We have arrived at the end of our memories of 20 years of Golfaround, I hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Going back in time brought back some wonderful memories of fun times, great people, fabulous golf and amazing adventures.
In 2014 we launched our new website and implemented on-line registrations and payments, what a bonus that was not only for us but your feedback was so positive. Instead of quarterly newsletters we now had the challenge of providing monthly news feeds but it has improved our communication and keeps you informed.
Sundowners, a bi-monthy mixed league, introduced in 2012, continued to provide us some great outings and good fun. The third annual Palm Springs Spring Training carried on in 2014 and Patty and Troy still did a great job of tweeking our swings and getting us back on track. We had a bit of a challenge with wind there in 2014, we had never seen sand drifts on the road, just snow. After 2015 we had to take a hiatus as our dollar was not great and it was difficult to make the pricing attractive, but watch out we plan to return soon, maybe 2017. Some of our more memorable outings include but were not limited to The Wilderness Club in Eureka Montana, a Play & Stay at The Copper Point Resort, a Mad Hatter Tee Party and a couple of kick-off Nine and Dines.
We went to the Wilderness Club twice in 2014 we took over both the Lodge and the cottages as we had 44 participants. In 2015 we went again but chose to only utilzize the cottages as we found the Lodge too far away and split the group somewhat. We had a wonderful time the weather was fabulous and the golf very enjoyable. The Copper Point Resort has great amenities and our digs were outstanding we had fun golfing but did have to contend with some rain last year, our rounds were a bit damp. The Mystery Bus Trip theme was a Mad Hatter Tee Party and we had more than one surprise. The destination was Pine Hills Golf Course in Rocky Mountain House and the Edmonton crew joined us there. Both Calgary and Edmonton gals did an amazing job of their hat creations.
We tried to start our season with a Nine and Dine rather than the usual Orientation/ Social but 2014 saw us snowed out at Inglewood. The weather outside was frightful but the ambiance inside delightful. We tried to bring an essence of Spring to improve the setting for what was going to be a Spring Fever Nine & Dine. This is Calgary and we all know that May can throw us some curve balls. Despite the conditions outside the event was a huge success, what a great turnout. Inglewood provided us with a great meal and of course the wine is always good. We tried again at Fox Hollow in 2015, we did golf but it was a tad chilly so we have come to the conclusion that Calgary weather patterns really does not support this type of season opener. We went back to the Orientation/Social in 2016 and guess what you could have got a sunburn it was that warm! Murphy’s Law I guess.
Our trip to Turkey was everything we dreamed about and so much more. Feedback from the group indicates it was the “best trip yet” and I do believe they are right, it was amazing. Turkey is considered to be one of the richest countries in terms of archaeology and is by far the biggest “open air museum” of the world. We were very fortunate to be able to see the marvelous remains of many ancient cultures and thanks to our amazing tour guide Tansu we embraced ancient history, acquired cultural insite and political and religious doctrines.
Our adventure commenced in Kusadasi, on the Aegean coast of Turkey and it is one of the most famous holiday resorts of the country. We loved our beautiful beachfront hotel where we could jump into the Agean from the sun bathing deck and watch the cruise ships, and see the sun set from our balconies. Kusadasi’s proximity to many of the old historic sites made it a great place to start. The ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, has to be seen to be believed, we walked where prophets walked and saw the chariot ruts in the roads, unbelievable. In addition, the House of the Virgin Mary, one of the most sacred places for Christianity, was spiritualy and visually uplifting.
Then there was our first round of golf at the Kusadasi Golf Club. On our drive to the course I am sure we all wondered where we were going as we climbed, and climbed and climbed. Wow, what an awesome location a 360º view and our first experience with call to the pray off in the distance. It was a difficult round, everything rolled out of site and it certainly was a ball eating course but absolutely beautiful and worth every lost ball.
We experienced the Temple of Aphrodite at amazing Aphrodisias on our way to Pamukkale and were seduced by the collection of sculptural treasures, We saw the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale. We marveled at the tea-cup shaped pools of this ‘Cotton Castle’ cascade with light blue water which covered the hill side in a waterfall of white and ice blue. While we were here we also experienced The Sacrifice Feast, a four-day religious festival. The Sacrifice Feast traditions in Turkey include sacrificing an animal in a special ritual, visiting relatives and helping the poor. Helen and Donna were invited to share the meal with locals but they graciously declined.
We then drove over the Taurus Mountains towards the Mediterranean and our all-inclusive golf resort where we stayed for the next eight days. The resort was wonderful, excellent accommadation, great food, awesome golf and lots of sea and sun, who could ask for more. But there was more, we visited a Turkish bath, the Hellenistic or Roman city of Perge to visit the extensive ruins, including the great Theatre at Aspendos, the Stadium, and the gate-towers leading into a street where ancient chariot ruts can still be see. Last but not least was an amazing day at sea frolicking in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean.
Our golf here was wonderful, stunning courses in close to pristine shape, challenging but forgiving and very enjoyable.
Cappadocia, was spectacular with the amazing rock formations, painted cave churches and underground cities. It was even more spectacular when seen from our hot air balloon, what a WOW moment that was.
Last was Istanbul with the beautiful Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome where Roman chariot races were held. We also marveled at the splendor of St Sophia, the Topkapi and Dolmabahce Palaces. We cruised the Bosphorus, the waterway that separates the Asian and European continents and connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, a very busy and important waterway. We savored the aromas of the Spice bazar and practised the time-honored ritual of bargaining in the Grand Bazar.
The Chronicals have come to an end but Golfaround has another 20 years to make more memories, make more friends, offer more adventures and provide more golf experiences. Pretty sure if I will not be writing the next 20 year chonicals and Kristy may be pushing her luck too.