We appreciate Canadian Golfing Tours fall during the summer months when you may be busy golfing at home, but WOW, it is special. We returned after a three year break on the request of several who had been with us before and a few first timers. I think it’s is fair to say everyone simply loved it! Stunning scenery, golf courses in great condition – it is so hard to believe they were under snow only weeks before – and so much more to do.
On arrival in Vancouver we transferred to the wine producing region of the Okanagan Valley (yes this wine and golf is an occupational hazard of mine) and the Preditor Ridge Resort. The Preditor course is the better test, however, the Ridge course is stunning. Tree lined, dramatic changes in elevation and fabulous views over the lake. Couple that to first class practice facilities, clubhouse, hotel and restaurant and our first four days flew by. “We must return and for longer” was the general comment from the group.
Flying back to Vancouver I was reminded of the “picture postcard” scenery that is forever present in Canada and no where more so than Whistler, our next stop. A vibrant ski village, in summer turned into a mountain bikers and mountaineers paradise – I think A&E is just as busy here in the summer and the evidence was clear to see! Amongst other things apart from golf various members of the party participated in were a Sea Plane flight over the Glacier, the not to be missed longest in the world ( well it is America) Peak to Peak cable car ride and yours truly, along with Diane and Bill, spent a day White Water Rafting on the Squamish river. Oh yes, and we played 4 rounds of golf too!
Amazingly, three of the four courses in Whistler are flat and easily walkable, although buggies were included for those who wished. However, the surrounding scenery is definitely not, snow capped mountain peaks and blue sky with bird life, as at Preditor, pretty spectacular. We saw many Bald Eagles but unfortunately not one of the golfing type. On the ground mountain deer roamed but the experience would not be complete without an encounter with a Black Bear. Mine came on the 9th tee at Nicklaus North. Richard’s rather low tee shot skimmed the foliage in front and fifty yards ahead, by the ladies tee, a rather large black head reared! Now, we knew from reading our ” what to do if you encounter” leaflet, that this five or six hundred pound Teddy Bear can run faster than an Olympic sprinter (true), so we stood still and enjoyed the sighting, pretending not to be at all intimidated until a ranger appeared to move him on.
Finally we moved on to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Our city centre hotel was based on the waterfront, where nearby, Sea Planes of the only official water airport taxied out to their “runway”.
We were able to walk out to excellent casual restaurants and do our final shopping here. One evening, following golf, was spent Whale watching by some of the group. Having donned our very much needed all in one suits, we were taken several miles out to sea by what one can only call a most invigorating ride in an open boat propelled by powerful outboards. All was worthwhile when we found ourselves surrounded by the very large black and white bodies of Killer Whales. We returned back to the distant land, very wet, very hungry, a little tired but totally exhilarated. A large juicy steak washed down with a drop of red soon revived all! We played three rounds of golf while on the Island and I can only say yet again, great golf and great scenery.
By David Short
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