Bill Pidlaski said truly great golfers are made, not born. “You’ve got to work at it each day and keep practising. There’s no such thing as a natural. Nothing comes easily on a golf course,” he said.
The North Kildonan native was one of the most accomplished amateurs to ever come out of Winnipeg. Twice he was the Provincial Amateur Champion (1960 and ‘63) and was the top senior on two other occasions (1977 and ‘78). He also played on Manitoba’s Willingdon Cup team numerous times and represented Canada on the America’s Cup Team twice (1963 and ‘65).
The most memorable highlight of Pidlaski’s career was playing on the 1965 America’s Cup Team. It was the first and only time Canada won the event, defeating Mexico and the United States at the St. Charles Country Club. Pidlaski won all of his matches. “It was a big thing. There were big crowds. It was here in Winnipeg. It was really special,” said Pidlaski, who was partnered with Doug Silverberg. “I thought I played well and I know my partner played well. We teamed-up really well together.”
Pidlaski was a member of Manitoba’s Willingdon Cup Team 10 times and captained the squad in 1962. He took as much pride in his team’s play as he did his own. “Really I think you try harder on the team. You have Manitoba or Canada on your heart. You have to concentrate. You try to be oblivious to the people around you. There’s a lot of pressure. But I was a frontline soldier so I knew what fear was already,” he said laughing.
Bill Pidlaski remained very active on the links until his untimely passing. A member at Elmhurst Golf and Country Club, he played almost every day and usually scored under his age.
b. July 14, 1919
d. October 10, 1997