Lockerby linkster sets high goal for golf game
Nick Quesnel wakes up and sees a dreary fall day. It’s raining and windy and bitterly cold thanks to a 30-km an hour north wind. In short, it is just downright nasty outside. It is anything but ideal conditions to go golfing.
Quesnel thinks nothing of it. To him, any day, regardless of weather conditions, is a good day to golf.
“No matter the weather, if I feel like golfing, I don’t care, I am going golfing,” the Grade 11 Lockerby student-athlete said. “I’ll put on a rain suit. I’ll do whatever I have to do to golf. Yes, I love this sport.”
Quesnel knows he had plastic toy golf clubs in his hands by the age of two — his parents tell him he was in the backyard hitting balls around at that time. His father was an avid golfer. By age eight, Quesnel was going with his dad to the driving range and already honing his long game.
From there, Quesnel progressed quickly by competing in junior tournaments, and has now been a competitive golfer for the last five years. He plays for the Idylwylde Golf and Country Club and his high school, Lockerby.
He is serious about the game, serious enough to quit other sports at which he excelled to focus on his passion.
It was in Grade 10 that Quesnel’s golf game started to come together. He roared up the local charts on the club scene and he tied for second at the city high school championship and qualified for his first ever Northern Ontario event (NOSSA) and provincial event (OFSAA). It wasn’t difficult for Quesnel to put it all together himself. By quitting hockey and putting his focus on golf, his game on the links vastly improved.
It only served as motivation for Quesnel to put more time into golf.
“I wanted to improve more,” the 15-year-old said. “My ultimate goal is to always improve.”
This year, Quesnel reached the peak of local and regional high school golf. He won the city championship and then won the NOSSA title and punched his ticket back to OFSAA, where he shot 167 over two days and finished tied for 44th.
Quesnel is already looking forward to working even harder over the course of the next year so he can come back in Grade 12 and repeat as city and NOSSA champ and go back to OFSAA and earn a “better result.”
I don’t care, I am going golfing. I’ll put on a rain suit. I’ll do whatever I have to do to golf. Yes, I love this sport.
Gr. 11 student at Lockerby Composite
“It felt good to win, but next year, I want to do a lot better,” he said.
Quesnel isn’t greedy with the knowledge he has picked up from years of playing and practicing. He has assumed a leadership role on the Lockerby Vikings high school team. He leads by example.
“Nick is a dedicated golfer,” Lockerby coach and teacher, Cassandra Gibbons, said. “(He) is also a supportive team member, offering junior members of the team advice and motivation.”
Quesnel’s success weren’t limited to the high school loop. On the club circuit, Quesnel made his presence felt this season. Playing against the top junior golfers in the province, Quesnel won a Canadian Junior Golf Association tournament and placed second in another.
To even get a sniff of success in golf, Quesnel devotes a large chunk of his time to being on the links.
He plays in as many tournaments as he can to gain experience. During the height of the season, Quesnel is sometimes more on the road and at courses than he is at home.
And when he is at home in Greater Sudbury, he makes himself busy at the Idylwylde Club by being on the greens from sun up to sun down.
“At that time, I am at the Idylwylde every day,” he said. “A lot of times, I will play 36 holes and then practise putting for two hours. I just practise a lot and I practise the right things that will improve my game. My ultimate goal is to improve and see how far I can go.”
And how far does Quesnel want to go? To the top, and he is going to make sure nothing stands in his way or he leaves nothing to chance.
“I want to earn a scholarship and go play golf in the United States,” he said. “It would be awesome and a reward for all the work I’ve put in. I believe I can pull it off.”
Quesnel has kept his academic game up as well. It hasn’t suffered as he maintains a GPA just a sliver under 4.0. He has also written an SAT to prepare for his post-secondary moves. Everything Quesnel does is geared towards golf.
“There is a lot of work to it,” he said. “There’s a lot more work I have to do.”