He said he did anything possible to stay around Thames Valley Golf Course. He played in tournaments. He caddied. He worked in the cart barn and the bag room and the pro shop. He tended the kitchen and labored on the course.
"I played as much golf as any kid could in the summers," Quinn said. "And you could play hockey, sleep and then school - that's all I did."
During NHL seasons, Quinn could rarely make it to the course, if at all. But each offseason, he says, he'd play for three or four months straight.
After retiring, Quinn started playing competitively; he even played at Merion Golf Club in 1999. Now 48, he's good enough to compete against Els, 43, if Els spots him a couple of holes.
Together, Els said, Quinn's hockey-inspired intensity complements the golfer's calm. Els, who is from South Africa, likes to rib Quinn by arguing that rugby players are tougher than hockey players.
"Big, I mean big, big, big arguments," Els deadpanned. "We actually one night, we had too many beers, and I showed him, I go: 'This is how you tackle.' "
Els mimed a tackling motion, then continued: "He was giving me some checks."
Quinn said his rapport with Els helps during tournaments, but Quinn is a professional and he takes his job seriously.
"I'm not arguing with him this week," Quinn said.
Contact Zach Helfand at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on