Story by Miguel Strother
Vacay.ca Sports Editor, Western Canada
Growing interest in the Masters golf tournament is always a sure sign that winter’s back 9 is coming to a quick close and the golf season is at hand at last. And as much as we look forward to watching Tiger Woods and the boys take on Augusta National in Georgia on April 5, it also means we’ve got our own course to chart as we get set to tee off in Canada for the first time in 2012.
From the opening of the full 18 holes at Cape Breton’s Cabot Links to the Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario to incredible golf deals in the Canadian Rockies, 2012 has all the makings of a classic for golf lovers. Here are just a few highlights to get you started as Vacay.ca kicks our golf coverage into full swing.
Cabot Links offers an absolutely spectacular setting, perhaps among the finest in Canada. And in 2012, golfers making the trip to Inverness, Nova Scotia will get the full pull as the course opens its back 9 for the first time. In addition to one of the most authentic links golf experiences in the country, visitors will be wowed by the high design of a 48-room luxury lodge featuring floor-to-ceiling views of the course and the Atlantic Ocean.
And as the summer golf season heats up, the Hamilton Golf and Country Club will once again play host to the $5.2-million RBC Canadian Open. From July 23-29 some of the world’s finest golfers will descend on Ontario to put the club’s nearly 120 years of tradition to the test. Always among Canada’s best rated golf clubs, this Harry Colt-designed course definitely has the pedigree to host both a first-rate golf tournament and a raucous party. This is the fifth time in the tourney’s history that it will be played at the HGCC and it’ll be interesting to see which of the world’s top pros is in the field. Last season it was Sean O’Hair who took home the title and past winners included the likes of Jim Furyk (2006, 2007), Vijay Singh (2004) and Woods himself (2000), who just made news for the right reasons this weekend when he won his first PGA Tour event since September 2009 with a victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
CANADA GOLF PREVIEW: WEST COAST
As for life on the links out in the wild, wild West, we are looking forward to touring through the Rocky Mountains, particularly the Kananaskis-Canmore loop in Alberta where courses offer up some of the most mind-boggling vistas and biggest golf challenges in the business.
Kananaskis Country Golf Course includes both the Mount Lorette and Mount Kidd courses, each surrounded by the 10,000-foot spires of the Rocky Mountains. Other features of these courses, as if they needed any more, include glacier-fed creeks and ponds, the Kananaskis River, 140 sand traps and wildlife ranging from elk to beaver. And if you decide to make a visit in spring, try the week of May 11-17. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Kananaskis Country is offering $20 rounds and stay-and-play packages that start at as low as $249 for two nights accommodations and two rounds.
In addition to being one of the finest small towns in the entire country (ok, I’m a little biased because I grew up there), Canmore, which is just around the corner from Kananaskis Country, has three excellent golf courses to keep players occupied. Golf courses in Canmore include Silver Tip Golf and Country Club, Stewart Creek Golf and Country Club, as well Canmore Golf and Curling Club, home of the original Fly Wide Open. All offer brilliant glimpses of the hard-to-believe beauty of the Bow Valley.
Also on deck for the Vacay.ca crew is a likely epic golfing road trip from Vancouver to Whistler and through the Duffy Lake into the famed Okanagan where we plan on digging up the likes of Predator Ridge and the Bear and Quail courses at the Okanagan Golf Club.
So if you are looking for all the insider info on the Canadian golf scene, the best golf deals in Canada, or just a few laughs and insights on the game, stay tuned because we aims to please!
Where are you going to golf in Canada in 2012? Let us know about your favourite courses and what you would like to see covered. You might even win a travel prize just for sending in your thoughts on how we can help you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas!
Note: Photo courtesy of Cabot Links