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Mike's Canada Trip

Mike Court has been on a trip to Canada. He reports, below, on his golfing experiences.


Golf in Western Canada

I have recently returned from a five week trip to Grande Cache in the Rocky Mountains, Edmonton,both in the Province ofAlberta and Vancouver Island in the Province of British Columbia and would like to offer you an insight into the golf courses and facilities that I visited during the trip

GRANDE CACHE

Grande Cache is a small town situated 150 kilometres north of Hinton and 180 kilometres South of Grande Prairie on Highway 40, the elevation is 4200 feet above sea level, the town is in a half moon of 21 mountain peaks . Its main industries are coalmining, lumber and a maximum security detention centre. The population of the town is just over 4000 persons and they are all friendly. Everybody I spoke to were most helpful and pleased to welcome visitors to their beautiful town.
Grande Cache golf club was formed almost 25 years ago by the McIntyre Mining Company as a recreation facility for the workers at its mine, Grande Cache being fairly remote at that time. The playing season in a temperate year would be from April to the beginning of October, after the snow has set in its ideal for cross country skiing. The course is nine holes,par 72, using different tees for each nine and is a good walk about 6000 yards in total plus a lot to add for walking between greens and tees, buggies are available and unless you are super fit, take a buggy. The cost of a round during the week was $21, extra for a buggy and rental clubs. The rental clubs were a mixture of anything the club were able to get their hands on! And if you asked nicely you got them hired for nothing.

I first played there about 16 years ago and was at once enthralled by the view of the surrounding mountains, they are magnificent.At that time the town was flourishing and the course was in excellent condition, sadly, during the eighties the town went into a period of decline and the standard of a few of the greens deteriorated but they are working on them. The main attraction of the course is the surrounding beauty of the mountains, it doesn’t matter how you play the views more than compensate for a bad round of golf.

 

There are plenty of places to stay and there are a good variety of eating establishments. If you are ever in this area of Alberta do not miss out on Grande Cache it’s worth the journey to get there.



 LEWIS ESTATES, EDMONTON

As this name suggests this is a resort style golf course. Set in a housing development of superior dwellings on the West side of Edmonton this course has all the trappings of courses seen on the PGA tour. It is first class in every way. The tees are better prepared than some of the greens we play on, the fairways are generous without too much rough, there are many water hazards and the greens are superb. Off the back tees the course measures 6700 yards, par 72. The course meanders through the development with only a few holes being played side by side in opposite directions. The weekday charges are about 60$. I rented a buggy and a set of NEW Callaway RAZR clubs, the total cost was about 110$. Some of the holes are very close to the housing development. The staff were friendly and the clubhouse facilities were superb.

If your partner is not a golfer, the course is not far from the world famous West Edmonton Mall where there is an abundance of high quality stores where you can get your credit card massaged! A large variety of hotels and restaurants are within easy distance from the course.There are many premier golf courses in and around Edmonton and all would seem to be worth visiting.


FAIRWINDS GOLF CLUB AND MARINA

NANOOSE BAY, VANCOUVER ISLAND

This is another stunningly beautiful golf course; everything about it is first class. It is not cheap to play as a visitor, the total charge for a morning round including buggy hire and rental clubs (this time NEW Taylor Made RBZ clubs) was approximately 150$ but well worth the high cost. The course is set within the confines of the Fairwinds Estate, surrounded by superior dwellings, with an abundance of Arbutus and Douglas pinetrees. The course measures 6150 yards with a par of 71. There are very few holes visible from the one you are playing, each hole being tree lined, there are a few water hazards and the condition of the greens was superb. The maintenance crews deserve the highest praise for the way the course was presented. Facilities in the club house and Pro’s shop were also of the highest quality.
The front nine views are dominated by the housing abounding the course, they are not cheap! The course is anything but flat with undulating fairways and many side hill lies. The view from the 15th tee across the George straights to the mainland is magnificent. The difference in height from tee to green on this hole can lead to confusion over what club to play with from the tee.

 

A lot of members drive their customised golf buggies, taxed and road worthy from their homes close by to the course. (How the other half live)

There is a Marina not far from the course that caters for all forms of sailing if you want something different to do.

 

One of our members, Ron from Nanaimo, I am sure would back me up in saying this is a course not to miss if you are ever on Vancouver Island.

 

Enjoy your golf

Mike Court