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BLOG: Gretzky and '80s Oilers didn't play golf competitively amid heyday

Wayne Gretzky spoke about how the '80s Oilers used to treat golf Tuesday at the Syncrude Oil Country Championship

by Paul Gazzola /

The Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON kicked off on Tuesday with the Celebrity Pro-Am at the Windermere Golf & Country Club.

Plenty of celebrities, Oilers players and Oilers alumni were on hand at the event and one was Oilers Entertainment Group Partner and Vice Chair Wayne Gretzky, who spoke about how the 1980s Oilers treated golf back in the day.

"We were so competitive in practice and in games we played that when we played golf, we just enjoyed it," Gretzky told reporters. "We were the least competitive people and people would probably be surprised by that because once we got out there, it was just fun."

Video: 1-ON-1 | Wayne Gretzky

The Great One, who compiled 894 goals, 1963 assists and 2857 points in 1487 games played in the National Hockey League, shared a few reasons for why the team chose not to take golf so seriously.

"One: we weren't very good," he said. "Two: we knew the work we put in to become hockey players and how hard we worked, practiced and trained to get to that level, you can't become a great golfer just by saying, 'Alright, I'm going to go play golf today.' That doesn't happen. So, we played for fun and enjoyed it." 

Gretzky also revealed a story that transpired one year during the Stanley Cup Finals involving former Oilers netminder and Honorary Tournament Chair Grant Fuhr.

"We lost Game 6 on a Wednesday in Philadelphia and we had Thursday off," Gretzky began. "We practiced Friday morning and Friday after practice, Grant went golfing. Saturday morning after the morning skate he was asked by the media what he did yesterday and he said, 'I went and played golf,' and they said, 'How many holes did you play?' and Grant said he played 54 holes. 

"Then the whole media scrum was like, 'Oh my God, you played 54 holes before Game 7, why'd you play 54 holes?' Grant said, 'It got dark, I couldn't play 72!'" laughed Gretzky.

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