Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year. The best gift cannot be wrapped in a gift bag. How can you wrap shared laughter and tears or talks that last for hours? They can only be wrapped and treasured inside our hearts.
Posts Written by Dianne Hutton
Have you ever wanted to play Torrey Pines in San Diego or the Banff Springs? Well this you can do and more at a new establishment in Calgary, Grand Slam Golf Academy. This facility offers virtual golf at a number of prestigious golf course and much, much more. Grand Slam Golf Academy offers six of the most advanced virtual golf simulators on the market. You will be able to choose from over 80 of the world’s most recognizable courses. In addition to the golf they have a great short game area where you can practice and improve the finer points of your game. There are over 3,000 square feet of naturally contoured putting and chipping areas, where you’ll be able to conquer putts of any break and distance and master bunker shots from real sand.
If you like technology the RoboGolfPro takes your club and physically guides you through a perfect swing, tailored just for you. This piece of equipement allows your instructor to let you feel the perfect ergonomic, efficient and physically correct swing for your ability and physique. In addition to this you can try out the SAM Putt Lab which monitors and measures your putting stroke allowing you to develop training strategies and improvement, it will also provide professional putter fitting.
We are planning an outing at this facility in the New Year which will be open to the Golfaround gals and their partners so stay tuned for more news and plan to join us for a night of fun, food and friends.
Early in the New Year some of us will embark on a unique South-Eastern Asia adventure. Our journey commences with a brief tour of Hong Kong. This vibrant, densely populated urban centre is a major port and global financial hub with a skyscraper-studded skyline. These are places and sights that give Hong Kong its highlights and unique local color which we will have the opportunity of seeing. Victoria Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. It is the best place to look out over the towering city skyline offering us sweeping views of Hong Kong Island’s skyscrapers, verdant trees, and walking paths. The Star Ferry is one of the best ways to enjoy the view of the skyline of Victoria Harbor. The Star Ferry has been used to carry passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and back since 1888. It is memorable to take a close look at so many towering skyscrapers while floating on the calm waters. We will observe the Clock Tower which is a landmark in Hong Kong. It is located on the southern shore of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is the only remnant of the original site of the former Kowloon Station on the Kowloon-Canton Railway. Our transitory visit ends with lunch to experience Hong Kong dim sum. Dim sum literally means “to touch your heart”, and refers to a vast number of exquisite bite-sized dishes. They are steamed in advance in bamboo baskets and paraded around the restaurant in steam carts.
After this brief sojourn we continue our travels to Penang known as the “Pearl of the Orient”. The island of Penang sits off the western coastline of Peninsular Malaysia and boasts a rich cultural heritage blending Chinese, Indian, and European influences. Here we can embrace the sun, sand and sea at an idyllic Penang Resort. We will enjoy golf at two different golf clubs. Bukit Jawi Golf Resort is a superb golfing paradise set amidst a picturesque setting with lush tropical greenery. The brilliant blue sky and warm tropical sun will be an irresistible combination for great golf. Penang Golf Club boasts stunning panoramic vistas of the Island with Penang Bridge and the mainland in the distance. Although this course is surrounded by the sights and sounds of the city there are enough jungle clad hills to remind you that Penang Island is a lush and tropical destination. In addition to golf we will explore the area and no tour of Penang is complete without a stop in World Heritage-listed George Town. This cosmopolitan island capital boasts a diverse architectural heritage, its oldest sections packed with 19th-century mosques, churches, temples, and colonial buildings. George Town will be a treat of sights and taste with every lane, street or corner failing to surprise with sights of the infamous street art, heritage buildings and authentic street and restaurant food. We may ride a Trishaw or embark upon a foodie tour or maybe some water activities. After enjoying a week of sun, beach, golf and touring we say farewell to Penang and fly to Kota Kinabulu, Borneo for more adventures.
Thanksgving is on it’s way, but the sole purpose is really to be aware of what we are grateful for everyday in our lives. As humans we tend to take a lot for granted and some times it is easier to focus on what we don’t have rather than what we do have. Many of the things we have we may see as rights but in reality they are privileges. I am able to write this little blurb so I am literate and have been fortunate enough to have had an education and have the ability to write, not everyone has this privilege, it is a gift to be grateful for. We read the news every day and we are grateful that we live in a country that is safe and free of the war and violence that is in so many other parts of the world. On that note here are some the things that I am so very grateful for.
PEOPLE I am grateful for my family, both past and present each and every one of them will always leave an indelible footprint on my heart. I was fortunate to have been playing golf with my two daughters yesterday, what a special gift that was. My friends are also a gift for they are my companions for life and will be there for me through thick and thin as I will be there for them. Golfaround would not be what it is today if we did not have the support and appreciation from our members, I am very grateful for that. They have also brought us a lot of joy, accomplishment, pride and some memorable moments. Kind strangers can also brighten up my day when I least expect it.
HEALTH and our senses are a gift for sure. Sight allows me to appreciate the beauty we see every day; touch lets me feel the wind in my face and the touch of my loved ones; the ability to hear, even if it’s not as good as it used to be, lets me hear the trickle of rain, the voices of my family and the music of life; the sense of smell allows me to appreciate smells of a wet forest or the roses in the garden; taste allows me to savor all the things I love to eat and wine of course. I am lucky to have my health so I can still golf, walk and travel, others are not so fortunate, there but for the grace of God.
HOME is where the heart is they say and my heart resides in Canada where I enjoy freedom and safety. I enjoy experiencing other parts of the world and am grateful for that but it is always good to come home.
FAITH AND HAPPINESS my faith in God has brought us through tough times and has given us strength to overcome the obstacles of life. It has given us the gift of making dreams come true and striving to excel in what we do. Happiness is a result of all of the above and every day we realize we have many, many things to be thankful for, not just at Thanksgiving. I am sure you will be able to relate to the things I am grateful for.
And last but not least I have learned to be grateful for who I am and for what I can bring to the world I live in.
Thanksgiving is a time to give, a time to love, and a time to reflect on the things that matter most in life. Danielle Duckery
We were traveling in Newfoundland a couple of weeks ago and found what we consider to be a spectacular golf course. We were staying in a beautiful five bedroom chalet which overlooked the golf course, what a hidden gem it was.
Humber Valley Resort’s 18-Hole, par 72 championship River Course measures 7,199 yards and affords dramatic views over the Humber Valley, including Deer Lake and the Humber River. The course was designed by Canadian Golf architect Doug Carrick, who is known for creating courses of great character and beauty, The River Course is no exception. Its layout, with gently rolling terrain, generous fairways and undulating greens, offers experienced golfers a welcome challenge yet also provides an enjoyable round for novices. Several holes are played alongside the tranquil Humber River or the shores of Deer Lake and a number of natural ponds and streams meander through the course. Sixteen of the holes provided water views and the beautiful scenery made it a pleasure to play.
Breath taking views were enjoyed from most holes culminating in the 18th where the backdrop rises to 400 feet in elevation up to the Eagle’s Perch, housing golf reception, changing facilities, lounge and banquet room where the spectacular scenery can be enjoyed at the nineteenth hole.
How about the weather this year? Sure was a huge improvement over last year. The sun shone, there were very few late day thunderstorms in Calgary and all in all we thought the season rocked. Some of you enjoyed the newest additions to league schedules, Serenity, Shaganappi Valley nine & Shaganappi Point.
We met some really nice new people this year that were totally into what Golfaround is all about and it was satisfying to see how far some of our beginner golfers have come. For instance Pam sent us the following which is another reason Golfaround exists. “My husband and I were out golfing with another couple last week near Fairmont Hot Springs. I golfed 4 days in a row, 18 holes (Trickle Creek – Riverside – The Springs in Radium & Radium Course). It was fabulous and sometimes awful! I never would have dreamed that I would feel comfortable and be able to enjoy this level and amount of golf. So thank you to Golfaround! So sad that it’s over for another year, but looking forward to next year!”
We enjoyed a fabulous Mystery Bus trip that had the most numbers we have ever had even if we did go to a “dry” location. We did make sure there were beverages available due a deliver made prior to the event. The Kimberley Play & Stay was also a great success we had so much fun we are going to do again next year and we found out we can enter a “fun” Bocci Ball tournament with a twist, costumes and beer that is. Our summers are so short that we want to experience it all and not miss a thing. A good example of this is the last group at Sirocco Aug 28 played the 9th hole in the dark and finished, even though we only booked 6 groups and gave everyone a pep talk to keep the pace “fast” so everyone would finish in the light.
Its was a clean sweep for the sundowners mixed league, this season we got every game played as scheduled. We really enjoyed playing with the new members this year you are a great addition to the group. It is nice to see everyone socialize following the round and sharing war stories. Also we have hole in one stories again and towel presentations. A good time was had by all. The Day leagues final 18 hole round was at Shaganappi Point and even though it was pretty smokey we had a wonderful round. The marshall was totally blown away with our pace of play, we were in the last group and we came in at 3 hours and 40 minutes, awesome ladies. Thanks again to everyone who helped us out this year it was very much appreciated.
Edmonton had a little more weather than us this year but all in all it was a great season. Sometimes you just have persevere as the day ladies will attest to, they are pretty hardy. We got off to a bit of rough start in Edmonton but thanks to some very dedicated people they turned it around and I think we had a strong finish. Thank you Lynn, Patti, Tammy, Chris and all the others that helped us this year. We grew the Edmonton membership adding some new courses to play, Fort in View and Cardiff come to mind. We are sorry that our Day Trip did not work out this year but certainly do plan on launching something early next year.
Some the beginners had a great day at Tofield Golf Course thanks to Mary, she didn’t think it was a big deal but it is absolutely a big deal!!! That is what the spirit of Golfaround is all about! The fact that she made 14 friends in her league is wonderful. A friend owns the golf course at Tofield, it’s a family owned and a nice little 9 hole country course. Mary asked if anyone would want to go out on a Saturday. Well 14 of them ended going on July 22. It was a beautiful day and they had a great time! A couple of them made nachos and cheese/meat tray for afterwards, and of course wine and beer.
A note from Lynn – “Well Ladies, I am not ashamed to say I started out this year feeling a little sorry for myself after I broke my wrist in February. I would miss golfing, definitely, but more importantly I would miss the gals. Over the six or seven years I have been with Golfaround, I have made some really great friendships, and through my past three years of coordinating, there is not an event or concert or golf course that I can’t go to and not run into someone I have met through Golfaround. So when Kristy asked me to coordinate the remainder of the season I heartily dove in as at least I would see my gals again. And so many new faces too! I love it. I am happy to say that I am golfing again and so I am going back to the ranks of member and not coordinator but I am really happy to have participated in this season otherwise there would have been some great women I would have missed out on meeting. We’ve had a great season and that is thanks to each of you who make Golfaround what it is.”
Back by popular demand in 2018 will be our Spring Training package in Palm Springs. This package will be counted as your required lessons for the season and on top of this you will have the opportunity to experience all that Palm Springs has to offer. The Double Tree Golf Resort is fresh off a multi-million dollar renovation and features an elevated sense of style, contemporary vibe, and an unbeatable setting at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. The spacious guest rooms, which feature s two queen beds include free WiFi, a 49-inch TV and mini-refrigerator. All rooms have either a patio or balcony, perfect for enjoying the panoramic views. Dine at either of the two new restaurants added during the renovation or relax at the Mira Bar enjoying mountain views, indoor or outdoor seating and is the perfect place to watch sports.
The Desert Princess Country Club boasts a 27-hole championship golf course with majestic views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Each nine offers a slightly different style of golf challenge.. On Lagos water comes into play on six of the nine holes. The Vista nine offers the variety of a links style golf course with rolling fairways. The Cielo nine offers a challenging and scenic nine holes, with water on eight of the nine holes.
You can get pampered at The Spa at the Desert Princess with a massage or facial or swim in the Olympic-sized pool, which features two hot tubs, private cabanas and a 5,000 sq. ft. sundeck. Or maybe burn some calories in the modern fitness center which features state-of-the-art equipment.
Palm Springs, CA is a desert city rich with sunny days for enjoying all our favorite outdoor activities. The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens are minutes away. Ride the rotating tramcar up Chino Canyon on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, then dine at 8,500 feet at the café or restaurant. Shop some of the best deals in southern California at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets and Cabazon Outlets. Take a memorable day trip to Joshua Tree National Park for hiking or rock climbing. In addition there are numerous restrauarants to enjoy
Lessons south of the border include 5 nights of accommodation, four hours of instruction, two rounds of golf with a power cart and hospitality, all for $1300.00 CDN. Additional rooms can be added at our preferred rate. We are limited to 16 participants and to get the most from your lessons you should averaging 110 on 18 holes.
If you are in Kelowna and love beautiful golf views while playing a challenging course, then Tower Ranch is a must visit. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to do just this. The views are to die for, amazing vistas of Kelowna and the lake in the distance. It kind of reminded us of the course we played in Kusadasi, on top of the mountain, but certainly not as punishing. This course has lots of elevation changes also but it is very playable as most of the elevation changes are driving between greens and tees. The course is laid out beautifully, and each hole presents a new challenge. Elevated tee boxes provide a nice view of the hole to be played, for the most part, but there is a bit of target golf and a few blind shots. We had a very enjoyable round and finished off with a snack on the beautiful patio where we could feast our eyes on the beautiful scenery around us.
We sent out the directions to get to Kimberley and even gave people two routes to choose from, but we didn’t think to get directions once in Kimberley to get to the Lodge. Kristy and I had stopped at the Blairmore Golf Course for lunch where we met Cindy and Linda. We arrived in Kimberly and put on our GPS to direct us to the Lodge. After many twists and turns we end up at a walking trail which lead upwards an then a cycling path. What the h….and then we discovered we somehow had it in walking mode no wonder we got so twisted around. Needless to say Cindy, Linda and Florence were there much ahead of us and wonder where we were.
Seventeen of us arrived Thursday night and had a wonderful round at the Kimberley golf course on Friday, a great track, with undulating greens and huge ponderosa pines towering along the fairways, we started with a true mountain golf experience. There were great views of the Rocky Mountains and the St Mary river canyon as we made our way round the course. The 2 nines are completely different. The front, the old course, large ponderosa pines and Douglas Fir trees. Mostly flat, with some short par 4’s. But the back 9 is newer and completely different. Carved out of the forest and lots of ups and downs. It could really beat you up.
Following our round we enjoyed the large deck where we watched the golfers teeing off the cliff top at #1 or coming in at #9. Simon, the head golf pro came out and chatted making us feel very welcome. The rest of the group joined us that evening for a hospitality gathering in room 301, it was a little crowded but no one seemed to mind. It was great to see new faces and always great to see old friends.
Saturday we played Trickle Creek Golf Course another mountain golf experience, wide fairways but many unexpected hazards, even with the cart you needed to be a mountain goat. The course was in great shape and the staff were wonderful. This course is a thinking women’s course and I don’t think there is an even lie to be found so it is very challenging. The scenery is outstanding and we saw many deer tripping around. Our round was followed with a wonderful meal on the deck and then back to the Lodge where some of us enjoyed the pool and hot tub. Others went to town to try out Taste of Kimberley or to watch the Bocce ball tournament, it was July Fest and there was lots to do and see.
Sunday another great golf game at Bootleg Gap. This golf course has some magnificent vistas just off the cart paths and is a beautiful course with lots of undulation and picturesque points overlooking the St Mary river. We played the Championship course which is highlighted by an serene run of holes routed on lower terrain near the banks of the pristine St. Mary River. The 12th is a dramatic par-3 that plunges down the hoodoo-lined hillside and is one of the most scenic par-3s in the region. A great day was enjoyed by all. A few of us stayed Sunday night and I think twelve of us enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Old Bauerhaus, The building is a destination in itself. It has a lovely story and original décor and the food was fresh and delicious, it was a wonderful way to finish a fabulous get-a-way. We are thinking this is a do over and we plan to do it again next year.
The 2017 Mystery Bus Trip had more participants than ever before, I guess the word has got around that it is a lot of fun. This year was no exception. Our bus left the Signal Hill shopping centre parking lot with 48 gals dressed in red and white to recognize Canada’s 150th birthday. The guesses were in and as we traveled east on Glenmore it was anyone’s guess. At Deerfoot we turned south and groans were heard as a number of guesses went out of the window. Some of the astute gals thought we would head to a National Park so thought their Waterton guess was spot on. This thought held until we turned off the road to Waterton and went around the block, our driver screwed up. We got back on track and ended up at Lee Valley Creek Golf Course in Cardston. We fooled everyone, no one guessed the destination so the toonies collected plus a personal donation, $101.00, will be donated to the YWCalgary https://www.ywcalgary.ca/ This organization offers numerous services to support women to gain control of their lives and we will donate the money via Shaw Classic Birdies for Kids as Shaw will increase our donation by 50%.
The golf course is a hidden, little gem , nestled in the Lee Creek Valley, offering a picturesque view of the mountains, wildlife and natural scenery. There were lots of elevation changes, relatively fast true and very soft greens (with difficult to read slopes due to the hills). Enough trouble around to keep you thinking of club selection and where not to miss, it was a challenge to say the least and everyone really enjoyed the challenge. The people were super friendly and Sylvia and Bill gave us a steak dinner that was awesome. We were lucky to have a shot gun start and just after we all got in and got settled for dinner a vicious storm hit, it only lasted probably ten minutes but wow the tent was a rockin’. We were so lucky that we had a great day, not too warm either which was bonus. After a great meal, prizes and camaraderie we headed home and for a change arrived back in Calgary in daylight.
Thanks everyone for your efforts to support the celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday it was a great day.