It is interesting to see the weather challenges we have faced over the years, 2008 was certainly one of them. The Edmonton social planned at Lewis Estates, had to be rescheduled as Old Man Winter extended his frigid hand over both Calgary and Edmonton resulting in a deep freeze and treacherous driving conditions. In 2009 we thought we would have a better start but that was not to be, it was colder than average, wetter than normal and just plain ugly. Then there is 2016 when we were golfing in April, what a crazy climate we live in. We really have had a lot of fun over the years and doing these chronicles has brought back many wonderful memories for me and I hope for you also. Some of the great escapes we did in 2008 and 2009 included a play and stay in central Alberta where we played at Innisfail, what used to be a hidden gem. It is still a gem but a lot of people have found it. We stayed in Red Deer and played Alberta Springs before heading home. Another Play and Stay that was memorable was the Wine and Roses Tournament at Meadow Lake in Montana. We had great golf, fun at the legendary Blue Moon, and a fabulous BBQ in the “great house” with all in attendance. We whined when it was our score to count but enjoyed the wine and roses we received for registration. We love Meadow Lake and my surprise Birthday party this year there at the “house” was a real treat. Our Mystery Bus trip took us to Radium but our driver really kept the group guessing as he drove into Banff, everyone thought The Banff Springs..not. He then took a back road in the direction of Johnson’s canyon Jasper???????? We finally arrived at the resort and had a great time. Rocky Mountain House and Fernie were also tournament destinations.
Some of the other unique experiences we had included a Demo and Fit at The Callaway Performance Center, it was a great facility and we learned a lot. Too bad they were unable to continue with the concept we really did enjoy. Interestingly 2009 was the first time we adopted a hole at the CN Canadian Women’s Open and here we are doing it again in 2016. The Edmonton group were lucky to have Paige Nelson coordinate them in 2009. She joined Golfaround in 2004 as a beginner and is now ripping up the course, I guess we all do benefit from the lessons we take.
I was looking through old newsletters to do this and found some interesting statistics:
“A recent study found the average golfer walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found golfers drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means, on average, golfers get about 41 miles to the gallon. Kind of makes you proud. Almost feel like a hybrid.”
Our trip to New Zealand was fabulous; we toured both Islands spending time in Auckland, Pahia, in the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Christchurch and Queenstown. We experienced the magnitude of ninety mile beach and boogey boarding down the massive sand dunes; the splendor of the sea and the dolphins at play; the incredible beauty of the fauna; the majesty of Auckland’s harbor; we did not bungee jump from the Sky Tower; too chicken. We were amazed by the grandeur of the geothermal plants near Rotorua and also enjoyed insight into the Maori culture at a reenactment at the Wairakai Treaty House and sampled a Maori Hangi (meal). Christchurch and punting on the Avon reminded me of my English roots and the roses in the Botanical Gardens were incredible. In Queenstown we enjoyed the gondola up to the Skyline restaurant; the thrill of jet boating in the canyons; the steamship excursion to the Walter Peak homestead and sheep station; and the majestic splendor of the renowned Milford Sound. We played four rounds of golf at some great courses and loved the Kiwi people. As Gail mentioned “the great thing about our trips is there is something for everyone outside of the golf. The golf brings us together again as a group.” The Cook Island extension gave us some time to relax and enjoy the sun, sea and water sports. It was a wonderful experience enhanced by a great group of Golfaround people.