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Lake Bucket Putting, a Double-Ended Sport

‘I know it’s going in, I got this, I thought to myself, as I lined up the golf ball with the bucket, piece of cake…’

The scoring buckets for the Lake Bucket Putting game.

There is quite the complement of golfers who come to the lake, but don’t have an outlet for their golf game cravings unless they leave the lake to find one of the couple of local courses, but you can amuse a golfer or two with Bucket Lake Putting.

We have the luxury of having a shallow area in front of our cabin. This lets us do a lot of water activities that aren’t leaving or losing things in the deeper depths of the lake. Since it is preferable and more environmentally responsible to not hit golf balls far out into the lake. (Yes, most people have done it in the past, the days past, long before there was so much environmental awareness). I know there are floating golf balls, but they do not strike the same, or have the same weight for a ‘real’ golfer to enjoy. I, myself, am not a golfer, though I am quite delighted to have the opportunity to go putting. In the city, I used to go putting with my husband and a group of friends to a scenic and well-groomed putting course, one with a full 18 holes laid out. It made for a great time when a group of us would meet first to enjoy appies and a bevie, and got together to the course to enjoy some early evening putting. We’d return later as a group to share dinner, and often play cards. It was a Friday night ritual often in the summer months to go and putt.

At the lake, the golfers do head off to the couple of local golf courses from time to time. One designated driver would pick up everyone in the boat, cabin to cabin, and off they would go. My ex was heavily into golf, and would often head out with the boys to do a round or two on a lovely summer’s day whenever he could. I always welcomed the alone time staying back at the cabin, that was, in the later years after kids. When I had small children I would stay back to look after them, and sometimes meet up with other cabin moms to do play dates with the youngsters. It was nice to chat with the gals, too. Remember, we never had cell phones in the early days, and so we welcomed that time to hang out on hot summer afternoons.

A friend about to putt off the dock to the Rock Point where the buckets are placed...

One evening we were having a few people over for ‘Happy Hour’. We ended up on the dock that night with a meeting of about 3 cabins of neighbours and friends. My husband decided he would set up a game of Lake Bucket Putting, (A name I have given it, because we really didn’t have one at the time.) He got out three different sized buckets from under the cabin, the ones we use for different things at the lake, path clearing, rock moving, cement mixing, etc. I made and attached point value labels on the buckets for scoring. Because we had the shallow area we could place the buckets on the adjacent rock point at different distances and a contestant would putt a ball from the dock to a bucket. A putt into bucket was a score.

My husband placed a piece of green astro-turf to serve as a putting mat to protect the dock surface. We all took turns trying to putt, and to get the most balls into the buckets and get the highest score, it was a great time. The reason I said this was a great double-ended sport was that we had to retrieve some balls from the water, and so the next day we snorkelled around the shallows and the rock point shoreline to retrieve any balls that fell in.

Sometimes the simplest of ideas can be so much fun. Many laughs were shared that day, by the golfers and non-golfers alike. I remember smiling when I was gardening with one of the buckets later that summer because I left the point value scoring labels on the buckets for a long time. Such is cottage life, a time to be creative, meet up with friends and neighbours, play, laugh, share food and drinks, and make great lake memories.

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