12 Jul

Stunning Canadian Rockies!

People describe the Canadian Rockies as New Zealand on Steroids, and I can see why! As soon as we had landed in Vancouver, we could sense that Canada was going to be a bit special. We spent our first full day in Vancouver taking a city tour and doing a bit of exploring from our centrally based hotel. Our first round of golf the next day at North View was a good chance to rid ourselves of any remaining jet lag and to experience our first championship course, which proved to be very enjoyable.
We then moved on, up the Sea to Sky highway to Whistler. They have more mountain bikers here in the summer than skiers in the winter, which is ironic, since it was designed as a ski resort! It was here we saw our first black bears. The Chateau Whistler course was challenging, and was made even more interesting by the presence of five bears wandering around the course! We also played the first Canadian Arnold Palmer designed course, Whistler, here to, which very handily had their driving range the other side of the road from our hotel. Theres lots to do here and most of us went up above the snow line to do the Peak to Peak, a cable car strung between two mountain peaks.
Next stop was the Okanagan Valley and probably the course that we all enjoyed the most - the Ridge at Predator Ridge. A stunning course with fantastic views at every hole, as well as being quite challenging. Congrats again to Diane Meyer, who got a hole-in-one here, this being her third!
After some more golf and visits to wineries, we travelled up deeper into the Rockies and passed by Mt Robson, the highest mountain in the Rockies and on into Alberta and to Jasper. Jasper Park is the number one resort course in Canada and it was here that some of the group saw their first Grizzly bear. Considering some Canadians have never seen grizzlies, we were very fortunate with the amount of wildlife we saw. Another highlight here was the BBQ held around an open fire outside our log cabins - so Canadian / Kiwi! Our journey down to Banff was punctuated with visits to waterfalls, lakes and the must see Lake Louise, plus a walk on a glacier at the Columbia Ice-fields. We played two more stunning golf courses, with mountains overlooking us from every side it seemed, which proved to be a fitting end to what was a very special tour. Congrats to Pam Oliver who won the overall womens tournament, and to Neville Satherley who, after drawing with Colin Gee, just won after the dropped round was included back in the scores.
You can see some of the pictures taken on tour in the Canadian Rockies Photo album on our Facebook page. If you would like to join us in Canada next year, we have just gone live with the details on the website here. And if you book by the end of November, you will save $500 per person!