busy as a father of two young girls and a teacher, Matthew gets out to play fairly often though mostly in the mornings. However, he also enjoys playing with other members and is a regular at the Thursday evening Men’s Night play where other members have the pleasure of playing 9 holes with this young man who is a great ambassador for the Grande Meadows Golf Course.
Way to go Matthew. Have a great winter and we look forward to seeing you again in early May.