GOLF: CALL­ING ALL SWINGERS!

CANADA’S FINEST FAIR­WAYS BECKON

2017 Travel Guide to Canada - - Table Of Contents - BY ANITA DRAY­COTT

Hav­ing chased dim­pled white Titleists over six con­ti­nents in my quest to play the world’s best cour­ses, this golf ad­dict proudly opines that Canada boasts no lack of stel­lar tracts. My bucket list in­cludes ocean­side gems, moun­tain mar­vels, prairie bar­gains and some sur­prises that have been ranked among the best on the planet. We are spoiled by choice.

THE RISE, VER­NON, BC

Aptly named, The Rise, a rol­lick­ing roller coaster set high above Okana­gan Lake, is the de­sign de­but of PGA pro Fred Cou­ples in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Gene Bates. The sixth hole, an el­e­vated tee, par-three, is a sight to be­hold. To your right, wa­ter washes down a rock cliff face. The green teases from be­hind a glis­ten­ing pond at the foot of the wa­ter­fall about 30 m (98 ft.) below. Bring you cam­era as this course is truly a drama queen, and don’t be sur­prised if your ears pop due to the alpine al­ti­tude (www.therise.ca).

SAGEBRUSH, MER­RITT, BC

The pre­vi­ously-pri­vate Sagebrush is now a pub­lic course man­aged by Troon Golf. Rod Whit­man’s de­sign tum­bles and rolls with nat­u­ral rhythm. Golfers may also try their luck at world-class fly fish­ing for feisty Kam­loops rain­bow trout as they pause for re­fresh­ments at the pond be­tween the 12th and 13th fair­ways. Be­cause of Sagebrush’s re­mote lo­ca­tion—about three hours from Van­cou­ver—there are no set tee times. Play when you ar­rive and are ready to go (www. sage­brush­life.com).

STEW­ART CREEK GOLF & COUN­TRY CLUB, CAN­MORE, AB

For­merly a coal min­ing area, Stew­art Creek of­fers sen­sa­tional views of the Three Sis­ters peaks. De­spite its for­mi­da­ble set­ting, Cana­dian ar­chi­tect Gary Brown­ing ac­com­plished his goal to cre­ate a course that is playable and chal­leng­ing from all five sets of tees. “Too of­ten the for­ward tees miss the great plea­sures of a cham­pi­onship course,” re­marked Brown­ing who has suc­ceeded in his in­tent to “take play­ers’ breath away” (www.stew­artcreek­golf.com).

EV­ER­GREEN GOLF COURSE, NIPAWIN, SK

Cana­dian ar­chi­tect Les Furber’s re­design of Ev­er­green Golf Course, set in the mid­dle of a ma­ture for­est of Jack pines, spruce and poplar trees, will chal­lenge golfers of all lev­els. The for­est is in play through­out the cham­pi­onship tract, es­pe­cially on the 15th and 16th holes that are like is­lands in a sea of trees. Nearby, Tobin Lake at­tracts avid an­glers hop­ing to break wall­eye and north­ern pike records (www.ev­er­green golf­course.ca).

GRAN­ITE HILLS GOLF CLUB, LAC DU BON­NET, MB

Carved out of the rugged Cana­dian Shield and spec­tac­u­lar wood­lands, Gran­ite Hills, wind­ing its way along the shores of scenic Lac du Bon­net, is Man­i­toba’s new­est golf course—opened in 2007. Lots of el­e­vated

tees pro­vide sweep­ing vis­tas of five lake­side fair­ways. For those ar­riv­ing by boat, Gran­ite Hills has a pub­lic dock. The golf scene in Man­i­toba is sur­pris­ingly good and af­ford­able (www.gran­ite­hills.ca).

THE BRIARS GOLF CLUB, JACK­SON'S POINT, ON

The Briars is a pri­vate golf club, but guests of The Briars re­sort have play­ing priv­i­leges. The first nine holes, de­signed by Stan­ley Thomp­son, opened in 1922. In 1971, Stan­ley Thomp­son’s able ap­pren­tice, Rob­bie Robin­son, cre­ated the back nine. In the years fol­low­ing, ar­chi­tect Doug Car­rick, who ap­pren­ticed for Robin­son and his team, made some al­ter­ations. Per­haps it’s be­cause of this seem­ingly seam­less se­ries of de­sign­ers that The Briars has re­tained the tra­di­tional style of a Scot­tish wood­lands course. You can take a cart but it’s re­ally a joy to walk the metic­u­lously man­i­cured fair­ways and greens shaded by ma­ture trees (www. bri­ars­golf.com).

FAIR­MONT

LE CHÂTEAU MON­TE­BELLO GOLF CLUB, QC

De­signed in 1929 by Canada’s leg­endary Stan­ley Thomp­son, the Mon­te­bello golf course me­an­ders over hilly forested ter­rain with plenty of rocky out­crop­pings and won­drous views of the sur­round­ing Lau­ren­tian Moun­tains. Keep an eye out for wildlife as the course is des­ig­nated as a Cer­ti­fied Audubon Co­op­er­a­tive Sanc­tu­ary. Af­ter your round, check into the Fair­mont Château Mon­te­bello—pos­si­bly the cosiest, yet largest, log cabin in the world (www. fair­mont.com/mon­te­bello/golf).

THE AL­GO­NQUIN GOLF COURSE, ST. AN­DREWS, NB

The Al­go­nquin Golf Course boasts a dis­tin­guished his­tory. First opened in

1894 with de­sign in­put by the ac­claimed Don­ald Ross (of Pine­hurst No. 2 fame), The Al­go­nquin was re­cently re­designed by Cana­dian golf course ar­chi­tect, Rod Whit­man. The mar­itime tract over­look­ing St. An­drews-by-the Sea and the Bay of Fundy is slated to re­open in Au­gust with eight new holes and ten new greens. On the 12th par-three, new tees built on the sides of the cliffs drop down to the world’s high­est tides in the Bay of Fundy (www. al­go­nquin­re­sort.com/golf).

CABOT CLIFFS, IN­VER­NESS, CAPE BRE­TON, NS

When Cabot Links opened in 2012 it caused a sen­sa­tion in the golf world as Canada’s first and only true links course. In 2016, the folks who own Cabot Links opened Cabot Cliffs, cre­ated by the renowned de­sign team of Bill Coore and Ben Cren­shaw. Fair­ways tumble and twist down from a forested glade high above the sea. They me­an­der up and over dunes, cross mead­ows and ravines, and skirt ragged cliffs. Golf Digest has de­scribed Cabot Cliffs as, “the sec­ond com­ing of Cy­press Point,” and has ranked it 19th on its list of 100 Great­est Golf Cour­ses in the World (www.cabotlinks.com).

THE LINKS AT CROWBUSH COVE, MORELL, PEI

Thomas McB­room routed his Mar­itime mas­ter­piece through 1000-year-old sand dunes on the Is­land’s north shore. Each fair­way presents its own unique se­ries of chal­lenges. There are nine wa­ter holes, plenty of pot bunkers and sud­den gusts from Crowbush Cove to keep you on your toes. You’ll get great bang for your buck here and on other PEI cour­ses (www.rod­dva­ca­tions.com/golf).

TERRA NOVA RE­SORT & GOLF COM­MU­NITY, PORT BLAND­FORD, NL

Terra Nova, dubbed the Peb­ble Beach of New­found­land, is lo­cated in the Na­tional Park of the same name. The first hole is a knock­out—from el­e­vated tees it doglegs right to a raised green with sparkling Bon­av­ista Bay ahead of you. Most of the fair­ways are wide enough to ac­com­mo­date the Ti­tanic, tempt­ing you to let it rip. Per­haps what makes Terra Nova’s flag­ship Twin Rivers course so spe­cial is the out­stand­ing par threes. Num­ber eight, for ex­am­ple, re­quires cross­ing a rag­ing river of white­wa­ter to an el­e­vated green pro­tected by bunkers. Thanks to the sec­ond nine-hole Ea­gle Creek course, and very at­trac­tive “stay and play” pack­ages, you can swing to your heart’s con­tent (www. ter­ra­novagolf.com).

For golf course list­ings across Canada: www.golf­canada.com/golf-cour­ses

Provin­cial golf as­so­ci­a­tions are listed at the bot­tom of Golf Canada’s home page: www.golf­canada.ca

HODGES HILL, NL • NL TOURISM

AL­GO­NQUIN GOLF COURSE, ST. AN­DREWS BY-THE-SEA • TOURISM NB

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