Fresh off his Atlantic Canadian amateur golf championship, Nikashantess Penashue has pro aspirations.
Oddly enough, despite successes golfing out of the Amaruk Golf Club in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and at the college level out of Holland College, the Sheshatshiu native laid down his clubs in recent years.
He says he didn’t realize his talent in the sport. A return has changed that outlook.
Penashue took the men’s title at the Amaruk Golf Club’s annual tournament last September. It was an honour he shared with his mother, Kanani Davis, who won the women’s crown.
His success and renewed passion led him to St. John’s and the Bally Haly Country Club for a summer of dedication to the sport. Coming off a disappointing nationals in Ottawa — he carded a 78 and a 79, failing to make the cut — he turned his focus to the Atlantic championship.
Happy with his long game at nationals, he put in a hard two weeks of work on his putting in preparation. He also had an advantage of playing a familiar course at the Fox Meadow Golf Club in Stratford, Prince Edward Island.
“I wanted to win it,” Penashue said. “I really did, but I didn’t think of it like that. I just went out there and played shot-for-shot. I wanted to win, but I didn’t focus on winning.”
The golfer says he was able to put his entire game together. He shot a 6-under par during the three–round tournament, claiming the title by eight strokes.
The Atlantic championship in his first time competing has fuelled a fire in the 25-year-old.
“Hopefully, in the next two years or so, I could be professional,” he said. “That’s my goal, to turn pro and do this for a living.”
Penashue hopes to be back to work as a carpenter at Muskrat Falls in the offseason, but would like to be able to get in some training too. He plans to dedicate next summer to golfing fulltime again. He enjoyed his time, and the success that came with it, at Bally Haly, but has made no decisions as to where his future lies.
“I’m already thinking about next year,” he said. “I can’t wait.”
One thing is for sure, he wants to be playing more and against high caliber competition. That is the only way his dreams of being a pro will become a reality.